Saad Shafqat June 17, 2009

Younis Khan's masterstroke

Back at the pre-tournament meeting, Younis would have contemplated this campaign knowing he was up against much more than just cricketing opposition
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At some point in the build up to this World Twenty20, Younis Khan would have assembled the rest of the Pakistan team think-tank to pore over the tournament's list of fixtures. Shoaib Malik would have been there along with Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi and Kamran Akmal.The coach would probably have not been around, this being the kind of meeting where you only invite those you can call upon when it hits the fan out in the middle.

There would have been an intense seriousness to this meeting, a sober atmosphere that Pakistan's cricketers, with their trademark devil-may-care attitude, are loath to display in public. There would have been an implicit recognition of what was at stake. After the visiting Sri Lankans were attacked by terrorists in Lahore in March, John Stern, Editor of the Wisden Cricketer, questioned in an interview on CNN whether Pakistan would even be able to play in the World Twenty20. Stern's was only one prominent voice among many fussing about Pakistan's threat of cricketing isolation. The nucleus of Pakistan's team saw clearly, as indeed did the rest of the country, that the World Twenty20 would be their last chance to push back.

After digesting the schedule of fixtures for a few minutes, one of them would have pointed out, as is obvious to everyone now, that five victories could get you the title. A mere five victories, of which four need to be against authentic Test nations. In the event, Pakistan have had the easiest ride of the tournament so far, with wins against two associate nations, plus New Zealand, which has traditionally been the weakest of the authentic Test sides. By the looks of it the cricket gods are finally smiling, perhaps offering a long overdue break to the country that has seen more turbulence in the last two years than in the rest of its six-decade history.

Back at the pre-tournament meeting, Younis would have contemplated this campaign knowing he was up against much more than just cricketing opposition. He had to lift spirits, sharpen everyone's focus, and blot out the hype that inevitably accompanies the likes of India and Australia and was bound to undercut his own team's morale. He knew he had to prepare everyone by modulating expectations, which he delicately calibrated by announcing that reaching the semi-finals would be good enough. He would also have been mindful of the potential for the Daniel Vettoris of the cricketing world to behave as sore losers, and he would have been conscious of the deafening criticism that would erupt from Pakistan's unforgiving press and public at the first defeat. Younis knew he would need a terrific Plan B, something as powerful and galvanising as Imran Khan's 'cornered tigers' appeal from 1992.

After the Group B defeat to England, he unveiled it, telling a bemused media contingent that Twenty20 is 'fun cricket'. Younis was addressing his own team of course. Take it easy, close your eyes, relax. You can easily picture him sticking to the same theme as the toughest test yet awaits. Sure, its the semi-final and South Africa is some seriously tenacious opposition, but don’t let that get to you. Imagine you're just playing a league match in Lahore. Enjoy yourself.

Saad Shafqat is a writer based in Karachi

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Zaka Sheikh on July 27, 2009, 21:05 GMT

    I think the author needs his head examined. He should be writing short stories which have no relevnce to facts.

  • irfan balouch on June 26, 2009, 15:38 GMT

    Hi all I jus want to tell that cricket is a funny game and 2020 is the most funniest bit the invention of power play and all these hard hitting strokes that thing has killed the beauty of classic cricket however we are living in that world where time is biggest factor in all sorts of sports to compete the popular sports like soccer 2020 is a new kid in the block so in this regard if someone like younis delivers a comment about the funny nature of this style of sport I think he was quite right although his words were may be malafidely misrepresented by the authorities . Can retrospect all the previous talks on this website about this issue and believe that paki team has left no words for those who were trying to humiliate them rather then giving them the benefit of doubt that english is not the national language in pakistan well I am proud the way pakis fought and won the crown . God bless them all

  • shabut on June 21, 2009, 21:07 GMT

    I was provn wrong on the account that it was not Pak vs. WI final however I was proven right on the law of average account where Sri Lanka had to lose one game eventually and they did so in the Finals. Great performance by the Pak team. I wonder what the most favorites are doing right now. HAhahahahah!!!!!

  • Nabeell on June 20, 2009, 8:58 GMT

    Lets bring smile on the faces of people of SWAT......a worldcup dedicated to the ones who lost their homes and loved ones..... pAKI pOWER

  • Raj on June 18, 2009, 21:00 GMT

    Looking back at how India and South Africa lost, I think Younis' comments were a master-stroke.. It was evident in the way Kamran Akmal started the innings and how Afridi ran away with the match.. Way to go, Pakistan!!! Bring home the cup!

  • shabut on June 18, 2009, 20:46 GMT

    50% of what I had said yesterday came true today after Pakistan beat the South Africans. Do you still doubt that the final is going to be anything other than Pak vs. West Indies?? Keep watching!!!!

  • nad on June 18, 2009, 20:11 GMT

    REALIST...what do u say now...and my league is : 1. Aust, Pak, SA 2. SL, WI, Ind 3. Eng, NZ, BD, all time records ...

  • Junaid Asghar on June 18, 2009, 15:59 GMT

    Harish, you dont need to have command on ENGLISH language to play cricket, it is unfortunate that most cricket playing countries speak english. I still belive that what younus said was an imperfect translation of what he thought in his native language. Fans want thier teams to win. Dont you? You criticize if they lose, this is only but natural. Younis with all weaknesss is a good player and little support from his mate (like Malik and Butt) he can transform this team into a winning squad.

  • Jamila Nemer on June 18, 2009, 15:08 GMT

    Keep a cool head and you can win Younus. If we use our main players well we will win. Leaving aside being rusty and underprepared. I thought it was the confidence which let us down in the early games. Believe in their abilities and they will win.

  • Junaid Asghar on June 18, 2009, 15:02 GMT

    It is definately more than a league match in Lahore. It is T20I and you are up against toughset compitetors. Younus's statement was misunderstood. He didnt mean what rest thought he meant. Probably the language barier. it is not fair to be judgemental. I hope and am very confident that Pakistan will win this semi. Good Luck to team Pakistan and Younus.

  • Zaka Sheikh on July 27, 2009, 21:05 GMT

    I think the author needs his head examined. He should be writing short stories which have no relevnce to facts.

  • irfan balouch on June 26, 2009, 15:38 GMT

    Hi all I jus want to tell that cricket is a funny game and 2020 is the most funniest bit the invention of power play and all these hard hitting strokes that thing has killed the beauty of classic cricket however we are living in that world where time is biggest factor in all sorts of sports to compete the popular sports like soccer 2020 is a new kid in the block so in this regard if someone like younis delivers a comment about the funny nature of this style of sport I think he was quite right although his words were may be malafidely misrepresented by the authorities . Can retrospect all the previous talks on this website about this issue and believe that paki team has left no words for those who were trying to humiliate them rather then giving them the benefit of doubt that english is not the national language in pakistan well I am proud the way pakis fought and won the crown . God bless them all

  • shabut on June 21, 2009, 21:07 GMT

    I was provn wrong on the account that it was not Pak vs. WI final however I was proven right on the law of average account where Sri Lanka had to lose one game eventually and they did so in the Finals. Great performance by the Pak team. I wonder what the most favorites are doing right now. HAhahahahah!!!!!

  • Nabeell on June 20, 2009, 8:58 GMT

    Lets bring smile on the faces of people of SWAT......a worldcup dedicated to the ones who lost their homes and loved ones..... pAKI pOWER

  • Raj on June 18, 2009, 21:00 GMT

    Looking back at how India and South Africa lost, I think Younis' comments were a master-stroke.. It was evident in the way Kamran Akmal started the innings and how Afridi ran away with the match.. Way to go, Pakistan!!! Bring home the cup!

  • shabut on June 18, 2009, 20:46 GMT

    50% of what I had said yesterday came true today after Pakistan beat the South Africans. Do you still doubt that the final is going to be anything other than Pak vs. West Indies?? Keep watching!!!!

  • nad on June 18, 2009, 20:11 GMT

    REALIST...what do u say now...and my league is : 1. Aust, Pak, SA 2. SL, WI, Ind 3. Eng, NZ, BD, all time records ...

  • Junaid Asghar on June 18, 2009, 15:59 GMT

    Harish, you dont need to have command on ENGLISH language to play cricket, it is unfortunate that most cricket playing countries speak english. I still belive that what younus said was an imperfect translation of what he thought in his native language. Fans want thier teams to win. Dont you? You criticize if they lose, this is only but natural. Younis with all weaknesss is a good player and little support from his mate (like Malik and Butt) he can transform this team into a winning squad.

  • Jamila Nemer on June 18, 2009, 15:08 GMT

    Keep a cool head and you can win Younus. If we use our main players well we will win. Leaving aside being rusty and underprepared. I thought it was the confidence which let us down in the early games. Believe in their abilities and they will win.

  • Junaid Asghar on June 18, 2009, 15:02 GMT

    It is definately more than a league match in Lahore. It is T20I and you are up against toughset compitetors. Younus's statement was misunderstood. He didnt mean what rest thought he meant. Probably the language barier. it is not fair to be judgemental. I hope and am very confident that Pakistan will win this semi. Good Luck to team Pakistan and Younus.

  • Earsh Emier Xada on June 18, 2009, 15:01 GMT

    I am humbled to read the posts the Indian have written in support for Pakistan, this is for us Pakis to keep perfect harmony with our brotherly neighbors.

  • Muhammad Ali on June 18, 2009, 14:54 GMT

    YEH CUP KAHEIN NAHI JAYEGA!!

  • Jawad Kazmi on June 18, 2009, 14:54 GMT

    Younis Khan is the best Skipper Pakistan has had after Imran Khan and Amir Shohail, He raises hopes, keeps in control and preforms way better when he team and country is under presure..

  • nasir on June 18, 2009, 14:36 GMT

    I think so its all depend upon team,s struggle

  • nad on June 18, 2009, 14:33 GMT

    What ever this artical is ! I have problem with phrase " League of Aussies and India" ... India is certainly not in the league of Aussies...2006-07-08 please have a look at TESTS, ODIs and T20...Pakistan has achieved better or similar results in ICC ratings. India has huge Cricketing Talent off the field though !

  • furrukh on June 18, 2009, 14:20 GMT

    its me furrukh telling u all that pakistan will won the semifinal against south africa ....i have faith on my favourite team nd mindblowing players .... if pakistani bowlers rocks then definitely win....

  • Ankit Harish on June 18, 2009, 13:19 GMT

    It was really interesting reading the comments on this article. I guess most of the comments are from pakistan fans. Most of the people seem to be defending Younis's statement in which he said that he considered T20 WC a tournament for fun.These r the same people who were baying for his head when Pakistan was struggling in the initial stages of the competition and I am sure in case Pakistan looses today they will be back criticizing Younis again. Most of the supporters of pakistan as well as india have this problem.In case their team is doing well even such ridiculous stmnt by their stars are defended but if the team happens to loose a match hell breaks loose and not only their much revered players but even their families have to suffer the mob's fury. So it's my request to the fans from the subcontinent to have a balanced approach to the game and give their reactions rationally.

  • Syed Noman on June 18, 2009, 13:04 GMT

    Well! I doubt Younis was thinking of that many factors but approach is correct by taking off the pressure. "Promise less and deliver more" that is what leaders do. As long as our team is concerned, no matter what happen and how much I hate cricket after losing, every next match I find myself in front of TV praying for the team. So let’s confess guys, we love cricket and we care about our team that’s why we are reading this article and commenting over it.

