DateLine: 26th April 2010
As final preparations are being put in place for a relatively young Pakistani side to take on the might of the world to defend their T20 title in the West Indies, Younis Khan is happy to be watching it from the comforts of his home. The former captain spoke to PakPassion.Net about Pakistanís chances for the upcoming World Cup and how he is spending his spare time.
The life of an international cricketer obviously involves plenty of travelling and being away from home for lengthy period, so Younis is glad for the respite. "I am spending some quality time with family." He has also got a chance to take a break from the rigors of competitive cricket and do what he loves best - "Iíve also been fishing".
Younis Khan, the flamboyant middle order batsmen was an inspirational captain in the 2009 T20 World Cup as he led his chargers to a famous World Cup victory. He was one of the leading scorers of the competition as he racked up 172 runs at an impressive average of 57.33. When quizzed on Pakistanís chances at this yearís World Cup, Younis was somewhat circumspect as he felt that "in T20 cricket, chances are always 50-50."
Another player who will be missing the World Cup is close friend Umar Gul, and Younis spoke about how devastating the loss will be to the team. "Itís a huge setback for us that Gul has been ruled out as he has proved to be very successful for us in T20. He was one of the key players in helping Pakistan reach the last two T20 World Cup Finals." In saying that, Younis was still confident that the bowlers available to Pakistan were still world class. "I still feel the loss of Gul can be overcome. We have good bowler like Amer, Asif, Ajmal and Afridi. We are still capable of reaching the semis and after that you just need a bit of luck."
Arafat joined Gul on the injured list as both players dreams of another World Cup were lost, paving the way for returns for Mohammad Sami and Abdur Rehman. Younis felt that both would prove to be "good choices as both of them have done well in domestic matches." He further added that "although Sami has received many opportunities in the past without being successful, he did do well in Australia and has also been playing well in domestic cricket."
PakPassionís favourite son Mohammad Irfan was another one the Mardan born batsmen had special praise for. "I have batted against Mohammad Irfan and he is good bowler." Irfan was initially selected as replacement for the injured Arafat before a backflip from the PCB robbed him of his spot on the plane to the West Indies. Younis had words of comfort for him. "Irfan needs to continue to keep working hard."
Pakistanís commitments following the T20 World Cup are jam-packed and intense with test series in England against the hosts and Australia followed by an ODI series against South Africa in Dubai. Younis who was handed a life ban for infighting within the team, was hopeful of having the ban revoked and to be back playing for Pakistan soon. "I havenít heard anything about the hearing from PCB yet. I am still waiting and whenever they will call, I will go." While he is on forced leave, the 63 Test match stalwart has also kept himself match fit. "I have been continuing with practice as I always have done. I am not one of those who will sit around when not playing."
Finally Younis had a special message for all his fans on PakPassion. "I want to thank all of those who have been supporting me in this difficult time, just keep me in your prayer." We at PakPassion wish him the best and would love to see him back representing Pakistan with the dignity and honour he has always shown both on and off the cricket field.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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