DateLine: 21st December 2009
Former Pakistan captain Younus Khan returned to first-class cricket on Monday after a month-long absence, raising hopes for a swift international comeback by the big-hitting batsman.
The 32-year-old was featuring in the five-day final of Pakistan's premier domestic tournament, the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, which began Monday. Younus's Habib Bank side lost the toss to the Karachi Blues, who elected to bat.
Younus pulled out of Pakistan's New Zealand tour in November citing poor form, and said he needed a break from international cricket.
He last took the field in the third and final one-dayer against New Zealand at Abu Dhabi on November 9. Younus, who hit a triple century against Sri Lanka in February, managed just 22 runs against the Kiwis and Pakistan lost 2-1.
Younus also stepped down as captain, arguing he had "lost command" of the side, and was not considered for the current tour of Australia. Mohammad Yousuf took over as skipper.
Chief selector Iqbal Qasim last week said Younus would be considered for the five-match one-day series against Australia next month. The series will follow three Tests starting in Melbourne on December 26.
While resting, Younus remained out of touch with the Pakistan Cricket Board, but last week made a surprise appearance at a coaching course in Lahore.
"I will be available to play for Pakistan whenever needed. I wanted rest, which I have taken," he told reporters in Lahore.
(Article: Copyright © 2009 AFP)