  • YASIR BALOCH (texas, usa) on June 18, 2009, 12:55 GMT

    hahaha.... no, this is not at all what was going through younis' mind. he seems more of a spontaneous captain in nature. he might in future become a tactile captain as this article suggests, but not yet as of this moment.

    anyway i hope its a good semi final and competitive. it would have been nice if India had reached semi-final, bcz the atmosphere would even be more astounding. Dhoni, was right, things happen, and t20 is not eaasy, and you cant predict many times. good luck to Pak today.... Pakistan Zindabad

  • doctor khalil kiani on June 18, 2009, 12:52 GMT

    as far as semi final of the t20 is concerned i think younus should change a batting line to some extent like instead of using kamran akmal to open use fawad alam to open with shazeb hasan and put kamran akmal one down position and after that abdul razzaq and misbah ul haq as fawad is a very good all rounder if he is given with a positive chance he will show something good.rest of the batting line is good.i think younis need to prefer to speak in urdu as urdu is mother language and we should feel proud of speaking urdu language.lets hope the first t20 semi final is the great one.

  • Shahzad Ahmad on June 18, 2009, 12:38 GMT

    i think the captaincy of younis khan is best.also his ground presence gives confidence to young ones.Pakistan wins or loss i love pakistan team and pak captain.

  • doctor khalil kiani on June 18, 2009, 12:31 GMT

    as far as semi final of the t20 is concerned i think younus should change a batting line to some extent like instead of using kamran akmal to open use fawad alam to open with shazeb hasan and put kamran akmal one down position and after that abdul razzaq and misbah ul haq as fawad is a very good all rounder if he is given with a positive chance he will show something good.rest of the batting line is good.i think younis need to prefer to speak in urdu as urdu is mother language and we should feel proud of speaking urdu language.lets hope the first t20 semi final is the great one.

  • zeeshan on June 18, 2009, 12:30 GMT

    I am with younis T20 is a fun.if pakistan change only his one player they will be stronger then South Africa.If they drop Fawad alam and Ahmed Shahzad bring it back as a middle order batsmant then our middle order bating have strong.so pls younis bring ahmed shahzad he is future of pakistan

  • Munna Lahori on June 18, 2009, 12:29 GMT

    Pakistani cricket team is vibrant and will prove its mettle in a cohesive manner, INSHALLAH. True that they were rusty but now they have realized that they have to make crores of people back home happy.... My advice to them will be three folds: Be fearless, fight it out as a team and give less extras. All the Best to our Sher Dil cricketers!!!

  • PCS on June 18, 2009, 12:12 GMT

    Saad Shafqats premise that Younis Khan's blurt about "fun cricket" was a masterstroke with a vieled attempt to make his boys enjoy their game, does not hold water. If Pakistan had lost to N.Zealand, it would have been difficult for Younis to avoid being verbally abused by his critics.

  • ABL on June 18, 2009, 11:47 GMT

    Pakistan has to be creative and plan something differently. The rough ride so far in the tournament has been due to mild opponents and some good performances. To beat SA, when they are at their peak performance, Pakistan team has to pull out of their bag something new and different strategic plan. Otherwise, only other reason of SA losing is their traditional choking at the end of any tournament. Good Luck Pakistan!

  • Asif Chitrali on June 18, 2009, 11:34 GMT

    Well, Younis Khan u will definetly win huraaa all pakistani nation with u and I m disagree with the above gentelments comments regaring english language. fuck english is not every thing, but only i can request to all players who dont speak english pls come on in URDU. tell them i dont want to speak english. Only URDU did you seen the german or Japanies they never speak enligsh so what???

  • ALI on June 18, 2009, 11:31 GMT

    I really feel sorry for the mental approach of the writer of this article. I am sure this was the best perception he had of that statement by Younis Khan and the only reason i have explored is the write knows "English" as a language to communicate. My pure and sincere wishes with the writer to go and explore some new approaches as well as understanding with body languages of the speakers.

    Good Luck Mate:

    VERY SIMPLE AND UNDERSTANDBLE EXAMPLE:

    When a baby cries .... we gave him/her milk or something to eat but we ask why are you crying ? in the other scenario.

    so please help your self.

  • tarik on June 18, 2009, 11:24 GMT

    Pakistan should make one change in the line up. Drop Alam and bring in Ahmed Shazad. They have Razzak now for the 5th bowler. Need a specialized batsman, not a all rounder who has yet to bowl or get a decent hit.

  • SURI on June 18, 2009, 11:01 GMT

    All said and done Younis's "FUN" tactics has to be FANTASTIC in downing SA tonight. Pakistan has got the wherewithal to humble SA. Not only that Pak is well equipped to handle slow bowling unlike India. Also A.Razzak's return strengthen's the team as he is a match winner single handedly both in batting and bowling. Afridi if he raises his batting even 50% more, will be more than sufficient. As somebody suggested in this forum, it may be better to open with Afridi and scores 30 or 40 runs to boost the morale of later batsman. It will be interesting to see Gul's r-swing against SA and how they counter it. Also i feel it is high time Shoaib Malik joins the party in batting especially and bowling also. Overall match will be very interesting. As a true cricket fan, may the best team win.

  • Ayaz on June 18, 2009, 10:57 GMT

    I m proud we reached in semi's after all that difficulties back in home.. although we started poorly but now we are in good shape and confidence is high .. go paki..GOD bless u ..GOD bless our captain Best of luck

  • yaqub Hunzai on June 18, 2009, 10:54 GMT

    People are talking about the unpredictability of Pakistan team, I think this game it self is very unpredictable, very hard to predict any things about the team I think both the team has some very exciting match wining players they only thing I can predict is that this match will be very interesting and full of thrill and a nail biter. But I would like to see Pakistan win given that what is happening to them for the past two years or so. And I would agree with YK that this is a game for fun and the player should enjoy it. Rather frustrate themselves

  • Abrar Hussain on June 18, 2009, 10:52 GMT

    I think, Pakistan journey to semi final this more than a game. A nation - victim of terrorist attack - wish for happinees and joy. All the games in Pakistan are on brink of destroy. Really, Pakistan cricket team is not only fighting with South Africa in semi final but also taking on game to its height

  • Abid Khurshid on June 18, 2009, 10:48 GMT

    want to advice to the fans of Team Pakistan, Just pray to all mighty ALLAH for our team and for our country as we badly needed some news/event of happiness in this time of hardship and also offer all my good wishes to Team Pakistan and one think just play with all our communication. Best of Luck Pakistan

  • Syed on June 18, 2009, 10:45 GMT

    I would like to change the question raised by Mr Mirza , to Where is the position of "Shoaib Malik" in team , we have never tested Faead Lam with his bowling or batting ability. Failure of Mailk should not be tolerated any more, replace him with Ahmed Shehzad. Keep Fawad Alam in the team and utilize him properly. I belive that this will result in the favour of Pakistan. I t seems Malik is deliberatley not performing to fail younis. PLEASE NO MORE POLITICS. We are already loosing cricket activity in Pakistan. This type of action will bring us back to Basic level of cricket.

  • sriram paturi on June 18, 2009, 10:39 GMT

    I believe pak always a great talented and fighting team.Dont underestimate their skills they won everything even if they loose semis I hope india does that in next..

  • Riaz Khandwala on June 18, 2009, 10:34 GMT

    Ha ha Saad. I see you are still indulging in quite a healthy dose of wishful thinking! To imagine that Younis Khan is a master strategist and had the game plan all figured out well before the tournament started, is well...a bit much to accept. Pakistan's cricket is cavalier and has as you said "devil may care" approach. That's not about to change any time soon, especially under Younis Khan who epitomizes that attitude. I just pray that it serves them well today. Good luck Pakistan.

  • basar on June 18, 2009, 10:29 GMT

    South Africa will be a tough team to defeat, But younis looks clever these days with his innovations in combination, which were quite successful against the dutchs, Irish and kiwis, after the warm up defeats and a round match defeat. I think Pakistan is peaking at the right time and I hope they will win.

  • king khan on June 18, 2009, 9:38 GMT

    I think youns not good caption.Malik is good like Imran khan ok

  • Intelligent Man on June 18, 2009, 9:34 GMT

    T20 is indeed nothing but all fun. With loud music, dancing girls, extremely improvised strokes and comical face of Lalit Modi – all these things are perfect recipe of something really hilarious and funny. So what’s wrong with Younis statement?

    As far as chances of Pak cricket team are concerned, I feel they have already gone to the level no one would have expected. South Africa is definitely more clinical in their approach hence I don’t see Pakistan going any further in this tournament. Nevertheless, I do hope Pakistan just don’t handover the semi final match without any fighting as Indians did in all of their super 8 matches.

    Wish all the best to Younis & Co. No one would mind if you put up a good show regardless of the match outcome.

  • Amir Patel on June 18, 2009, 9:31 GMT

    hiya, i think the team is on colourful track, bt one thing i would like to add, whts the purpose to Fawwad Alam in playing 11, Younus didnt given him a single over and he is not a lower order batsman so y he is in 11,

    honestly saying younus must given him a single chance, coz he is left arm and we will get some advantage of left arm spinner,

    if younus doesnt do tht so kindly select a pure batsman in place of Fawwad Alam for strength of batting lineup,

    i m surprised tht nobody notice at this side, even captain and not any senior player (how comes is possible?)

    hope somebody agree with me and someone is not, bt, tht is i m thinking,

    at the end i wish and i hope to win the Semi Final against SA today,

    All the best of all Paki Players,

    Regards,

    Amir Patel

  • shahbaz on June 18, 2009, 9:24 GMT

    yes younus khan is right unity and enjoyment can defeat anything my all prayers and good wishes with younus khan and pakistan team all the best pakistan

  • Basar on June 18, 2009, 8:49 GMT

    No doubt Imran was a great Captain and may have deeper planning as compared to other skippers, but i think the way younis has manoeuvred his team combination in last three games is totally a new game plan. if you have a look at the warm up games and round games, in super eight it was totally a different approach, different team combination and it was successful. No matters if we loose in Semi, but no one can take this credit away from younis. May this match brings the ecstasy in nation's hope in the darkest era of country. WE will today and the FINAL. OnshAllah

  • Bimlesh on June 18, 2009, 8:41 GMT

    Success has many fathers, failures leaves behind too many orphans.

    I can imagine the reaction in media had Pak failed to make the semis. The same " t20 is fun cricket" quote of Younis would have been back to hound him, and may even have led to PCB suspending him.

    But now that Pak is in semis and 2 good days away from winning the cup, that statement has acquired an altogether diff aura .

  • Todd Arthur on June 18, 2009, 8:40 GMT

    This is an entirely ridiculous article.

  • adeel khan on June 18, 2009, 7:17 GMT

    i m proud of this smiling moment in pak cricket, with the recent past we had, with the team we had, its a step in right direction. Pak team , u win or u lose, you have made us proud where u stand now ! bravoooo

  • True_Paki on June 18, 2009, 7:16 GMT

    Although I doubt about the points of being able to plan so deep by our think tanks, I think that despite many technical mistakes made by Younis on the field, he has been able to keep his players motivated as well as playing enjoyable cricket. Pakistan team has always been like this, even under the likes of Imran Khan. Their unpredictability is their strength just like other teams have technical strengths. What really matters is their motivation to do well and for that, younis has made two important points "He wants to win T20 cup for the war affected ppl in his country as well as to give tribute to his former coach. Pakistan best chance is their motivation which will Insha Allah see them through. I would also like to thank some Indian fans in this blog for supporting Pakistan team. It clearly means that in both countries, ppl want to live in peace but some forces on both sides as well as other's nations interests don't let us do that. Long Live Pakistan & GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN.

