DateLine: 7th June 2010
With the indefinite ban behind him and a score of 77 not out today in his third innings for Surrey, things are finally looking brighter for former Pakistan captain Younus Khan.
Khan, well known for using the term "fun" when describing the Twenty over version of cricket and also famous for his beaming smile whatever the match situation, has not had a great deal to smile about of late.
It only seems yesterday when Khan strode into the press conference at Lords, straight after the 2009 Twenty/20 World Cup victory draped in the Pakistan flag and smiling from ear to ear. Younus answered questions that day confidently, precisely and his responses to the room full of journalists was tinged with a hint of his charming humour.
Make no mistake, Younus is back. He's back doing what he does best and that is scoring runs. The smile is also back and so is the chirpy humour.
Speaking to PakPassion.net, Younus' counsel during the recent hearings in Lahore Ahmed Qayyum described the moment when he told Younus of the news that he had been waiting for.
"I was very happy for Younus and naturally very excited when I got the news that Younus' ban had been lifted. I totally forgot that there was a four hour difference between Pakistan and England and phoned him up straight after the hearing. It was 6.30 am in England and he was asleep, but he didn't mind the fact that my call woke him up, as it was the news he had been waiting for. He was naturally very pleased and he feels vindicated with his stance by not accepting a "reduced punishment".
Younus was named in a preliminary squad of 35 for the tour of England and he and the selectors will be hoping that he hits form for Surrey ahead of what promises to be an extremely tough tour for Pakistan. What could be an even greater challenge for Younus will be coming face to face with the very players that turned against him. However Qayyum stated that Younus has no ill feelings towards any of his team mates.
"It will be no problem for Younus to play in the same team as some of the players who spoke against him. In all of the time that I have represented him at the hearings, he has never had a bad word to say about any of the players. He has always remained dignified and quiet about team mates. He has never made any accusations against his fellow players and he has no ill feeling towards his team mates".
Qayyum felt that Younus' only disappointment was that he felt alone during the whole process of giving up the captaincy right through to the appeal.
"Younus has been fighting a lone battle, standing alone at such a difficult time for him. He has had very little support in what has been a make or break situation for him".
Who would have thought that even by Pakistani cricketing standards, twelve months later, not only would Younus no longer be a member of the Pakistan team, but he would have been discarded and subsequently treated with such disrespect. Captains are usually dumped without much sentiment in Pakistan, but even by Pakistani standards, Younus' fall from grace raised several eyebrows.
Whilst the issue of disharmony between players may well be smoothed over as and when Pakistan land on English shores, however the issue of disharmony between Younus and the team manager may not be smoothed over so easily.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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