Saad Shafqat November 19, 2010

A man of destiny

Despite the anticipated turbulence ahead, supporters of Younis Khan can take comfort that their hero is sitting pretty
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Even though he made a century on Test debut, it took a while for fans to warm up to Younis Khan. His technique seemed casual, even careless. Each delivery was eyed for a boundary, he was vulnerable to swing with far too many edges, his bat was too far in front on the forward defensive, and there was more bottom hand in his drives than the unwritten standards of Asia’s batting aesthetic would allow.

Despite that inaugural hundred, his average after his first 12 innings in Test cricket was only 21.25, and on more than half of those occasions he had been dismissed in single digits. Yet he was a heavy scorer on the domestic circuit, and the selectors persisted. His brass tacks, take-it-or-leave-it manner also won him a following.

Then came a string of overseas hundreds – in Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and Bangladesh, and against West Indies in Sharjah – and he more or less settled into the No. 3 spot, promising to heal one of Pakistan’s long-standing ulcers. Nevertheless, his erratic form continued. In the spring of 2005, when Younis met India in a Test for the first time, he had played 32 matches and his average was still less than 40.

That series revealed much about the man, not just to the public, but possibly also to himself. The first Test in Mohali saw him dismissed for 9 and 1, including the embarrassment of getting castled while shouldering arms. He was also off-key in the field and ended the game completely out of sorts. The press dismissed him, and Pakistan’s own team management vilified him.

The first true sign of his greatness as a batsman was that this mounting anger and hurt willed him into excellence. After 147 in the next Test at Kolkata, which Pakistan lost, he went to Bangalore, and scored 267 and 84 to become Man of the Match and square the series. The performance set Younis apart and demonstrated the enormous promise and possibilities of his career as a fighter, capable of batting his team out of trouble.

If you talk to Rashid Latif, the former Pakistan wicketkeeper and captain, who mentored Younis like a younger brother, the fulfilment of Younis’s heroic destiny was never in doubt. Younis came under Latif’s wings at the Malir Gymkahana, a sports club in one of Karachi’s middle-class suburbs. He impressed everyone with his untiring work ethic and his ceaseless devotion to every aspect of the game. “Younis never missed a match,” recalled Latif, when I spoke to him on the phone recently. “This may not sound like much, but in the context of Karachi in those difficult days, it told me a great deal about him.”

The point is subtle, but important. In the mid-1990s, when Younis was cutting his cricketing teeth, parts of Karachi were an ethnic war zone. The city's majority Urdu-speaking community was at loggerheads with the Pathans, who hailed from Pakistan’s north-west frontier. Younis, an unmistakable Pathan, would brave gang fights and flying bullets through some of Karachi’s most troubled areas, to be schooled by his teacher Latif, a celebrated Urdu-speaking son of Karachi, in a relationship that had the makings of an epic. Imagine a portentous Catholic-Protestant collaboration in Belfast during the height of the Irish trouble, or a black-white partnership in Soweto during the darkest days of apartheid, and you’ll get some idea.

Today Younis is a 64-Test veteran with 17 centuries and a 50-plus average. Aged 33, this puts him within striking distance of Pakistan’s most hallowed batting records. Already he has threatened Pakistan’s highest Test innings, 337 by Hanif Mohammad, with a triple-hundred in Karachi in 2009. Pakistan’s highest Test aggregate (8832 by Javed Miandad) and highest number of Test hundreds (25 by Inzamam-ul-Haq) are also in his line of fire.

He has a reputation for fearlessness – squaring his shoulders to any attack, straightening up after any blow, never shying from a verbal or psychological joust, and never hiding behind a nightwatchman. He has also convinced everyone of his unbending personal moral fibre. This magnificent inner strength enabled him to lead Pakistan to a Twenty20 world title mere weeks after terrorists had shattered the national cricket ethos with an attack on the visiting Sri Lankans in Lahore. It also allowed him to wait out the recent tense duel with PCB chief Ijaz Butt, until the lesser man finally blinked.