  • Athar Chandna on June 18, 2009, 6:51 GMT

    I want to advice to the fans of Team Pakistan, Just pray to all mighty ALLAH for our team and for our country as we badly needed some news/event of happiness in this time of hardship and also offer all my good wishes to Team Pakistan

  • Syed Yasir Rasheed on June 18, 2009, 6:51 GMT

    Good Article, I like it & read all the comments....I think what vettori blame to Pak is proved in their next innings agains SL so what happened with NZ batting line in front of them when their is no ball tricks involved? so keep watching the weired comments about Pak players & show our potentials...Best of Luck Pak guys....You will win inshallah...

  • Izhar Cheema on June 18, 2009, 6:51 GMT

    Reply to: Posted by: Ray at June 17, 2009 12:47 PM And what do you mean by cricket isolation? Are you suggesting that teams will refuse to play at neutral or any other non-pakistani venues as well just because its Pakistani cricket team? :O ...

    And yes another thing you are missing another team mate, i.e. Newzland and last time I checked they were test-playing nation, some odd 90 runs with 10 players down is not a top notch performace or what?

    As for topic, I personally think its more than a myth then reality but I guess myths make the great men ...

    Good Luck to Pakistan ... I have a feeling they are bringin it home ;)

  • Hassan on June 18, 2009, 6:48 GMT

    I wish , dere wud be FINAL between INDIA and PAKISTAN but now INDIA is no more in dis WC. 1 more thing i am thinking is Our team Must drop Mr.Shoib Malik for his poor performances in all last matches of WC. He seems not happy to c da team on winning track as hes playing under da captaincy of Younis !! But still i wish my team all the very best for dis WC !!!! InshahALLAH we will win..GOOD Luck Pakiss

  • taj on June 18, 2009, 6:47 GMT

    im very much sure pak boyz can make it 4 their fan!!INSHALLAH afridi gul yunis shoaib and the master of t20 misbah will do their best!! and most danger man ajmal if he can show his talent then im sure s africa will go home today!!!ALL THE BEST pak boyz go n get it for pakistan.

  • ismail on June 18, 2009, 6:47 GMT

    What i think yunis said its a fun game is instead of saying T20 is an entertainment and exciting game he uses the fun game.

  • Mirza Mhmmad Waqar on June 18, 2009, 6:44 GMT

    My Question is to Team selector and Captain of Pakistan. Where is the position of "Fawad Alam" in team. In last three or four matches, he had not perform any bowling or any kind of impressive batting. then why he is in team. I think Pakistan is playing with 10 players actually. Pakistan need batting so please use any alternate batsman in place of "Fawad Alam" Thanks

  • sheikh danish mazhar on June 18, 2009, 6:29 GMT

    There is no master stroke in this Saad. Paksitanis are just surprising as a team always whether losing or winning. What has worked for them is inclusion of abdul razzaq and performances of afridi,gul and saeed ajmal with the bowl.In batting we still have lack of confidence.After that press conference where younis termed T20 cricket as fun cricket and not taking it too seriously, serious criticism has gone his way. Now he looks serious in the field and his teeth not on display all the time. He is realising that being pakistan team's captain and leading ur nantion is not a joke or fun thing.I hope he keeps this way,because when ur team looks at u it gets inspiration.And younis was seriously lacking in that department.

  • Moir on June 18, 2009, 6:17 GMT

    no need to say any commments before pakistan appeared the ground. south africa has to be consistant if they wanna win.

  • EhsanUlHaq on June 18, 2009, 6:10 GMT

    It is absolutely right that any member of pakistani team can destroy any oppsosition in the cricketing world. NZ was also undefeatable side in 1992 and pakistan team shattered their dreams. So best of luck pakistan

  • Faraz R on June 18, 2009, 5:49 GMT

    Guys but we need to drop shoiab malik if we want to win coz he is more like good politician, we need to give a chance to ahmed shehzad. Its the same case we already experience with inclusion of shahzeb after droping lazy butt.

  • Realist on June 18, 2009, 5:46 GMT

    The Pakistani team will lose by a huge margin. They haven't been tested during the tournament at all, rode on luck rather than calculated plans. The absense of any realistic comments here is funny.

  • Huda on June 18, 2009, 5:29 GMT

    In my opinion, our international players should be coached in speaking english language, only because English is an international language. Unless they are perfect in speaking the language, all the interviews should be conducted in Urdu(or whatever language they are most comfortable with). That will make sure that they are able to say what they actually want to say.

  • Waseem, Islamabad Pakistan on June 18, 2009, 5:27 GMT

    I am also 100% agreed with Mr. Abdul Aziz's (Birmingham B8 UK) comment. Most of Pakistani Captains in recent years cant speak well in english. That was the reason why Inzi done his press conferences in urdu in last 50 overs world cup. Why we cant done it now. We have seen usually that when Inzi, Shoiab Malik or Younis came into after match ceremony they made lots of mistakes even some times they just cant understand the question at all but give what ever answer. That was the reason i think Younis must want to say some thing else but communication gap b/w him and English reporters masked the scenario change at all. So leave that comment and we cant say any thing about their loyalty they are also Pakistani and i think better than us.

  • Fayyaz on June 18, 2009, 5:25 GMT

    hello younis your the world best bastmen and good captin for pakistan team but you have to sent shahid afridi in top order for the sami final match and for you bowling attack dont give frist over to aamir ......

  • Danish Anwar on June 18, 2009, 4:59 GMT

    Even though I am a Pakistani, I believe that its South Africa or Sri Lanka who deserve to lift the trophy. If Pakistan do so somehow, it would be more of South Africa having a bad day rather than Pakistan outplaying them.

  • Ghulam Sarwar on June 18, 2009, 4:56 GMT

    Younis Khan is an intelligent Captain. In fact T20 cricket is really a fun that is being played not by book but by hitting whatever you like.

    Remarks about Gul reverse swing, i nonesense by all those who lose to Pakistan.

    I wish all the best to Pakistan cricket team and we will inshallah defeat SA and then we will win the Final too.

  • Farooq on June 18, 2009, 4:33 GMT

    Give me a break, younis khan meant what he said, its not him leading the team, its the team riding its luck, as the saying goes "Pakistan is the best and worst team of world on its day".

  • Abbas on June 18, 2009, 4:29 GMT

    I am very surprised to see Indians supporting Pakikstani team. Thanx Guys

    As far as article is concerned, it is just analysing a comment made by yunis khan, but i dont think any tactical logic behind it..or anything like he was motivating team. It was unintentional without any thought process. SInce his ENglish is not that good to use a suitable word, he used that word but it has nothing to do with logic.

    ANd for SA vs Pak, i wish atleast Pakistan give their best and then if they loose, we will be proud of them, dont just let the SA dominate Pakistan by loosing so many wickets in the first 6 overs...

  • Tariq on June 18, 2009, 4:23 GMT

    Pakistan is not supposed to be here in final four, Remember! Teams like India, Australia and New Zealand had every thing going for them. Yet, Pakistan had nothing. For me, Pakistan is already a winner!!!

  • IMRAN AHMED HASHMI on June 18, 2009, 4:20 GMT

    yes pakistan can win. Although there are some technical problems with pakistani players but they can overcome these faults by talent which they have much in them. i will say "pakistani team is our representative, pak team just go on ground and conquer everything u have ability to do.u can win semi final with easily" god bless you.

  • Syed Aoun Hassan on June 18, 2009, 4:13 GMT

    I don’t know why our media always use the pity tactics. You blame that we have a unforgiving nation but to be honest, its our media who is totally unfair with our team and always put the gun on nations’ shoulder. After all what they have gone through if there is any one who deserves support , that is our team. Imagine how it would make them feel if they know that the whole nation is behind them and for a change media as well. May be it will allow YK to focus more on cricket then to think about consequences just in case result aren’t in their favour. We should not make any false assumptions as who would have joined meeting and what they would have thought. These guys know what they are doing and what they have got to do. Lets back them and hope for best.

  • Haroon Afaq on June 18, 2009, 4:02 GMT

    YES!! he can win it for Pakistan.....

    He has got a very sharp brain & he knows the game better then any1..Dhoni's comments on Younus Khan.

    I think we need him as a Captain and as player, he seems to be an energetic cricketer with lots of passion and aggression. He is an ideal guy to lead this unpredictable Pakistan team. As batsman he is a very sound technique and his level of fitness makes him such an important member of this team. As a leader he is a role model and every young cricketer wants to make an impact under his leadership.

    Go Pakistan GO....

  • Amir Masood (Sydney, Australia on June 18, 2009, 3:58 GMT

    Mr. Vivek and Partha, I really appreciate your thoughts. We should support asian cricket. If India is out lets support Pak and SL and vice-versa. This is exactly the approach I have being a Paki but I support India whenevr and wherever they are playing with other teams.

    With Younis I believe one element is limited English speaking capability which probably put him in a situation that he didn't have words to describe what in reality he wants to. I am not sure he has the wisdom in saying this to motivate his loosing team. All I can say he is a relaxed and fighting captain by nature. However at this level the requirement is to be sure of what you are saying and refrain from comments like this which indirectly questions your commitment. T20 is fun cricket in comparison, should be taken seriously when it is at International level which we know Pakis are. If Pak score above 150 or restrict SA below 150 it will be a thriller. Goodluck Pakis offcourse the whole nation prays for you.

  • Dr.sohail shakoor on June 18, 2009, 3:52 GMT

    pakistani team is really unpridictable,although shahid afridi is not performing in his batting but still players r fearful from afridi.Misbah is also out of farm now but i think u have not forgtton the las T20 final match.Umer gul i have no need to tell about him.for Razzak u have to see IPL.May God bless this team..

  • Alan on June 18, 2009, 3:27 GMT

    Hi I wish pakistani cricket team the best in semis South Africa is a tough challenge and as Imran Khan turned up one early to bat against England in the finals some similar thing like Afridi and Razzaq should have the license to go after them after 6 balls. One their eye, foot and hand coordination settles. they have to bat like mad guys. I have a feeling it may be a low scoring game but even if they score very low they should learn the day how nottingham pitch made that happen and use the same thing and defend it till the end. They should wait for the famous South Africa mistakes in the main games. Its tough competition both batting and bowling and guys we have a proper cricket match here. They must not play into the opposition tricks. Run outs may be crucial and getting smith and kallis early will be the key.

  • Kamran on June 18, 2009, 3:24 GMT

    Weldone Pakistan for even playing Semifinal. Go give your best.

  • Sohaib Ayyaz Qazi on June 18, 2009, 3:23 GMT

    I don't agree that Youunis Khan has qualities to lead Pakistan. He can lead Pakistan in Test matches but not in T20s and ODIs. You could have seen Afridi captaining in domestic. He is brilliant in his captaincy. He is aggressive by nature as you could see through his batting.

    By taking it easy they could not achieve this milestone. They should take it aggressively.

    "Long Live Pakistan"

    "Whole nation will be praying as the Semi-Final will be under-way"

    "Himat-i-Mardaaan _____ Madad-i-Khuda"

  • Ravikant on June 18, 2009, 2:54 GMT

    Hats off to the Pakistan Cricket team for their wonderful show at the World T20 so far!Irrespective of what happens in the semis,they have done their country proud.Their team showed admirable fighting qualities and a passion for winning and they seem to gel at the right time.The Indian team certainly lacked all these qualities(I am an Indian).They certainly are an exciting team to watch and I certainly hope they beat South Africa and even win the finals of the World T20 Championship.They certainly deserve it!My best wishes to the Pakistan Cricket Team.

