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February 3, 2009

Age of Khan

Reluctant Younis picks his moment

Kamran Abbasi


It could be any other moment that Younis Khan has been offered the captaincy. Pakistan cricket is in crisis and Darrell Hair is making a play for the headlines. Yet this occasion is much different. Hair's most recent rant is a sideshow and Younis has grabbed the captaincy with both hands. Indeed, his previous reluctance has meant that this ascendancy to the captaincy comes when Pakistan cricket is at the most crucial turning point in its history.

Pakistan's form has been variable for years, nothing new there. Its administration has been dysfunctional, nothing new there either. But this last year has questioned the viability of Pakistan as an international cricket nation. Form and organisation become secondary issues when your very existence is threatened.

Sri Lankan has ridden to Pakistan's rescue when all other major nations have turned away. It is a debt that Pakistan cricket must remain mindful of and repay at the appropriate time.

But as Shoaib Malik discovered, a drought of cricket is accompanied by a deluge of expectations. We should be clear what those expectations are. They are not that Pakistan should crush Sri Lanka into the dust, though a victory would be a joy. The real test of Younis Khan's Pakistan is whether or not it can fight its corner with pride and passion.

Younis, the best batsmen in the current team, has no reason to doubt his place, and the captaincy should bring out the best in his competitive nature. As captain, he is naturally an encourager and cajoler, involved in every development of play.

His example will count for much but he will require the support of his senior colleagues. This is not a moment for Pakistan's cricketers to indulge their private agendas. The condition of Pakistan's cricket is too perilous. It is a moment for unity, spirit, and a reminder that pulling on a green cap is the most important occasion in a Pakistani cricketer's career.

Sri Lanka will be formidable opponents. Younis Khan will need time to settle into his leadership role. But the success of this forthcoming tour should not be judged by the result. It should be judged by the attitude and resolve of Pakistan's players. Reluctant Younis has picked his moment with care. Can he seize it?

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Posted by Leidy on (June 24, 2011, 5:31 GMT)

Geez, that's ubneleivable. Kudos and such.

Posted by tanweer haidar mirani on (May 12, 2011, 12:38 GMT)

we need all senior cricketers in the team cause, ur youngster r not yet grom by the pcb, when ever any team is having back up they will be successfull in the international cricket. we were having back up of Muhammad yousuf, and inzamam ul haq, but lost, we even dont knw where they r, Asim kamal and Bazid khan were to great replacement of yousuf and inzi, but they ignored them, now they r having few players, they even dont have proper opener in the team.

Posted by Waqar on (February 16, 2009, 12:38 GMT)

I wish good luck to Younis as he is the last hope for the team at this point in time. Appointment of Shoaib as captain at that time was not a bad choice looking at his domestic captaincy record and ability. Unfortunately he was unable to bring the same energy and connection to the national side. What we are in dire need of now is self belief in the players and in the team. Both India and SA who are dominting the cricket charts these days are doing so becuase each and every player in the team has a belief to win and to play for the team. no matter what situation they are in, they are still looking to attack the opposition. Younis will have to bring out all of his agression to bring a spark to the team. I'm not expecting the team to win as soon as he takes over, but we can surely give anyone a good fight. Let them know that we wont lose until the match is officially finished.

Posted by Normal Human on (February 15, 2009, 16:08 GMT)

Pakistan as a country in history,is at a very critical juncture,the country is facing tough questions from all directions & whatever aspects one can imagine.Perhaps, the scenario is so so bad, that there is hardly anything worse that can happen to this country.It is really sad, and who is to be blamed? Well instead of blaming the administrators of cricket or politicians it is time that the pakistani ppl become accountable and blame themselves,and change their pity conditions themselves rather waiting for others to do it.They got 2 believe and implement this believe,its definitely high time. Cricket, just like everything else is also at its crossroads,and whether its younis or afridi or anybody else,their mettle will only b tested when they r up against worthy opponents.It is sad y these neutral venues cant b worked out to save cricket and the cricketing style of pakistan.In times to come,v as viewers r up for some kind of challenges even more unexpected?