Many observers feel that Younis Khan also happens to be the most capable and deserving candidate for Pakistan’s Test captaincy. His record as captain (one win, five draws, and three losses) may not be noteworthy on paper, but he has leadership stature and, unlike other potential contenders (including the current captain Misbah-ul-Haq), is an automatic selection in the side. Most importantly, with the Pakistan team ensnared in a spot-fixing scandal, Younis stands firm as the only frontline player utterly untouched by this cancer. This might have had something to do with his unceremonious ouster from the captaincy following the disastrous summer tour to Sri Lanka last year – which would constitute a very good reason to put him back in the saddle now.

The terrible wrinkle is that Younis is on the wrong side of the current PCB administration, and these thoughts are moot until a new set-up comes in. The way things work in Pakistan, that could happen tomorrow, or not for another couple of years. Despite the anticipated turbulence ahead, supporters of Younis can take comfort that their hero is sitting pretty. Great things happen to men of destiny. Younis may be on the wrong side of the PCB, but he is not on the wrong side of history.

Saad Shafqat is a writer based in Karachi

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Murtaza on January 7, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    He is surely one of the great patriotic man, active at slips, humerous in nets and of course stylish on crease..... deserves captaincy... has won pakistan a T20wc and has reached champions trophy semis as captain... not bad! Great player

  • shan on December 31, 2010, 20:39 GMT

    I personally believe he always been a best choice for pakistan captain. However, I think his honesty with nation got in the way. when few currupt united and took oath to got him out, Ironically BCP supported the currupt gang. Can you believe when Malik and Kamran akmal appraoched him to select Butt, and promised younis, if he Butt not perform we will perform. Like other we wont, clear threatening him.. You see the roots are too deep and strong. I say give younis captaincy again get all those have wrongdoers out of the team, we will inshallah perform better...

  • Anonymous on December 22, 2010, 11:58 GMT

    THE BEST WORLD CUP CAPTION CANDIDATE FOR OUR TEAM

    1 AND ONLY

    YOUNIS KHAN zinDAA BAAAd ;)

  • UMAR MALIK on December 7, 2010, 19:11 GMT

    IM 100% AGREED... THAT YOUNIS KHAN IS BEST CAPTAIN FOR PAKISTAN TEST CRICKET... PLZ PLZ GIVE HIM CHANCE. THAN WE WILL SEE HE WILL PERFORM ASWEL.

  • Sammy on December 1, 2010, 19:52 GMT

    One of the very few Pakistani players with unquestionable character and integrity, not to mention the work ethics. This guy is a class act all around. Call me nuts, but I think Younis is the only saviour for Pakistan test cricket at the moment, with his leadership qualities alone. We have all recently witnessed that talent is not an issue with Pakistani side but character, integrity and leadership is lacking from top to bottom. Let's give this guy a chance to stick around and he might not score as much but may be the newcomers will see what a true character is all about!

  • syed on November 30, 2010, 13:21 GMT

    if some one thank imran khan for bring world cup in pakistan should thank y khan as well..after imran there is only y khan who has da ability 2 stand for da players and for his and there rights....love u khan..

  • Abid iqbal on November 28, 2010, 6:40 GMT

    younus is a best player in pakistan current cricket team. and he is straight forward human being.thats why he is facing a bit tough responce from cricket officials.

  • Azhar on November 26, 2010, 18:25 GMT

    i agree younis is great player and deserves to be in Pak test and ODI team.

    i would like to appreciate the performance of Azhar Ali, he has the technique and temperament to play test cricket. i would urge PCB to look for some more young guys like him and try to have few players only for test cricket.

    the selectors should see the domestic matches and pick the players with good tehnique dont go for runs or wickets or averages i heard shoaib and Akmal brothers are scoring alot of runs in domestic cricket but every one knows how malik plays his pull shot?

    Dont care his runs in domestic identify the talented cricketers with temperament and sound technique and in bowlers case strike rates..

  • imran on November 20, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    hope so this time he will stick around for quite a while and serve his country. no doubt not only he is great cricketer but a great human being too.