  • muhammad aizzan malik on June 18, 2009, 2:23 GMT

    Pakistan has a great chance of becoming champions they can beat anyone on thier day Pakistan zindaabad

  • Matt Ciparo on June 18, 2009, 2:21 GMT

    I think after Imran Khan, Younis is a the type of captain who is smart enough to deal with the players and the management. I can say the same thing about Wasim Akram but he still had many issues with the management but he did good even in those circumstances.

    Younis, in my opinion is another complete captain after Imran.

  • Hassan Raza on June 18, 2009, 2:19 GMT

    Media, esp. english media always misinterprete interviews by the Pakistani captins. Pakistan has to prove that they are the best by wining matches and showing the world that 20 is also a SERIOUS GAME!

  • laverne zubairi on June 18, 2009, 1:55 GMT

    we all in vacouver canada wish you the best.south africa or pakistan both are talented teams one will win and one will loose no big deal its only a game.however winning is not everything it is the only thing.good luck to both of you.

  • Prateek on June 18, 2009, 1:30 GMT

    At best this may qualify for a cricketing fiction. A completely stupid post.

  • Arshad from canada on June 18, 2009, 1:27 GMT

    Pakistan could make a history in semi final.

  • Yusaf Khan on June 18, 2009, 1:05 GMT

    guys dont read too much into the "fun" comment. I wont be watching the game on tv because I cant handle the pressure so I will wait until the result is out and watch the highlights instead - its alot less stressful. Lets hope the unpredictable team wins.

  • faisalabadi on June 18, 2009, 0:51 GMT

    I am already very proud of my team, with all that went in pakistan in past few years thay are able to make to semi finall.. it will be great if they can go one better this time ... but if not i am sillhappy ... i will be watching this morning here

  • Javed Zarif Canada on June 18, 2009, 0:13 GMT

    Come on guys!it is good to be positive but let's be realistic. Pakistan has yet to defeat a real opponent. Pakistan's bating is not reliable enough that we can chase a sizeable total against a quality attack. Bowling alone can't win you both the semifinal and the final. Good luck to Pakistan.

  • zaahsa on June 17, 2009, 22:58 GMT

    In keeping with Younis' philosophy of fun, a tactical move with potenial. AFRIDI AS OPENER. Possible oucomes: He doesn't score much. Worst case scenario - a duck. There are only 20 overs and 9 wickets in hand. He hasn't scored much batting down the order anyway. But what if he beats the crap out the ball (remember his 37 run 100) and puts on, say 30 to 40 runs in the first 2 or 3 overs overs. Demoralizing for the opposition, a big stride towards a win, and a lot of fun. In the balance, there is little to loose and much to gain. Through thick and thin I have been a loyal Afridi fan. GO BOOM BOOM!

  • Azhar on June 17, 2009, 22:46 GMT

    I believe Ykhan and the team deserves a big round of applause to be one of last four teams in spite of playing very little international cricket in the recent past. Pakistan bowling has so far out performed all other team and they can win this cup with a litter more support from batting particularly from Shoaib & Misbah

  • Malhar on June 17, 2009, 22:33 GMT

    (continuing) And questions of Fawad Alam not getting a chance, he stll plays in the game but doens't get a chance. that is because soemtimes hes not playing or when he plays, the other players do it well enough that i is unfortunite Fawad Alam doesn't get a chance. He might be a good player, but hes not experienced. When he will get a chance, he will get it. A person doens't get every chance to prove himself. younus khan might not want to take such risk. when all the rest of the plaer are doing well, he's just a back up and he sould be proud to suport his team. it cvould be only until one day when his team will struggle and he wll come i to show what hes got. thats when he has to prove it. I have been saying all these things because I love pakistan and why i tihnk this way. Pakistan wll inshallah win this world cup. i have this feeling younus can do it. and like pakiustan has improved in the last two matches compared to the first matches they played. here they will improve even more.

  • adnan on June 17, 2009, 22:33 GMT

    Pakistan has easy ride bcos they played so well that it looks like easy.ask indians that it was easy?no other semifinalists from the last tournament made it.pakis know that africans are good and africans know that pakistan plays well when it matters.africans are trying to win but keep aware of any other record in the tournament by pakistanis.kumble said for afridi he dont have respect for himself and for others.its like wwf and you r against king of kings.it can be a easy for africans to win but they are against runnerups so be aware of demolition.pak have lost against africa in the only t20 but that was in your home.but now you r here(england) the future home of pakis.it would be your worst nightmare.

  • Jamshed Sadiq on June 17, 2009, 22:31 GMT

    Forget about anything at the moment.. Concentrate on match..Pakistan Cricket team is very very good team can cope with any situation at the moment i hope they will do very well tomorrow..

    Best of Luck pakistan we all are with you

  • Malhar on June 17, 2009, 22:26 GMT

    (continuing) ..When he said 'fun' cricket, surely he didn't mean to say he didn't care fo this form of cricket. I am sure he wanted to say something else. Its been interpretted wrong. He is just tryign to find a way his team could feel confident an without stress. If pakistan think of this semi final as VERY SERIOUS, they might also end up making mistakes against a strong SA team. But if they think about it as taking it easy, playing for fun, and showing how passionate they are to play for pakistan, they will perform much better. I am so prud of Pakistan right now. I love them even when they loose, hoping they would win someday and I'll alwayssupport them. We just wat news, but they suffer and they have been suffering all these months, not playing crickt? Ofcourse they deserve to be in semi finals. if they couldn't beat england, they will beat SA tomorrow. And questions of Fawad Alam not getting a chance, he stll plays i the game but doens't get a chance. that

  • Malhar on June 17, 2009, 22:20 GMT

    To be hnest, Pakistan is a really good team. When ever they have tried hard or play strong cricket, something as always disrupted their performances. When they lose, everything goes against them. They fall, but despite what happensto them, they sttand on their legs and rise agan to try again. Younus khan is a responsible player as we all know, and hes a good person himself. When no player suppots him, he is still out there trying to get something out of himself. First two times when he denied to be a captain, he was yet experiencing his skills. Then onde day he got offered again for captainy, and this time he was well prepared. he was thinking all that time, what he could do that no other player could. he was thinking of the moves, skills, ways he could communicate with his team. He doesn't care how the rest of the captains have been. He wants to make his own skills and do it in his own way. How did skills of Imran khan come out, not until pakistan won the world cup. when he said 'fun'

  • Niazi on June 17, 2009, 22:17 GMT

    It will be a good game, Pakistan can win this only if they BAT and bowl well SA are a very good unit, they will try a lot of short pitch, cutters and yorkers (to give PAK a taste of their own medicine. They will definitely attack our slower bowlers and Gul so if Gul, Afridi, Ajmal and Malik think that they will be able to contain them they are wrong, they will have to take wickets and be very smart to deceive them. Our batting has failed in the whole tournament that's a grave concern none of the batsman never really got away or played really aggressive cricket, if we bat first target should be over 170 if we bat second we need to make sure we dismiss them below 150, SA's have proved twice that they can defend small totals so Pak needs to work out a strategy on how to tackle SA quickies and slower bowlers.BEST OF LUCK PAKISTAN, please remember they will use lot of short balls....

  • abdul baseer on June 17, 2009, 22:16 GMT

    yes,younus khan is the only one in the current team to lead.here i want to add somthing for shoib malik and misbah they must have to put their part in the comming games.Misbah need to play with soft mind and be care in the short selection.my best wishes with pakistani team.

  • badruddin savja on June 17, 2009, 22:14 GMT

    Keep your head cool and INSHAH ALLAH Pakistan will win Semi-final of ICC WC20.

  • Riaz on June 17, 2009, 22:14 GMT

    Kamil, Miracle is happening and soon we will have the World Cup in our hand InshAllah! At the moment our key players are (Starting from Best..) 1. Shahid Afridi, 2. Saeed Ajmal 3. Abdul Razzaq, 4. Umar Gul, 5. Younis Khan, 6. Misbah.. It doesnt matter whoever performs on that day, I have this feeling from inside that it will be a win for Pakistan. Prove everybody wrong and play fearless cricket on this very special occasion i.e World Cup. Jeetay Ga bhai jeetay ga, PAKISTAN JEETAY GA

  • Bennet George on June 17, 2009, 21:38 GMT

    I don't agree that Younis meant anything else when he said "fun". I think coming into this tournament he knew of the low chances the team had at progressing, and thus he used classical humor defense mechanism to face reporters after the teams loss. Its okay, its a natural response. But how amazing is it that they have made it to semi-finals? ITS REAL AMAZING. I personally a South African am looking forward to this match, between pro's of perfection (SA) & team of heroes (PAK).

    I agree with some of the comments, that Pakistan must must play cricket for the sake of cricket. It'll be many years, God knows how many, before associate nations can rise upto international levels. Pakistanis do bring alot to cricket, and the contributions are note worthy (ex: invention of reverse swing). Bottom line is ICC and the cricket world need Pakistan.

  • haider on June 17, 2009, 21:14 GMT

    This is a useless article, Younis khan is no mastermind like Imran used to be. Bottom line, we will get our A$$es handed to us by a side that knows how to perfect itself and work as a team, unlike our team. As for Afridi, he needs to be sent down the order after Razzaq. I can see it now, "South Africa win in Style" posted on Cricinfo.

  • Ahmed on June 17, 2009, 21:13 GMT

    Whether you win or lose tomorrow, We Love You All Green's

  • Aamir Khawaja on June 17, 2009, 21:11 GMT

    Psychic column nothing else just a waist of time for readers, advise for Saad Shafqat, learn to write some positive critic if you can

  • salman on June 17, 2009, 21:07 GMT

    Pakistan is one the best team in the world and will always be one Inshallah think positive .

  • shabut on June 17, 2009, 21:06 GMT

    It is going to be Pak vs. West Indies final. Take my words for it! T20 is all about who plays good for the three hours on that day. SA and Sri Lanka did not lose any games so far but that does not mean only they deserver to win. It's about time that they both lose a match now and they will!! Don't beleive me? Just wait for another couple of days. Cheers!!!!!!

  • Anonymous on June 17, 2009, 21:04 GMT

    we must give credit to this pakistan team, with no match practice, they were rusty and underprepared. they are improving steadily. even the loss against sirilanka was because of loose bowling at the start. they had the wrong combination as well at that time. now i think they have the best available combination. wish imran nazir was there too.if they get a bit of luck they can surprise south africa. finally why is younis not using fawad alam , he doesnt get to bowl or bat.i think he is a great t20 player both with ball and bat. give him a chance!!!!!

  • Imran on June 17, 2009, 21:01 GMT

    I agree with Ray's comment, too much is being made out of the 2 wins Pakistan has had, and even those came against the 2 of the 3 weakest opponents in the tournament, the 3rd being Bangladesh. They got whipped by England, and were outplayed and outclassed by SriLanka. Where they are now, is courtesy of the idiot who drew the teams for the groups. Come to think of it, if those wins had been convincingly, we can argue we played great cricket. Fortunately, bowling is what saved the games, becos our batting is of such poor standard, it is not worth watching. As much as I love Pakistan, and hope they win, but watching South Africa, they are the new AUSTRALIANS. Ruthless, and like a well oiled machine, and firing on all cylinders.

