Pakistan’s World Twenty20 winning captain Younus Khan has targeted a revival of his one-day career ahead of the 2015 World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand next year.
He last played in the 50-over format back in 2013 during the South Africa tour and has been sidelined since then; however, he is still a key player for the Test side.
Younus led Pakistan to the World Twenty20 title back in 2009, when the team defeated Sri Lanka in England, becoming the only captain after Imran Khan – who captained the triumphant 1992 ODI World Cup side – to achieve the feat, albeit in a different format.
With the 2015 World Cup set to be played on quick and bouncy pitches, former players have called for Younus’ induction in the 50-over format in order to utilise his abilities in testing conditions.
The 36-year-old is currently the most experienced Pakistani cricketer playing right now.
His Test record is outstanding, with 7,399 runs from 89 Tests at a staggering average of 51.38. He has scored 23 centuries and 28 fifties in the longest format of the game, with the best being a knock of 313.
Younus’ ODI record is relatively modest, with 253 matches under his belt, scoring 7014 runs at an average of 31.88 with six centuries and 48 half-centuries to his credit.
“I’m available to represent Pakistan in the ODI format as well but I have no desire to return to the T20 side,” said Younus, during a press conference in Lahore.
“My wish is to play cricket in every format that I’m available for in the next two to three years. I believe that a player like me, who has played international cricket for 14-15 years, deserves to walk out and retire on his own, without being dropped or limited to Test cricket.
“I surely would like to grab the opportunity to play the World Cup.”
Younus hopes for Pak-India cricket revival
In the wake of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to India, Younus hoped that the cricket ties between the two countries would be revived in order to help the development of the game.
“It will be really good if cricket between Pakistan and India is restored because both sides miss the rivalry during such a series.
“The Pakistan Cricket Board is making efforts to bring back international cricket to Pakistan which would be vital in improving the country’s economy, since infrastructure in the cities would have to be upgraded.”
He further stated that the ongoing training camp in Lahore has been a major breakthrough for the players, adding that it was especially important for those in the national side who had been away from home for international assignments since the past four years.
Meanwhile, he further added before the training camp has started, seniors were told to lead from front in order to inspire juniors.
“Seniors have tried to remain in front so that the youngsters can take inspiration.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2014.
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