  • sarwar on November 20, 2010, 18:54 GMT

    one of the greatest human being of cricketing history,his sense of dedication towards teams cause is what impresses us the most.if test cricket is alive today it is only because players of his stature are still there to culminate the traditional ways of approach towards the game.the way he has raised his game in the last 4-5 years is an exicuisite example of consistency and eloquence.though some comments comparing him with likes of inzmam,miandad and yousuf is acceptable i am surprised no one mentioned zaheer abbas,the pak run machine

  • Murtaza on January 7, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    He is surely one of the great patriotic man, active at slips, humerous in nets and of course stylish on crease..... deserves captaincy... has won pakistan a T20wc and has reached champions trophy semis as captain... not bad! Great player

  • shan on December 31, 2010, 20:39 GMT

    I personally believe he always been a best choice for pakistan captain. However, I think his honesty with nation got in the way. when few currupt united and took oath to got him out, Ironically BCP supported the currupt gang. Can you believe when Malik and Kamran akmal appraoched him to select Butt, and promised younis, if he Butt not perform we will perform. Like other we wont, clear threatening him.. You see the roots are too deep and strong. I say give younis captaincy again get all those have wrongdoers out of the team, we will inshallah perform better...

  • Anonymous on December 22, 2010, 11:58 GMT

    THE BEST WORLD CUP CAPTION CANDIDATE FOR OUR TEAM

    1 AND ONLY

    YOUNIS KHAN zinDAA BAAAd ;)

  • UMAR MALIK on December 7, 2010, 19:11 GMT

    IM 100% AGREED... THAT YOUNIS KHAN IS BEST CAPTAIN FOR PAKISTAN TEST CRICKET... PLZ PLZ GIVE HIM CHANCE. THAN WE WILL SEE HE WILL PERFORM ASWEL.

  • Sammy on December 1, 2010, 19:52 GMT

    One of the very few Pakistani players with unquestionable character and integrity, not to mention the work ethics. This guy is a class act all around. Call me nuts, but I think Younis is the only saviour for Pakistan test cricket at the moment, with his leadership qualities alone. We have all recently witnessed that talent is not an issue with Pakistani side but character, integrity and leadership is lacking from top to bottom. Let's give this guy a chance to stick around and he might not score as much but may be the newcomers will see what a true character is all about!

  • syed on November 30, 2010, 13:21 GMT

    if some one thank imran khan for bring world cup in pakistan should thank y khan as well..after imran there is only y khan who has da ability 2 stand for da players and for his and there rights....love u khan..

  • Abid iqbal on November 28, 2010, 6:40 GMT

    younus is a best player in pakistan current cricket team. and he is straight forward human being.thats why he is facing a bit tough responce from cricket officials.

  • Azhar on November 26, 2010, 18:25 GMT

    i agree younis is great player and deserves to be in Pak test and ODI team.

    i would like to appreciate the performance of Azhar Ali, he has the technique and temperament to play test cricket. i would urge PCB to look for some more young guys like him and try to have few players only for test cricket.

    the selectors should see the domestic matches and pick the players with good tehnique dont go for runs or wickets or averages i heard shoaib and Akmal brothers are scoring alot of runs in domestic cricket but every one knows how malik plays his pull shot?

    Dont care his runs in domestic identify the talented cricketers with temperament and sound technique and in bowlers case strike rates..

  • imran on November 20, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    hope so this time he will stick around for quite a while and serve his country. no doubt not only he is great cricketer but a great human being too.

  • sarwar on November 20, 2010, 18:54 GMT

    one of the greatest human being of cricketing history,his sense of dedication towards teams cause is what impresses us the most.if test cricket is alive today it is only because players of his stature are still there to culminate the traditional ways of approach towards the game.the way he has raised his game in the last 4-5 years is an exicuisite example of consistency and eloquence.though some comments comparing him with likes of inzmam,miandad and yousuf is acceptable i am surprised no one mentioned zaheer abbas,the pak run machine

  • fakhar on November 20, 2010, 16:20 GMT

    people here in pakistan tend to compare YK to Imran khan thts why i mentioned that both are different..Imran khan was a tuff guy with autocratic style..He believed and he made his team beleive tht they can win the cup..YK on the other hand do not have as much of leadership qualities as Imran had.. But i would still like to mention, "he is the best that is available for pakistan in this worst of time"..younis is a good test player but not equally a great one day player, as compared to the likes of Inzamam and yousuf, younis lacks bit aggression and striking power..although i rem YK played a great innings in an one day between pakistn and india at mohali in which younis scored a century and pakistan reached target above 300..