  • Muhammad Zeeshan on June 17, 2009, 21:00 GMT

    Now, this is the time where skills & experience are measured by performance, Everyone has its own opinion so in my opinion rationale is more important than anything on a given day, Psychology, skills, experience, technicality all can be destroyed by an individual performance. Pakistan team who have always been highly unpredictable, can mark their victory if they are not shaken what they need is self actualization & self confidence that if we have 400g brain south africans also have 400g brain its all about utilization. the managers responsibility is to ensure that team is playing to win the race, ready to grab every opportunity to destroy the opponents & weakness once identified should be converted into strength. India, Australia, New Zealand Having played IPL are out of the tournament it would probably be South Africa turn tommorow. so what if we didn't play IPL our performances are exceptional evident by statistics of T20 worldcup. Let see some more exciting stuff 2morro by A.Razzaq

  • Haris Khan on June 17, 2009, 20:52 GMT

    Partha, you are right on the money. Pakistan and India should show solidarity towards each other. I am from Pakistan and I wish we have more Pakisani's and Indians who thinks like you and me.

  • Sohail Ahmed on June 17, 2009, 20:36 GMT

    Saad may be right in defending Younis because pakistanis have not only a language problem but also they have yet to be trained optimally as good extempore speakers. It is the responsibility of our board to see this problem solved ASAP. Till then, they must be asked to speak only when they understand the question fully. Also, they should develop the habit of having the question repeated if not understood properly. General comments, at the spur of the moments, should quickly be re-analyzed and a practice for such eventualities be afforded to the team members. Now it is time for pakistani team and board members to be serious and get down to their home work in professional way. Inti! Do not play with words. Help them groom in all aspects on and off the field. Or, now buzz off!!!

  • Sami Syed on June 17, 2009, 20:31 GMT

    This article in my opinion added no value. I think it is way off.

    The truth of the matter is that I think Pakistan is pretty intense about 20/20. However they are keeping this to themselves so they don't have added pressure and expectations from media and fans.

    Sami

  • Shafial Shuvo on June 17, 2009, 20:10 GMT

    Younis Khan is really perfect to lead pakistan.

  • Sohail Ahmed on June 17, 2009, 20:09 GMT

    Saad may be right in defending Younis because pakistanis have not only a language problem but also they have yet to be trained optimally as good extempore speakers. It is the responsibility of our board to see this problem solved ASAP. Till then, they must be asked to speak only when they understand the question fully. Also, they should develop the habit of having the question repeated if not understood properly. General comments, at the spur of the moments, should quickly be re-analyzed and a practice for such eventualities be afforded to the team members. Now it is time for pakistani team and board members to be serious and get down to their home work in professional way. Inti! Do not play with words. Help them groom in all aspects on and off the field. Or, now buzz off!!!

  • tony from canada on June 17, 2009, 19:43 GMT

    Younis Khan has it right on.Play with fun,freedom and no stress.Brilliant.That's how intellectuals do it.Thats why he is the captain and all the petty second guessing complainers are mere spectators.I play and coach the same way and become champion without stress but pure joy.That's the big.We play for fun;that's the crux of sport.

  • Ali on June 17, 2009, 19:23 GMT

    "Take it easy, close your eyes..." Looks like Afridi took that one a bit literally.

    Younis Khan's approach seems more make-it-up-as-you-go-along than some pre-planned masterstroke. The idea that there is actually a sophisticated genius hiding behind the simple-minded facade is a bit far-fetched.

  • Dr Zahid Shah on June 17, 2009, 19:22 GMT

    YK wanted for his boys to take it easy and not to take on your nerves, because its a proven fact that most pakistan players of this team under pressure do not perform and YK is aware of this! There is nothing wrong in what he said. Good Luck YK!

  • M.Harvie on June 17, 2009, 19:18 GMT

    Far too much nonsense is written and said about the cricket team representing Pakistan. Although unpredictable, they are a very good team led by a popular captain. Tf the Pakistani team has the right mindset, South Africa will get a shake up in the semi-final. As for Vettori's comment, it is low class. Facts and words matter and he should be asked to publicly state the background that gave rise to his comments. The Pakistani team is always subject to innuendo and aspersions in England and Australia. Time for that to stop.Let's play Cricket, not hypocrisy.

  • Mark Sheehan on June 17, 2009, 19:14 GMT

    It's odd how so many have missed the point of this piece! I thoroughly enjoyed it. For me it precisely captures what is fascinating about the Pakistan team. I'm convinced - I want them to win it!

  • Karan Singh on June 17, 2009, 19:05 GMT

    ``It`s like fun cricket, like WWF.`` This has been Younis Khan`s pet dialogue for t20 cricket for past 2 years mate. It looks more like funny cricket when pakistan field. Pak team like always depends on individual performances. There is no strategy and no planning. Hell, they themselves don`t know what they might do next. How can this mindless writeup get front page coverage on cricinfo. Saad, be patriotic but do not cook up unreal fantasies.

  • drockman on June 17, 2009, 19:02 GMT

    One of the more interesting articles i've read on cricinfo. Great job! I envy your fascination.

  • Muhammad Sohail on June 17, 2009, 18:51 GMT

    Everybody is saying ther heartout about the issue. I guess its not relevant. The most important thing is to stay calm on the field and yet clever and smart enough to undo the South Africans. Pakistan needs to play smart and win smart. There is no shortcut...!!!

    Best of luck Pakistan

  • Vinod Pathiyal on June 17, 2009, 18:46 GMT

    i agree with younus when he said 't20 is fun cricket'. if the team enjoy the fun process, they win. if they dream the cup, they end up being nervous, they bow out. you can imagine the frustration younus and his team were going through in the recent past for no fault of theirs. so instead of throwing rotten eggs on them again and again, why not give them a breather. i feel sorry for team india. at the same time, i say 'go younus bhai' you will soon see yourself in the finals. i will he as happy as you if you take the cup in your hand accompanied by that ever lasting glowing smile. remember, they just lost by a whisker last time. all my prayers for you. bravo younus, you rock on!!!!! and wish you the best for future too...

  • rafi rizvi, singapore/pakistan on June 17, 2009, 18:40 GMT

    I agree with vivek "enjoying" is the keyword. If Pakistan go out and enjoy themselves on the field then i guess Pakistan have a true chance of upsetting SA. Pakistan match winners e.g. Afridi, Gul, Razzaq and Misbah needs to show up!

  • Reza Hasan on June 17, 2009, 18:15 GMT

    A senseless,directionless article which tried to make a mountain out of a mole. Anyways, WELDONE and KEEP IT UP PAKISTAN

  • Hussain on June 17, 2009, 18:06 GMT

    With all due respect, this article seems a bit too far fetched. As Dr Limple pointed out, Younis is no Imran Khan. Perhaps, if Younis was as educated as him, a comparison might have been fair. Had pakistan not reached super eight (which was very likely), this "T20 is fun" comment would probably have ended Younis' T20 career atleast and more. My prediction for the semi final is simple. If Pakistan bats first, they win. If not, they lose. I love to read your's and Osman's articles, however, this one was a bit disappointing. When you exaggerate this much, you lose credibility with the non pakistan readers or neutral cricket followers

  • tarik on June 17, 2009, 18:00 GMT

    Enjoy yourself Younis. This should be fun time. You are in an elite group with three other countries. No England, India, Australia or New Zealand. If you can handle your bowlers in the first six over you will be in the finals. Third over to Arafat against England and the second over to Tanvir against Sri Lanka were a disaster. If a bowler is not firing in his first over , take him off and bring him back later. Simple. Arafat bowled a good fourth over against England at death. Bring the spinners on early if the pacer are leaking too many runs. Confuse the batsman. Good Luck.

  • habib on June 17, 2009, 17:57 GMT

    we must give credit to this pakistan team. And make a comment like "fun game" it's look like childish for me. Because first Younis said 20/20 is fun game and he became so serious after losing. Any way he took it seriously now. Abdul Razzaq made pakistan team strong. I strongly belive that Shahid Afridi should open the bat.

  • syed on June 17, 2009, 17:53 GMT

    whats wrong if he call it FUN CRICKET when everyone watches T20 cricket for fun. lot of sixes n four being hit and people love it i think media as ever blew it out of propotion!

  • anwer on June 17, 2009, 17:42 GMT

    Pakistan are a very talented side.But,alas, in this day and age,talent alone isn't enough.They are not strong mentally to cope with pressure situations.They are street-smart but put them in a serious thinking situation they start passing the buck.So, I'm afraid if they beat S.Africa it'll be more by luck or one piece of brilliance than a solid performance.So I wish them well.But no matter what the outcome the sun will still rise the next day,unless ofcourse you are in Manchester. Anwer,Manchester

  • khalid Sadiq on June 17, 2009, 17:39 GMT

    Pakistan team gives the cricketing world what muhammad Ali gave to Boxing. Without Pakistan around right to the end of any tournament, watching or even playing cricket would be pretty dull. It is perhapes this unpredictability of this great team that makes it even more joyfull watching cricket. Against SA, Pakistan will need to have a plan and then stick to it to win. Afridi has proved his worth with the ball. He can do the same with the bat only if he uses his head that first you have to settle down by testing a few balls and then work out when he should start hitting every other ball for a 4 or 6. He fails when from the word go he starts hitting out because the crowd expects him to. Pakistan has the capability of winning the cup. Good luck. Khalid Sadiq, Glasgow, UK

  • waqas siddiqui on June 17, 2009, 17:35 GMT

    "fun" yes that is it we are watching sports, and after 5 days cricket we turn to one dayers and now T20's much more fun. so i would definatly suport Younus khan coment this is a fun game, i think the contest of Art and Science would be worth watching on thrusday

    best of luck to art(pakistan)

  • Usman on June 17, 2009, 17:33 GMT

    We all know that SA indeed are better team than Pakistan by comparison. Being a Pakistani supporter, I am happy with the fact that my team made it to the semis given the circumstances they had been facing lately. Well done and hope you guys can carry on to the final. I dont care if they win or lose as long as they display a fighting attitude for semi final. Its time Pakistan Middle order senior powerhouses click. I hope the better team on that day wins it!

  • Khalid on June 17, 2009, 17:32 GMT

    Younis Khan is quite right. There are two reasons behind it. First he want to reduce pressure on himself and 2nd he wants his guys to enjoy and play well. whatsoever, it will be honour if we win 20-20 wc.

  • GK on June 17, 2009, 17:32 GMT

    What is the point you are trying to convey? It almost sounds like a captain preparing his laundry list of excuses to present in the press conference following a loss in a one-sided game. Totally incoherent and absurd.

  • Amir on June 17, 2009, 17:31 GMT

    Statements made on a conference tables are just statements. Younis probably used improper word 'fun' when describing T20. However, we should criticize him if he showed 'fun' attitude in the field - which is not apparent. For Pakistan to win the remaining 2 matches, it is imperative that proper batting line up is used. Shoaib Malik looked un-happy when demoted in the last match - heck, with that kind of attitude coach/manager should ask him to sit out. A message like that will ripple through the whole team. But this is Pak team where such bold measures are never taken. Also, use Fawad properly. How come the best domestic T20 batsman is not getting any chance in this tournament, while players like Shoaib, Misbah, Salman, Afridi got many chances albiet their failures.

  • Ed Lamb on June 17, 2009, 17:31 GMT

    Strange article - there seems to be no proof of any meetings amongst players, what they discussed and what their tactics were if there were to lose. So a complete work of fiction then? Pakistan are as unpredictable as ever - they could win it or they could lose to SA by 100 runs.

  • Asif Ali on June 17, 2009, 17:30 GMT

    This team hasn't done anything in this tournament but I am looking forward to tomorrow where Pakistan can prove either it belongs in the Semis or more work is needed.

