KARACHI: Pakistan’s premier Test batsman Younus Khan has said that he is not prepared to leave cricket any time soon and will not retire from ODIS, despite being snubbed again for the limited overs side.
The 37-year-old was dumped by the selectors after a forgettable World Cup and has not been part of Pakistan’s ODI squad against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.
“I can assure you that I’m not leaving cricket any time soon,” Younus said during a celebration of his 100th Test. “I’ll not be forced to retire from ODIs and want to bow out gracefully on my own terms. One of my dreams is to retire not as an ordinary player but as Pakistan’s captain.”
Younus was handed a cash of Rs500,000 and a medal by Omar Associates director Nadeem Omar for joining the 100-Test club and scoring a match-winning 171 in Pakistan’s historic chase of 377 against Sri Lanka, while Shaan Masood was also given Rs100,000 for his ton. Younus, in return, presented the shirt he wore in his 100th Test to Nadeem Omar.
Meanwhile, Younus said that he has run away from captaincy throughout his life but will accept it at this stage of his career. “I ran away from the captaincy all my life but I’ll pounce on the opportunity now if I am asked to captain Pakistan because I want to prepare a strong national side before I say goodbye,” said Younus.
He also revealed that there was a time in his career when he thought about quitting the game after repeated loss of family members but former skipper Rashid Latif supported and motivated during the period.
“I’ve lost several close ones over the years and it isn’t easy to motivate yourself after losing your father, brothers, niece and nephew,” he said. “There was a time when I wanted to walk away but Rashid kept me strong during that phase.”
Recalling his hardships, Younus revealed that he did not have enough money to make ends meet, only for HBL to offer him a Rs5,000 job that allowed him to concentrate on his cricket. “In the initial stages of my career in Karachi, I hardly had any money to survive until HBL gave me a Rs5,000 per month job and that allowed me to continue playing cricket. If it had not been for them, I would have returned to Mardan,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2015.
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