  • Dr. Talha Naeem on November 20, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    I do agree that younis is an excellent test player and in the current Pakistani team he is the best choice for leading the pakistani test team, But i am quite surprised how people say that younis is a good one day player. His averages against south africa and australia are pathetic in ODI. Plus most of his runs in ODI came in 2008, an year during which pakistan played 10 ODIs aganist Zimbabawe and bangladesh, and that too in Pakistan. You minus 2008 from his career, his recorrd will get even poorer. Still he averages only in the early 30s which in todays era when the standard of bowling has gone down so much, and conditions are so batting friendly. To me if Younis is a regular member of the Pakistan's ODI side, than it shows that pakistan is really not up there to compete with the bigger sides.

  • Vinod Pathiyal on November 20, 2010, 14:31 GMT

    Nice person. He deserves everything. I wish he plays for another 4 years without interruptions from 'politicians'.

  • Kaisar on November 20, 2010, 9:09 GMT

    Come on Saad, you disappointed after a doing a good analysis of Younis; comparing Younis's talent with that of Afridi... Afridi is like 'beauty' without a brain. Younis is in a different league. He is a strong person but still the circumstances engulfing him call for having some sessions with a psychologist so that his mindset could be strengthened and systematized. At the moment, it would be best not to suggest him to be the caption, let him concentrate on his batting. Let me say, however, the way we are, after a couple of failures we would be rushing to get him fired from the team forgetting that Younis is one of the best batsman produced by Pakistan.

  • muhammad saddiq on November 20, 2010, 8:37 GMT

    one thing i like about younus khan is that he is a team player and always play for the team secondly he has never done any such act which brought embarsment to pakistan he is the one of those personalities who make us proud to say that we are pakistanis

  • Chestnutgrey on November 20, 2010, 8:34 GMT

    Well. Ok. Why this attempt of attributing fearlessness whenever Younus' name is mentioned. He is a decent batsman. But at times he acts pricey and emotional. Not actually what would qualify for bravery. And what has been his record against Australia? It'd be some time before he can be compared to the likes of Miandad.

  • Nasir Sial on November 20, 2010, 8:33 GMT

    A great sportsman ever produced by Pakistan. . . If you talk about Imran Khan.. . He had not faced ever such a turbulent situation. .that's why he yielded better. . .but YK period is different. . . Pak cricket is under cloud since 1999. . . This bravo came in 2000. . .and formidable scenario YK proved his heroic. . . He is a man character. . . His t20 wc triumph is as comparable to 1992 victory. . . His 267 at Edin not on lesser part than Imran Khan's spell against India. .

  • Muhammad Ehsan on November 20, 2010, 8:32 GMT

    Younis is a good batsman especially against top quality spin, applies himself well that is why he is in Pakistani cricket team for the last 11 years.

  • fakhar on November 20, 2010, 6:41 GMT

    Younis is a different guy, a sound technique player, a player with cool head atleast on ground..the problem is he tends to compare himself with the greats in past like the other khan..imran khan, imran was a different character, had good skiils and perfect autocratic leader for pakistan..i read once that he wants the same power which imran enjoyed... one thing tht i like to point out it the attitude of pakistan players atleast senior ones with junior..in the last one day series with south africa, i noticed smith and kallis two senior players while injured bringing water etc for players on ground..compare this with pakistan cricket, seniors demand respect and they are the bhai's on ground..pak captain would never did the same as they did, maybe one of the reason for downfall in pakistan cricket

  • Zuhair Khan on November 20, 2010, 6:13 GMT

    Younis khan is a great player and he play for the country i like younis patriotic iszm. He has a great leadership qualities in any format of this game Cricket.