  • Dr yasir on June 17, 2009, 17:27 GMT

    Pakistan team has got immense talent and can shake any strong opposition. Captains are for taking cups or blames its always the team work which helps. Every individual in the side has shown the discipline needed for winning. I strongly believe that they are a strong contender for the trophy. I wish them all the best.

  • Maz on June 17, 2009, 17:26 GMT

    Pakistan is a talented side but consistency has been a problem recently.South Africa is hardworking side but I think Pakistan team is more talented and capable of making an upset in semifinal if they play to their potential.Good luck Pakistan.For me best bowling side of the tournament so far.

  • Rizwan Ansari on June 17, 2009, 17:23 GMT

    Pakistan has won two consecetive matches since Abdul Razzak's inclusion in the team. Both matches were won by a considerable margin. We are playing with players to spare e.g. Fawad Alam has been included in the side but has not bowled or batted as his contributions were not needed. The Pakistan side is comparable to the South African side, the match will depend on whether the wicket has a bounce or assists the spiners? Also, on the given day can Pakistan hold on to the catches.

    Good luck Pakistan!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Umair Huda on June 17, 2009, 17:19 GMT

    Without enjoying cricket no team can have spirit to win. Younis is right where he said enjoy cricket and have fun. He is been around in international cricket for a long time and he knows very well what should be done in pressure games too. If Pakistan play with their full strength no team can stop them winning the T20 title. GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN...

  • faisal imtiaz on June 17, 2009, 17:18 GMT

    Pakistan team,a great cricket playin side,i hope they do it again tomorrow in Semifinal, if Shahid Khan Afridi stay on like 4 or 5 overs, then its a big different in both teams,lets see we have a good cricketing match 2mrow.

  • Mo on June 17, 2009, 17:16 GMT

    For a team like Pakistan, I guess that the "take it easy approach" is the only approach, bearing in mind how poorly they are known to perform under pressure. While the bowling order is perfect, I feel that the batting line up needs some reshuffling- perhaps they should open the innings with Abdul Razzaq and Kamran Akmal, send Ahmad Shahzaib at number three, and switch Shoaib Malik with Shahid Afridi. This will certainly put much more pressure on the South Africans. The fielding will have to be top-class, and I am certain that all team members are aware of that. I guess the "fun" slogans by Younis Khan relax the players a little bit; a relaxation much needed for excellent fielding.

  • khan on June 17, 2009, 17:14 GMT

    must give credit to this pakistan team, with no match practice, they were rusty and underprepared. they are improving steadily. even the loss against sirilanka was because of loose bowling at the start. they had the wrong combination as well at that time. now i think they have the best available combination. wish imran nazir was there too.if they get a bit of luck they can surprise south africa. finally why is younis not using fawad alam , he doesnt get to bowl or bat.i think he is a great t20 player both with ball and bat. give him a chance!!!!! y khan nice

  • Kal on June 17, 2009, 17:09 GMT

    Pakistan has been the most exciting to watch in this T20 worldcup with all their unpredictable cricket...But the Plan B theory of Saad Shafqat is pure unintentional comedy..Younis is already having a tough time letting everyone know what he is trying to say..Hope Pakistan goes all the way, but please dont give room for fictional theories..

  • Asaad Ali on June 17, 2009, 16:57 GMT

    Guys... dont get over confident... South Africa is a great team and so is Pakistan. The problem with pakistan is that, they are reliable... sometimes they can play amazing and sometimes it feels like its a soccer team thats come on to play cricket... What pakistan need to win the game is a good innings from shahid afridi... he is a match winner... if he clicks the game is ours...

  • Ejaz Memon on June 17, 2009, 16:47 GMT

    Very rightly put by Larry Regan: "Passion meets Performance." That sums it all.

  • Nas on June 17, 2009, 16:42 GMT

    Team sports are so funny, if your team is winning it easily hides even the most idiotic fallacies of the captain.Younis Khan is no different, I was shocked to read this article where Younis Khan has been credited for Pakistan's wins. The captain who motivates his team by saying at the start of the tournament that reaching a semi-final will be a big achievment for us can be the most pessimistic leader a team can have. It took him four matches to realize that Umar Gul is much more effective when used as first change and it took him four years to realize his best position is in the middle order when spinners are operating as compared to one down where fast bowlers grind him. The explaination of dropping the Akmal down the order when he made us win the first match batting up the order against Australia and keepin him down there until v lost the series still confounds all Pakistani fans.Being a captain isnt just smiling at misfields of players its about extracting the best out of ur troops

  • Stani Army on June 17, 2009, 16:36 GMT

    Only if Younis was that clever!

    From his facial expressions and his attempt at a partial retraction of his original comments in a later press conference, I think you are looking too much into this and thus giving Younis too much credit.

    I would have liked it to be true of course.

  • abdul bari on June 17, 2009, 16:17 GMT

    This article is perfect example of creating an opinion/ news out of pure imagaination. I doubt that Younis Khan comments were pre-meditated. He is just too straightforward a person to plan anything like that. For if he was, he would never has risked making a public remark like that. Imagine what would have made out of his remark if Pakistan had lost to NZ. And there is no need to make remarks in press conferences if he really wants to address the team. He can do it in team meetings. Neither do I think Younis remark was due to lack of command on English language. He actually believes that 20/20 is fun cricket. So please stop imagining and stop over analyzing just to create articles out of nothing.

  • mike on June 17, 2009, 16:17 GMT

    Yes definitely younis khan is an intelligent captain. One of the best if i can say. He always brings the best out of his team however limited they may be. And he is very practical in defeat or victory. Every team loves a captain like this. He makes each individual take responsibility. Being an Indian i sincerely wish pakistan wins this T20 world cup simply for their fighting spirit starting from their Match against New Zealand. All the best brothers.

  • Ali Majid on June 17, 2009, 16:11 GMT

    Do you guys not get the article? Its based on a fictional situation and sarcasm.

  • Pir Ali Raza on June 17, 2009, 16:06 GMT

    I think you have an excellent point. By saying that twenty20 is 'fun' he is defusing the pressure on his players and also the build up at home. Great article

  • Haseeb ur Rahman on June 17, 2009, 15:54 GMT

    Pakistan are having a rough time with the bat & fielding but are bowling superbly. While South Africa on the other hand is a balanced side. Overall SA is a better side because their bowling is no less than Pakistan's bowling & their fielding and batting is fearless. But I'll say that whoever gets the chance to bat first will win.

  • shayan jamal on June 17, 2009, 15:37 GMT

    its going to be a thrilling chockers vs unpredictables encounter.i hope pakistan send in Abdul Razzak at onedown position so that he can knock the SAFies out of the tournament

  • Mateen Habibullah on June 17, 2009, 15:26 GMT

    I totally agree with you, Mr. Abbasi. I agree that Younis is an easy-going person, but he is also a person who wants to make his players feel at home. I totally disagree with Dr.Limple's comments. Younis is not a "stupid" person who goes around saying whatever reaches his mind. He wants his team to feel at home, not panic, and, he is also a great leader. He just doesn't have quite the resources to pull things around for Pakistan.

  • Md. Nazibul Islam on June 17, 2009, 15:26 GMT

    Yes it is the right way to treat the players, but seriousness should be there, their body language will show how serious they are, Pakistanis temptations are a bit lower than South African’s. But I remember in a final match in Sharja, Pakistan really bounced back at the middle of the 2nd innings and waqar younus took 4 wickets to clinch the title of a 3 nation’s series. If afridi opens the bat then he has to perform, Umar Gul has to play a vital role in breaking the batting chain of SA. In every stat, it’s clear that South Africa is in better position than Pakistan, but there are some match winners in Pak's team. Younus Khan, Kamran, Afridi, Razzak, shoaib malik (though malik in bad form), all are match winners, now it is to see who uses own skills in right time.

  • Sy on June 17, 2009, 15:20 GMT

    Yes Saad. All of this was a carefully orchestrated effort on Pakistan's part. You guys amaze me and then sadden me at the same time. This was not orchestrated at all by the brain power of Younis Khan. This was a lot of factors going in their favor to put them in the semis. I don't know if you were being serious with this article but if you were, then you sadden me greatly.

  • ali khalid on June 17, 2009, 15:16 GMT

    i read couple of articles on preview of 1st semi final in which most of them wrote as on number , stats and form the south african team is carrying in this tournament it wont be easy for pakistan to beat them as they have reach this spot through an easy route. the point to note that pakistan performance was par in crucial do die matches, they completley knocked out their opponents whether it was newzealand or netherlands. and by terming newzealand a weakier side in this tournament is completely wrong as their team was the only one against southafrica manage to won by just run.. in short a spectacular semi final is all set ..if southafrica have to win they have to show a performance in unique manner and in ususal manner

  • Ali Adil on June 17, 2009, 15:07 GMT

    Great analysis of Younis Khan's public comments which were most probably meant for internal (team) consumption more than anyone else. Everyone, especially (Pakistani supporters) should know by know that Pakistan need only to conquor their own demons in order to beat any opposition. The same to a large extent can be said of the W.Indies ...which is why Pak v W.I would be the most interesting of finals.

  • M. Shakil on June 17, 2009, 14:53 GMT

    I think, every game of cricket is serious because the player plays for his country. In this way, fun is not added so you must understand younis had said WRONG. But I am with Pakistan and praying they will be back to home with WCT20.

    Good Luck Pakistan

  • Suhaib Jalis Ahmed on June 17, 2009, 14:51 GMT

    Although your theory is pure eye-candy for Pakistanis like me, but lets face it... Younis is not an intense tactician. He is a completely different captain than Imran... infact he is "Anti-Imran".

    Yet he has rekindled the dreams of so may people who are going through so much. As Kamran Abbasi and Osman Samiuddin have pointed out, Pakistan may have had an easier ride to the semis but no country has had a rougher two years.

  • Saurabh on June 17, 2009, 14:46 GMT

    Pakistan at the outset never looked like a formidable side,kudos to them for getting so far,bt i guess the media is just overexpecting from Younus.He said T-20 is fun cricket and he actually meant it,there was no masterstroke in that,why are you guys looking for hidden meanings when there are actually none.Pakistan was sheer lucky alongwith a breathtakingly brilliant U.Gul that has allowed them to reach the semis.Also,as far as five wins are considered...well,i would like to laugh about that point...c'mon,its the same for every team,and one loss u'll board the plane back home.Pakistan is the luckiest team to reach the semis riding on the back of just one player,U.Gul..and there ain't any masterplan for sure...no matter how hard Younus says T-20 is fun cricket,he and his team knows from inside that its serious business and they gonna get screwed back home very tightly if they dont perform...someone remember what happened to their combination after their early exit from 2003 World Cup??

  • Ali Khan on June 17, 2009, 14:43 GMT

    Despite all of these things I still believe Pakistan has not played close to anything they are capable of atleast on paper. Hoping this is the time they hit their hish, hoping Afridi, Akmal, Malik or Misbah..any one of them give their best performance now with the bat. If not now then when, we need to be atleast in the final to let the cricketing world know that they cannot ignore us. Beat South Africa and a lot of critics will be answered, win the world cup and there will be no more plans to exclude Pakistan from any 20/20 league or champions league. Praying that Pakistan brings home the cup, they are certainly capable of pulling it off, the important thing is do they know that or not. Go Pakistan.

  • Norm on June 17, 2009, 14:31 GMT

    Towards the end of the long analytical post, one expects more or a 'masterstroke' explanation. Instead, you only find as much substance in the last paragraph where the 'masterstroke' is unveiled as there is in Pakistan's batting.

