The always-smiling highest run-scorer for Pakistan in Tests, Younus Khan, reveals that bringing a smile on people’s face inspired him to achieve great feats for his country in cricket.
“Maybe inspiration would be the wrong word for it but what drives me to success is basically my intention of helping Pakistan in any way I can,” said Younus.
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“In the past ten years or so, we as a country have had some bad times. Take the issues in Swat valley in 2009, we had many internally displaced people who came over to Mardan where I live. I used that tragedy as a source of motivation to do better and we won the 2009 World T20 which must have brought a smile to those people.
“That is what drives me – the fact that I can bring happiness back to my country and its citizens. This is what has also improved my performance as well.”
Younus believes that the Asian giants and neighbours, Pakistan and India, should play cricket as it benefits the players to become more mature and play sensibly under pressure.
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“There aren’t too many rivalries in world cricket which can match the Indo-Pakistan rivalry in cricket,” said Younus, while talking to PakPassion.
“There is a reason why iconic series such as The Ashes are so popular around the world. These series involve two countries where there is a lot of history and the followers love to watch and feel the excitement associated with such series.
“Yes, we don’t need to play each other if conditions don’t allow, but the fact is from the point of view of a player, that the pressure associated with such games makes or breaks players; there is no other way to describe it. This is a great opportunity for youngsters to learn and understand the pressures of playing in international cricket.
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“If you look at my own career, when I toured in 2005 and scored 267 runs in the Bangalore Test, I was offered a top county contract as a result of that performance. In that way, whenever players perform well in such important series, their status in world cricket improves immensely, similar to what happens when a player performs well in the Ashes.”
Younus said that the spectators also wanted to see the countries play each other.
“My personal view is that an India Pakistan series is important for this part of the world so that the cause of cricket is promoted and also given the amount of following for this game in the sub-continent, it is also great for the followers as well,” added Younus.
The 38-year-old veteran, when asked about his comeback into the ODI, he was aiming to perform well in 50-over format.
“Playing in ODIs is a matter of pride for me. I have achieved a lot in my career so far and I also lead the team to victory in the World T20 in 2009, but I left on my own accord from that format. My aim is to achieve and then move on. Whichever format it may be, whether Tests or ODIs, I want to achieve and then leave that format. This is my aim,” explained Younus.
The right-hand batsman, moreover, said his career and his retirement depend upon his fitness levels.
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“I am not the type of player who will make my decision based upon how things are going at that time. The only factors that will drive my decision will be my fitness and how my body is coping with the physical stresses and finally, how interested I am in the game at any point,” he said.
“As everyone knows, whether I am fielding or batting, I play the game with wholeheartedly and full interest. Obviously being one of the top players for Pakistan, my performance has to be on top as well and that will also be a driver for my decision. I will continue to play for Pakistan as long as I am fine with the three factors I have mentioned.”
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