  • Anonymous on November 20, 2010, 6:00 GMT

    YK is the most honest, hardworking and brave cricketer in the history of Pakistan Cricket.

  • Longmemory on November 20, 2010, 5:53 GMT

    Is it possible that Younis Khan's frequent abdications from captaincy are related to his frustrations with match-fixing and disgust with players who are on the take but cannot be dropped? He seems such a fierce and yet sporting competitor that I find it hard to see why he would spurn the captaincy - unless its because of reasons like that. Pak cricket is in such a mess that honest and committed players like Younis perhaps find it easier to just focus on their job as a batsman or a bowler - and leave the captaincy to those either on good terms with a corrupt Board or match-fixers - or both.

  • Ikram M on November 20, 2010, 5:19 GMT

    Younis is certainly good but not better than M. Yousuf. Yousuf is way more consistent and technical than Younis Khan. The duo should be in the team consistently as it will make the middle order stronger than ever.

  • faisal on November 20, 2010, 5:03 GMT

    I love younus bhai cuz he all ways play for pakistan

  • Arslan Mehmood on November 20, 2010, 4:28 GMT

    He is a man of his words...Self respect means a lot to him..thats y he has given away cap on no. ov times...In our system to stay as cap u have to sacrifice ur self respect..he demanded power from PCB coz at the end ov the day cap is answerable..bt PCB never gives power so they trapped this PATHAN..I have no doubt in my life i have seen Imran as a gr8 cap then waseem as a wonderfull cap n afterwards only this man has got germs of a leader...I dont think much should b said abt his batting..undoubtedly he is rite upfront in elite class list of batsmen ever produced by Pakistan!!!

  • vikram on November 20, 2010, 3:54 GMT

    He is a class cricketer. There are not many in the world cricket who could perform as well as he does under pressure, other than laxman ofcourse. Latter is altogether from a different planet. They have both been treated by their repective boards very badly. If they were treated fairly they would be right up there with the likes of Sachin/Kallis/Ponting/and Pietersen.

  • SAIM on November 20, 2010, 3:53 GMT

    YA I AGREE YOUNIS KHAN IS A MAN OF DESTINY .... HE HAS DONE FOR PAKISTAN WHAT MOST CUD ONLY DREAM.THE PRESENCE OF HIM ON PITCH CAN BE NIGHTMARE FOR BOWLERS ASK KUMBLE AND HARBHAJAN WHO CUD ONLY BITE DUST BALL AFTER BALL AS HE HAS SCORED HEAVILY AGAINST DEM ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS.. HE IS BEST AGAINST THE BEST. HIS TRACK RECORD AGAINST INDIA AND AUSTRALIA IS TERRIFIC.

  • Pushpa raj Giree on November 20, 2010, 3:12 GMT

    If there is Really some one, who can lead the Pakistan where it must to reach he is undoubtedly Younis Khan.His pleasant personality, supporting to junior and communicative behavior,strong fighting potent are really worthless for Pakistani cricket.

  • shah hussain on November 20, 2010, 3:09 GMT

    Younis Khan proved his mettle once again by scoring a fighting century against a strong opposition. He has played some important innings for Pak and he is the match winner in true sense. Right now, he should focus on his batting and help the britlle pakistani batting to come as strong as possible. Furthermore, young cricketers with good cricketing brain have lot to learn from the veteran, who knows the nuances of the game better. Cricket administration of Pak should not burden younis with Captaincy in the near term.

  • Anonymous on November 20, 2010, 3:03 GMT

    like younis fr the way he plays the spin.... feels just a bit lazy aganst fast bowling..

  • Syed Ahmed on November 20, 2010, 1:18 GMT

    Younis won't take captaincy if its offered to him. I hope he plays for another 5 years and breaks miandads record and be the first pakistani to score 10,000 runs.