  • siaif khan on June 17, 2009, 14:29 GMT

    I dont actually see any problem with younis' attitude. He has always been that sort of person to have fun and smile and laugh. Thats the sort of attitude the team needs to get away from trials and tribulations faced back at home. His comment doesnt mean that they dont want to win and wont be giving there all, remember cricket is only a sport and the players are getting payed more than doctors or engineers, it shouldnt be taken as something someone should devote their whole lives to.

  • Raheel - BWP PAK on June 17, 2009, 14:27 GMT

    we can not put Imran Khan and Younis khan at the same page but to win this tournament and to come up with all the difficulties pakistan cricket is currently facing, and also to boost up the morale of his team Younis would have to be as tactician as Imran was..I would not say that WINNING IS EVERY THING but WANTING TO WIN IS..

  • Naveed on June 17, 2009, 14:25 GMT

    its a battle of nerves of course and who ever will be "relaxed" will win it....i agree that a relaxed approach can see Pakistan through to the finals & beyond, and i would say the same thing "Imagine you're just playing a league match in Lahore. Enjoy yourself."

  • Usman Iqbal on June 17, 2009, 14:23 GMT

    No doubt pak had the easy ride but what they achieved is awsome. They were cornered even before lahore attacks but still they performed atleast to get into semis than the mighty Australians or Indians failed to do so. The game against south Africa will definitly be a tough one and for me the chances are 70-30 for south Africa but I still believe younis will Marshall his troops well and they won't let make it for proteas. Younis might be weak in English and also might have rough and tough games earlier on but he is aggrasive in approach. Good luck Pakistan good luck younis. Just play your hearts out and who knows that pak may get into finals due to their unpredictible nature

  • faizullah khawaja on June 17, 2009, 14:16 GMT

    we must give credit to this pakistan team, with no match practice, they were rusty and underprepared. they are improving steadily. even the loss against sirilanka was because of loose bowling at the start. they had the wrong combination as well at that time. now i think they have the best available combination. wish imran nazir was there too.if they get a bit of luck they can surprise south africa. finally why is younis not using fawad alam , he doesnt get to bowl or bat.i think he is a great t20 player both with ball and bat. give him a chance!!!!!

  • vivek singh on June 17, 2009, 14:13 GMT

    Enjoying yourself is the keyword. As is the enjoyment for others. I hope pakistan wins the cup and that would atleast give some joy to millions in terror ravaged pakistan. With India out I hope Pakistan continues playing "enjoyable" cricket.

  • Kamil Bakar on June 17, 2009, 14:11 GMT

    I must admit that Pakistan had made a great come back after losing to England. Shahid Afridi was struggling with his batting, that was the past. Now Shahid Afridi has regained his batting prowess and will be one of the key batsmen in the semi-final. Umer Gul has been bowling extremely well, he managed to swing the ball on a flat deck. Lack of consistency still remain a mystery for Pakistan, one day they can be the best and the other day they can be the worst. If they (Pakistan) win this tournament it would be a miracle.

  • Naveed on June 17, 2009, 14:10 GMT

    Time to wakeup and no dreaming please.......

  • Partha Mohanram on June 17, 2009, 14:09 GMT

    As an Indian, I have no problems in wishing the Pakistan team the very best. I hope there is a PAK SL final. I always root for the remaining subcontinent team once India is knocked out. I was hence disapppointed in the last 3 WC finals with the three subcontinent teams losing by rotation to the Aussies. I am not one of those who believes in supporting India and anyone that beats Pakistan. We "desis" should support each other (yes go after each other while playing - but them support whoever is left). The Pakistan team is talented and has been treated very badly by the cricket world. Modi should have allowed their cricketers back in the IPL (actually they should thank him now - they looked fresh for NOT playing in the IPL). Also, the champions leagues with teams from India, Australia and England now looks like a losers league. Having said that, I think the Pak team is going to have its hands full against a very solid SA team that has confidence and for the first time, a killer instinct.

  • Y B on June 17, 2009, 14:09 GMT

    Mr. Saad, you hit the nail right on the proverbial head. With "T20 is fun cricket", Younis definitely was addressing his; sometimes shell shocked, a little brittle, team. Younis didn't care about T20 cricket, Ha-ha; just observe the way he roared back at Vettori, while indirectly motivating his team again with a leader's slogan "us around the world". Younis is a tremendously motivating leader; although, I must admit, sometimes he comes across as a 'softie' in the cricket field, but that ‘softie’ image in the field, in front of the ground cameras, could be a ploy as well. I don’t know how he is in the team meetings. I predict, with my fingers crossed; I am feeling much comfortable with the inclusion of Razzaq now; Pakistan is going to lift the World trophy again, Inshah Allah.

  • Iftikhar on June 17, 2009, 14:08 GMT

    The one thing that counts is that Pakistan has fantastic players that can win this tornament if they click. They have the momentum and the belief and tomorrow they will click insh. If SA get on the back foot in the game they will panic given the 'CHOKERS' tag awaits.

  • Dr. Muhammad Rashid on June 17, 2009, 14:07 GMT

    I don't know if we should compare Younis with Imran Khan, but for sure, Younis and Inzamamn have defended recent controversies and Pakistan pride more than Imran Khan. I Want to thank Younis for asking the world ‘not to embrace Pakistan’ and Inzamam for protesting (and winning his view) against unfair ball tempering allegation. Considering the circumstances Pakistan have been going through last two years, reaching semi-final is more than expected because in T20, any team can do any thing on a given day. Australia was out in the 1st round and India (a favourite for the tournament) lost all their matches against good sides but still they will remain two good cricketing nations. About Pak-SA semi-final, no matter how consistent SAs are and how rusty Pakistan is, with a new match it will be 50-50 for both of them.

  • Hassan on June 17, 2009, 14:04 GMT

    To be blunt, I think he was trying to relieve pressure by not saying that they have to win otherwise they will die... Also, It more has to do with the grip of english language than anything else. Sometimes what you are trying to say doesn't come out right and press makes a fuss about it. Look where India got with the serious atitude.

  • Faisal Munawar on June 17, 2009, 14:03 GMT

    I know sit back and enjoy guys.....and guess what...Pak is winning this one...against the SA..

  • taimur ali khan on June 17, 2009, 14:02 GMT

    t20 is not a serious type of cricket but it will b an honour for pakistan to win its world cup.and paki team will achieve this honour

  • Dill on June 17, 2009, 14:00 GMT

    Man, this Paki team is fun to watch. You never expect what you get from them and this unpredictability makes them the most exciting team to watch.

  • Umer Farooq on June 17, 2009, 13:55 GMT

    I am confident and can assure our readers that if there is any team that can thrash SA in their present form is only PAKISTAN. Those who have written us off prior to the T20 have already made their exit. This is going to be the contest of Pinnacle of the Class against the God Gifted Art.

  • Waqas Ather Saeed on June 17, 2009, 13:52 GMT

    Younis Khan's fun statement has been mis-interpreted in the media, and that is only because he does not have a command over the English language. But that's no shame. English is not our mother tongue. Younis Khan is an intelligent captain, and it wouldnt come as a surprise to me if the 'fun comment' was intended by him to be a hidden and well disguised message for his own team.

  • Pervez Ali on June 17, 2009, 13:52 GMT

    It is funny why Fawad Alam is selected to play for Pakistan, but neither used as a batsman nor bowler. I do not know what Younis Khan is upto. Anybody can give me a clue please.

  • Altafur Rahman on June 17, 2009, 13:49 GMT

    You are right to that if we have Jazba we will win Insha Allah, & I am sure Pakistan will play their best cricket in semi because it is yet to come, we will prove the world that Pakistan can beat any team in the world, good luck guys

  • Nabeel Arshed on June 17, 2009, 13:48 GMT

    Pakistan team is for sure the cornered tigers in more than one way when we compare them to the 92 ones. Those tigers were cornered only on the cricket field here we have tigers who have been threatened with extinction. The press has been extremely insensitive to this Pakistan Captain who hails from Mardan in NWFP which houses a million or so refugees. T20 i assure is fun for us right now a respite where we can watch and enjoy cricket blinding our selves from the terrorism griping our country. His command over english may not be perfect but the message he gives strikes a chord in all of our hearts whether we still want to ridicule him for that. The odd of the result weigh heavily in the favor of the porteas but i have a funny feeling that it will not be the Afridi's or the Gul's but the ghost of steve waugh and the chokers tag that will be haunting them. Pakistan on the other hand has played with pride, we haven't whined Vitori style and count on us we never will.Godspeed Pakistan

  • Ehsan Bhutta,Singapore on June 17, 2009, 13:47 GMT

    I totally agreed with you.However I would like to say that any international sporting event is not a fun.Millions of supporters back home are watching their team and praying for its success.It is true that Pakistan has an easy ride to semi final but it has to play out of their skin on two occasions in the tournament when they fear earlier exit.One against Holland and other against NewsZealand.These tough and pressure games required statesmanship like Younus who uptill now successfully made his team to be relaxed and not taken pressure.In T20 no team is weak.See what Holland did to England or Austrailia's earlier exit.So in my opinion cricketing world should support Pakistan's ride to victory rather than indulging in false accusations like Vettori did.

  • Altafur Rahman on June 17, 2009, 13:44 GMT

    You are right to that if we have Jazba we will win Insha Allah, & I am sure Pakistan will play their best cricket in semi because it is yet to come, we will prove the world that Pakistan can beat any team in the world, good luck guys

  • shiraz on June 17, 2009, 13:44 GMT

    LOL, nice way to defend Yonis. The problem is pakistani team and management dont think out of the box. They have their own formula and they will stick to it forever. Tell me how Yonis is playing Fawad Alam. They took him to dubai didn't gave him chance to come early and bat. The whole world cup is almost done the poor guy got to play in a match which was virtually over when he came to bat. He is not using him as a bowler not as a batsman why is he even there? Fawad is a star in Pakistan domestic cricket and fine batsman. I think Yonis has some kind of insecurities like shoaib malik did thats why they have never tried this guy to come and bat early not even on warmup games or a game where they have to just make 100 to win against New Zealand. I have not seen anything in his captaincy either to show me that he is a good captain. Yasir arafat who got beaten badly in first two overs still got his third over cuz he has a plan and that is 3 overs each for the first two bowlers. Plain Stupid

  • Koushik Biswas on June 17, 2009, 13:43 GMT

    Another perfect example of media's hunger for sensationalism. Younis' comment was guillotined and hung on the streets after a defeat, and now the same comment is being adored and analyzed from hundreds of angles. Younis might have said it with a long term vision, or just on the spur of the moment to neutralize his frustration. It was more probably reaction than pro-action. Whatever it was, it gave many thumb twiddling self proclaimed authors and cricket writers material to cook out their next articles from a graveyard of dead thoughts. Of course journalists have to write - but an approach as wildly swinging as this is bound to be questioned on its motives: sensationalism - polarization of opinions for gaining popularity and increase page hits. More revenues from advertisers on the site's pages translating to more compensation per article for the author. Instead of feeding readers with honest opinions and facts. That's what it is.

    After what she went through, Let Pakistan win!

  • Dr. Qasim on June 17, 2009, 13:41 GMT

    Go Pakistan Go! Win it for the 160 million people who have been through tough times, just because of some power hungry idiots helped by our True Enenmy in India and its active lobbying to isolate us...............Go Pakis Go.............Justujo jo karay woh cholay aasman........Go down in flames...no retreat no surrender....may Allah be our protector and guide

  • Dr. Abid on June 17, 2009, 13:37 GMT

    I think Younis is no Imran or no Inzi but have traits of both, like Imran, he is aggressive and brave in his leadership, and like Inzi he is easy going; he would have been a better leader if he was more educated and tactful in his comments.