Posted by waterbuffalo on (February 13, 2009, 15:50 GMT)

So the PCB are organizing another "committee" to look into the Oval debacle. Seems like the only thing the PCB is good at is forming committees, but are they aware that no one is listening to them? Not the the MCC, nor the ICC, nor India, England or Australia, with this latest execise in futility, the PCB has confirmed that they are withoubt doubt, the most useless cricket board in the world. And this most useless board is in charge of Pakistan Cricket. God have mercy on all of us.

Posted by irfan on (February 12, 2009, 19:34 GMT)

This goes out to Mohammed Yousuf.

Yousuf you are the best batsman in the current Pak set up BUT Let’s be candid! The choices you made in the past or were made for you were not that great! Every body in the world has a right to earn the most they can (especially a man like you who is the master of his skill) but somehow it did not work for you. So, you see you did your thing but none of it penned out, did you ever stop for a moment to think that may be the god did not mean it for you? You are an enlightened man you should have seen it by now! I have seen people make better choices and end up worse then you are so count your blessings. Please think, you are at the twilight of your career, and there isn’t much time left. Wouldn't it be better if you bury the past and start fresh? Come back to where you are the strongest, most loved and what made you who you are today TEAM PAKISTAN. Brother please think, think of all the duaain you will get from the people. Come back PLEASE!

Posted by faisal on (February 11, 2009, 21:29 GMT)

yes difenatly he will sieze it. he is the one of best player in the team but addionely he is a fighter thats why he is the best choice for captin at the time i hope he'll bring back the teams reputation. Second thing, this the right time we need to bring back yusuf and razzak if we could do that then difinatly our team is gonna be back on track

Posted by Amer Ahmed on (February 9, 2009, 17:40 GMT)

Short and sweet! Younis is the right candidate for this job, Misbah should have kept the position to lead Pakistan if need be. Afridi needs to be handed a written warning to perform or take a hike. Yasir Hameed needs to come in, he is daring. Amongst ICL players, Yousuf is an automatic choice as the world class bowlers meet and sweat over how to get him out so its a no brainer and Yousuf has proved it over and over again. He also deserves more respect than what he got from previous leaders and administrators. Other than Yousuf, maybe Imran Farhat can be considered, you can look at his records before he was saked...... and rest should be history. Kanaria deserves to be a permanent member of Test and ODI team, he's probably not the best in the world but in Pakistan he is and deserves a chance.

Posted by JamJar on (February 6, 2009, 22:26 GMT)

Irfan,

Firstly, I wouldnt say I'm a cynical about Younis's appointment. I am relieved that he has finally taken up the post but at the same time, cautious of his long term position as captain. Lets be frank, his track record of accepting the captaincy hasnt been great. Secondly, anybody who would let Pakista's cricketing fortunates to detoriate to such an extent so they could 'seize the moment' is just plain selfish in my book. Regardless, we are where we are so full support to Younis...lets just hope he does a fine job as captain.

Posted by Mubashir Hanif on (February 6, 2009, 14:22 GMT)

Assalamoalikum! I dont think younis would be able to seal the moment, sorry. Sealing a moment does not come just by picking another bloke to lead, a lot more is needed. You see its simple, if there is something worng with your backbone, you lie down, unable to move, right? The constitution by which Pakistan and PCB runs is the backbone of them both. PCB is lacking it.On what grounds did they sack tens of x-players?On what grounds Musharrafs Poodle (Nasim ashraf) was selected? No one has answers to these queries. Look how Asif (referred to asias Mc Grath) has fooled himself. I can bet you no Paksitani player would have read the ICC code 2000 by which the cricket is played. This is the result. And on top of everything the attitude of so called developed nations is not helping much. The time that Paksitan was supposed to rule the cricket world is gone, it needs lots of thinking and re-building. HOR CHOOPO GANNAIY PEACE

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi

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