  • nadeem khan on November 19, 2010, 23:58 GMT

    Well said Parimal...

  • Anonymous on November 19, 2010, 23:42 GMT

    I love how people love to hate Afridi and give all the praise to Younis for the world cup win. Younis contributions were limited to say the least. It was our bowlers and Afridi's batting that won us the cup. Afridi was one of the leading run scorers and wicket takers for the entire tournament and was clearly the main reason why we won. So, keep that in mind all you Afridi haters.

    Secondly, you cant be serious that younis has played more match winning innings than Afridi. Afridi has as many man of the match awards in one days as Wasim Akram in less matches then him, and is way ahead of Younis. Afridi is one of our best bowlers, best fielders, and one of our most dangerous batsmen. People who have been saying that he should be dropped are plain old stupid.

  • PakFan on November 19, 2010, 23:05 GMT

    Younis Khan is one of the best Pakistani player to play in recent times. He is a complete man,a true sportsman. Always cheerful and smiling,the sort of guy who can lead Pakistan through all the misery.Afridi and Younis are incomparable. I remember a banner that said Razzaq=Afridi+Brain and that is true.You people like Afridi because of his flamboyant style and i love that too but he is no way as talented,hardworking and effective as Younis.Younis can hit those big sixes,play those classy shots and battle his way through in worst case scenarios.

  • Faisal Laljee on November 19, 2010, 22:48 GMT

    Yes Younis is a valuable batsman in the Pakistan lineup, but he is certainly not leadership material. As I recall, he first turned down leadership after Inzi left, then when he did accept, he turned it down again without playing a single game, and then when he accepted a third time, he captained in a couple of series before stepping down again. Leaders don't step down at the first sign of conflict. They power through it. He is not someone PCB should ever make captain again. Someone who wants the honor should be picked. Not someone who acts as if he is doing his country a favor.

  • Tariq on November 19, 2010, 22:41 GMT

    He Younis Khan is the man including Mohammad Yousuf, and Misbah. These three players should be in test squad at all times. Younis should be the choice of leading the team specially in the Pak Test cricket side.

    if Aamir Comes back then bowling side would be very strong and then there's lot's of hope that team will be very strong. They should get rid of Imran Farhat who is not performing even he gets lot's of chances. He only should play domestic cricket. Asad Shafiq should be in squad for all format of cricket for Pakistan. He will produce when he will gain more confidence. Umar Akmal should be dropped forever. He is playing like Shahid Afridi very emotional no play ethic specially in Test cricket. He only should be in T20 that's it. His brother Adnan Akmal too new to say something about it that he will produce or not. Zulqurnain Haider should be back in team. He is so good and play his natural game. He is good for Pakistan squal for all format. There is so much talent in Karachi. t

  • Canadian Poker Player on November 19, 2010, 22:13 GMT

    What unjust bestowed upon Younis Khan by the PCB Chairman after playing his heart out he gets dropped for the longest time for no valid reason, but now he is back with vengence ijaz butt keeps forgeting you can not tame a Lion.

  • Ali on November 19, 2010, 21:58 GMT

    Yunis is a real sportman - a very tough character. Holds strong nerves and with great sportman spirit. He's today's ''Imran Khan'' and is the only person who can lead the team out of this trying period.

  • sanambaywafa on November 19, 2010, 21:44 GMT

    Younis Plays way better than Sachin Tendulkar. all joke aside.

  • Desihungama on November 19, 2010, 21:18 GMT

    Younis has now shown the door to ther players on how to take head on the pathetic PCB board. His act will encourage other players to not succumb to uncalled pressure or jestures from the PCB.

    Misbah- You just had to save your place and captainship and therefore did not care to win the game.

  • Nadeem on November 19, 2010, 20:52 GMT

    I don't understand why people don't discuss the LOSS Pakistan suffered due to the egoistic behavior of Mr. Ijaz butt. If Younis was allowed to play in England, Pakistan would have definitely won that series. Bowlers always dismissed England within achievable ranges, but there was no batsmen of experience to tackle the english swing.

