DateLine: 16th December 2009
A week after Younus Khan was overlooked for this month's tour of Australia, the former Pakistan captain Tuesday made a surprise appearance at a coaching course in Lahore.
Younus, reported to be uncontactable when the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) last week appointed Mohammed Yousuf as his replacement on the Australian tour, attended a course held by PCB instructor Shahid Aslam and other coaches.
"International and first-class players in other countries attend such courses to get more educated in the game, but Younus has set an example in Pakistan and is doing the course with interest since Monday," Aslam told AFP.
After completing the course, Younus refused to speak to the media.
The 32-year-old Younus last month pulled out of Pakistan's current tour of New Zealand, citing poor batting form during his team's 2-1 loss in the one-day series against the same opponents in the United Arab Emirates.
He was not considered for the three-Test series against Australia starting late December, after the current Test series in New Zealand led by Yousuf.
He also raised doubts about his future in international cricket after failing to appear in domestic matches, a requisite for regaining his place in the national squad.
Local media reported last week that Younus had gone fishing and could not be contacted by the PCB. However, it was also reported that he would meet PCB chairman Ijaz Butt to discuss his future plans.
A close friend of Younus said the former captain had shown his commitment to cricket by attending the course.
"Younus wants to get more educated in the game and this doesn't mean he will start coaching. Younus will be back in international cricket after completing the well-deserved rest," said the friend, requesting anonymity.
Younus, a reputable middle-order batsman, has scored 5,260 runs in 63 Tests and 5,698 runs in 197 one-day internationals.
He took over captaincy in January and led Pakistan to World Twenty20 title in England in June.
After pulling out of the New Zealand tour, Younus denied reports he had fallen out with team-mates.
"I have taken this decision after giving it serious thought," Younus told AFP last month. "Since I am not in the best of form I need rest and there is no personal grudge against anyone, that's for sure.
"I want to tell my fans that I am not finished, I will come back. My country comes first, more than my family and more than my self."
(Article: Copyright © 2009 AFP)