    Anyway GOODLUCK - but he should use the cool and wisdom of Misbah through his counselling in the field.

  • Hassan Khan on June 17, 2009, 13:35 GMT

    It dones't matter how, when and what. the truth is Pakistan is in top 4 countries. No one can deny this. Sad to Vettori and his negative thinking about Umer Gul. All media is talking about Younis word "Fun" and no one talking about crying of Vettori after crushing win by Pakistan. Just look from where Pakistan has come to play. the whole wold of cricket was polished in IPL except Pakistani players and they performed well. Good Luck Pakistan, Younis you will be on victory stand.

  • Shazad Awan on June 17, 2009, 13:33 GMT

    Pakistan cricket has had a rough ride of late and this T20 might just lift a batttered nations spirits and bring cricket back from the brink. Younis is a good captain and has shown this by his measured batting performances underpinning his seriousness for this format of the game. I agree, although not like Imran Khan, Younis has managed to pull together a team which only a week ago seemed happy just to play a few games and go home. He commands respect, unlike Inzi, and his on field calmness certainly eases everyone, with a broad smile he plays does "Fun" cricket.

  • Larry Regan on June 17, 2009, 13:33 GMT

    This is the team which makes Cricket watching worth it. They are hugely unpredictable and supremely talented. Pakistan team is the equivalent of the Brazilian/Argentinean teams. On Thursday, Passion meets Performance. Hope the former wins it!!

  • Javed Khan on June 17, 2009, 13:31 GMT

    People can say whatever they want but they need to open their eyes and realise that Pakistan, whom have not played international or competitive cricket and were not allowed to participate in the IPL (which can only be described as an Indian political tactic which wernt wrong) are in the SEMI FINALs and are TWO wins away.

    What should be said to the likes of India, England and Autralia? Teams who have been in form as of late?

    No doubt Pakistan may have had an easy ride but we are starting to see them gel and play like a team. Only the Pakistanis can field 17 year old openers and fast bowlers! They should ignore the media and concentrate on their performance and inshallah we will overcome the South African's and book our spot in the final.

    Every Pakistani should feel proud of how well Pakistan has done in this competition and on our day we are a force not to be treated lightly.

    Pakistan Zindabad!

  • rashid on June 17, 2009, 13:30 GMT

    long live pakistan team .. my blessings with u

  • Ghazali Junaid on June 17, 2009, 13:29 GMT

    I really have no clue why younis's statement about T20 as a fun game has been given so much hype....in my opinion its all because of his poor English speaking skills :).....he was just tryin to speak with confidence which resulted in him using the word fun...:)

  • Jamil uddin Siddiqui on June 17, 2009, 13:27 GMT

    We need to understand the approach of the Yonis when he mentioned T20 as "Fun". I think being hopeful in mind he mentioned that considering fun we will reach to the final stage. Younis & team has proved many times in & outside Pakistan that they have all the qualities to face/tackle any opposition and come up under any situation. Good Luck to Pak Team.

  • dee on June 17, 2009, 13:20 GMT

    I think younis is right you cant take this format too seriously as an upset is always likely, for instance you wouldnt expect holland to beat england in a test match any time soon. or sri lanka to beat ireland by a close 9 runs in a test. I find it interesting how undignified comments such as vettoris only come following defeats and that they dont come from windies or sub continent teams.

  • Anonymous on June 17, 2009, 13:16 GMT

    younis is right,not only t20 the whole cricket is fun game.i believe in cricket by chance.if u win enjoy,but if u cant,dont take tension and concentrate on ur future.thats it.Imran Aziz

  • Sanjiyan on June 17, 2009, 13:16 GMT

    Pakistan have a great bowling lineup..but if any team can expose the weaknesses in their batting its South Africa. If they all click on the day it will be a fantastic match..but i dont think the deserve it. They whole lacklustre way they have approached this is not a team deserving of the World Cup. Even the Windies with their typical laid back attitude have shown much..much more intent than Pakistan. All pakistan are is a collection of really good bowlers and a few ok batsmen who on their day can smack the ball around a bit..

  • Ibrahim Bilal on June 17, 2009, 13:07 GMT

    I agree with you. After all the turbulence and turmoil the country is facing right now which has left its people in an emotional trauma, Younas Khan had to do more than just winning the opponents... "lift spirits and sharpen everyone's focus"... and we all Pakistanis admire that.. We just want them to fight and give their best... Winning or losing, we wont care... But still, you can expect anything from the unpredictable Pakistanis in any form of cricket...

  • Rehan Zamin on June 17, 2009, 13:04 GMT

    This is an absolutely mindless article

  • awaisashraf on June 17, 2009, 13:01 GMT

    pakistan is a very good team

  • Arun on June 17, 2009, 13:01 GMT

    The writer's fly-on-the-wall account is pure baloney. The masterstroke was when Younis went to the press conference after the defeat to England and said T20 isn't serious cricket. That probably took a big load off the players' shoulders.

  • MG on June 17, 2009, 13:00 GMT

    I am all for this brand of "fun " cricket as long as Pakistan promises not to play "funny" cricket that they have been playing of late.

  • Asim on June 17, 2009, 12:56 GMT

    Very well pointed out that the message which Younis sent was to his team only on take the game as a fun and then you will enjoy and deliver as well. Indian team's performance in this worldcup is a prime eg. they were tagged as the favorites and they were so much of afraid of loosing that they applied defensive tactics which cost them more then one match. Best of luck Pakistan our prayers and wishes are with you.

  • Ali on June 17, 2009, 12:53 GMT

    Hi i think your right Pakistan needs to relax and just think its a league match at Lahoe. But i think younis khan should send afridi as opener doesnt matter if gets out early but hes got some good performances against south africa . So if he clicks Pakistan will sail in to final . Hope for the best .Inshallah Pakistan will bring world cup Home.

  • Ray on June 17, 2009, 12:47 GMT

    What is the point of this article?? Frankly I am a little confused after reading this articlce. I doubt that Yunus had something in mind, if anything at all. I wish these cricketers were smart enough to realize the chance of cricket isolation that Pakistan is facing and try to reverse it through brilliant performances. Just two games and those too against very weak opposition and already we are making a big deal out of it.

  • Nash Khan on June 17, 2009, 12:43 GMT

    You got it absolutly right...The wisdom lies in a sentence "Take it easy guys...Enjoy Yourself"..as Inzi used to say..I think this is one good approach to tackle big pressure games..The only thing is that I am guessing that this is what he meant when he said its Fun! See you in the Final. Hey Jazba Junoon to Himmat na haar.

  • Dr.Limple on June 17, 2009, 12:23 GMT

    What you are suggesting seems a little far fetched to me (don't know whether it was intentional). Bringing Younis to the level of the great tactician Imran Khan is a bit unfair. I don't think Younis Khan, being the easy going cricketer he is, would have looked too deeply into this whole situation and worked out as intricate a plan as you have suggested. Younis's appeal as a captain lies in his uninhibited decision making and rustic charm as opposed to the calculating and suave leader that Imran Khan was. That is not to say that he doesnot have the potential to be as successful as Imran, he just has a totally different approach. The only similarity that I can work out between them is that both are fearless leaders fitting their pathan roots. It remains to be seen how successful Younis is with his approach, we all are praying for him of course.

  • Abdul Aziz - Birmingham B8 UK on June 17, 2009, 11:59 GMT

    Once again the media is blowing everything out of proportion Younis and his 'fun cricket' comment has been misinterpreted as T20s are serious business (not as serious as test matches I suppose) especially where national pride is at stake and you are representing your country at whatever level or sport. Sadly most of the recent Pak captains command of the english language is not too good and any innocent comment will always be misinterpreted. Pak team management musta assure Pak players are interviewed in Urdu. Do any of the English/Aussie or any other players give interviews in Urdu to anybody?? good luck to Pak as they have had a rough ride into the tournament but a very kind draw in the group matches. This is where we will really find out what they are made of, only time will tell - GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN

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  • Abdul Aziz - Birmingham B8 UK on June 17, 2009, 11:59 GMT

    Once again the media is blowing everything out of proportion Younis and his 'fun cricket' comment has been misinterpreted as T20s are serious business (not as serious as test matches I suppose) especially where national pride is at stake and you are representing your country at whatever level or sport. Sadly most of the recent Pak captains command of the english language is not too good and any innocent comment will always be misinterpreted. Pak team management musta assure Pak players are interviewed in Urdu. Do any of the English/Aussie or any other players give interviews in Urdu to anybody?? good luck to Pak as they have had a rough ride into the tournament but a very kind draw in the group matches. This is where we will really find out what they are made of, only time will tell - GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN

  • Dr.Limple on June 17, 2009, 12:23 GMT

    What you are suggesting seems a little far fetched to me (don't know whether it was intentional). Bringing Younis to the level of the great tactician Imran Khan is a bit unfair. I don't think Younis Khan, being the easy going cricketer he is, would have looked too deeply into this whole situation and worked out as intricate a plan as you have suggested. Younis's appeal as a captain lies in his uninhibited decision making and rustic charm as opposed to the calculating and suave leader that Imran Khan was. That is not to say that he doesnot have the potential to be as successful as Imran, he just has a totally different approach. The only similarity that I can work out between them is that both are fearless leaders fitting their pathan roots. It remains to be seen how successful Younis is with his approach, we all are praying for him of course.

  • Nash Khan on June 17, 2009, 12:43 GMT

    You got it absolutly right...The wisdom lies in a sentence "Take it easy guys...Enjoy Yourself"..as Inzi used to say..I think this is one good approach to tackle big pressure games..The only thing is that I am guessing that this is what he meant when he said its Fun! See you in the Final. Hey Jazba Junoon to Himmat na haar.

  • Ray on June 17, 2009, 12:47 GMT

    What is the point of this article?? Frankly I am a little confused after reading this articlce. I doubt that Yunus had something in mind, if anything at all. I wish these cricketers were smart enough to realize the chance of cricket isolation that Pakistan is facing and try to reverse it through brilliant performances. Just two games and those too against very weak opposition and already we are making a big deal out of it.

  • Ali on June 17, 2009, 12:53 GMT

    Hi i think your right Pakistan needs to relax and just think its a league match at Lahoe. But i think younis khan should send afridi as opener doesnt matter if gets out early but hes got some good performances against south africa . So if he clicks Pakistan will sail in to final . Hope for the best .Inshallah Pakistan will bring world cup Home.

  • Asim on June 17, 2009, 12:56 GMT

    Very well pointed out that the message which Younis sent was to his team only on take the game as a fun and then you will enjoy and deliver as well. Indian team's performance in this worldcup is a prime eg. they were tagged as the favorites and they were so much of afraid of loosing that they applied defensive tactics which cost them more then one match. Best of luck Pakistan our prayers and wishes are with you.

  • MG on June 17, 2009, 13:00 GMT

    I am all for this brand of "fun " cricket as long as Pakistan promises not to play "funny" cricket that they have been playing of late.

  • Arun on June 17, 2009, 13:01 GMT

    The writer's fly-on-the-wall account is pure baloney. The masterstroke was when Younis went to the press conference after the defeat to England and said T20 isn't serious cricket. That probably took a big load off the players' shoulders.

  • awaisashraf on June 17, 2009, 13:01 GMT

    pakistan is a very good team

  • Rehan Zamin on June 17, 2009, 13:04 GMT

    This is an absolutely mindless article