  • Shahab Ahmad on November 19, 2010, 20:49 GMT

    Dear Saad ! i know Younis Khan personally i can tell u Something about his greatness that he never give-up he never fold his hands he knows how to fight he knows how to achieve his Goal.. I can Simply say that CRICKET IS THANKFUL to Khan for for playing cricket.CRICKET NEEDs YOUNIS. As long cricket is alive Younis name will alive in high ranks.. LOVE U YOUNIS..

  • yellowspider usa on November 19, 2010, 20:22 GMT

    Y. khan is a great player with a balanced head.PCB needs to understand the PAK cricket from players prospective.Give him time to get his teams trust before making him a captain of the side, otherwise we 'll be seeing the same circus again.

  • Waspsting on November 19, 2010, 19:56 GMT

    @Haroon Alvi - Miandad, Yousuf and Younis are indeed the only three Pak players to average over 50. Inzamam's average is over 50 playing for Pakistan, but slips just under when the world 11 match he played in is taken.

  • vinothbabu on November 19, 2010, 19:47 GMT

    Being an Indian... the only pakistan player whom i respect and i myself loved the most was younis khan... simply superb.. great player to watch and i love his smile...

  • Parimal on November 19, 2010, 19:45 GMT

    Younis is like Dravid for Pakistan.A great role model who just keeps on doing his work without showing it off.Players like Dravid,Laxman,Sachin brought India out of matchfixing clouds on Indian cricket during initial part of this decade.Younis can serve same purpose for Pakistan if PCB shows trust in him.

  • Faisal on November 19, 2010, 19:41 GMT

    Let me remind or perhaps educate some of the anti Younis posters here...Younis Khan is your 2nd best batsman over the last 10 years 2nd to only Mohammad Yousuf in runs scored. Even Inzi has less runs then YK. If not 2nd he is the best 3rd batsman over the last ten years average wise too: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;spanmin1=1+jan+2000;spanval1=span;team=7;template=results;type=batting Moreover, another news flash for all those saying Afridi has more talent, YK was Pak's best batsman in the 2009 T20 WC. Look it up. YK's most of the hundreds came in the 2nd innings which are always tough to score because of pressure. His 1st test hundred in Debut was a 2nd Innings hundred against SL and his last hundred was also a match saving ton against a very good bowling attack. So stop it with all those rubbish comments.

  • Mudassar Rana on November 19, 2010, 19:18 GMT

    Younis Khan, cricket aside has that rare quality amongst human beings -to be able to stand for right.

  • anees razzak on November 19, 2010, 18:40 GMT

    the only bright thing that remains in the current team. what a shame hes not properly appreciated. only in pakistan this can happen.

  • Shah Fahad on November 19, 2010, 18:32 GMT

    Younis Khan The great personality i have ever seen in pak cricket team after inzimam... He is a cool minded,true person..thats why Ijaz butt hate him and he deserved the most to be the captain of team but as for as Ijaz butt remains the chief its not possible coz butt dont wanna pak cricket to be good and dont know about cricket there is favouritism in team... thanks for this Great column about Younis khan thanks

  • Srini on November 19, 2010, 18:30 GMT

    Younis is an above average player who is clearly on the last leg of his career. He was given chance to lead Pak team on more than one occasion only to give it up in unclear circumstances each time. He can only be a short term option to shore up brittle middle order. His best days are behind him. He definitely deserves an A+ for personal conduct even though is is clearly not a leadership quality.

  • dmqi on November 19, 2010, 18:05 GMT

    CORRECTION:

    "He does not have the talent of afridi to bite the ball in front of thousands in the stadium and hit 2 sixes and out next ball by another hit and miss, no matter what the team position is".

    Cheers.

  • Farax on November 19, 2010, 17:56 GMT

    Finally an article on one of the most uncelebrated heroes of Pakistan. Younis khan deserved much more then hes got but he still lives it with a smile on his face.

  • Mehmood on November 19, 2010, 17:56 GMT

    Younis is great player and also great person. He showed great strength of character, while setting outside the team squad, removed from captaincy, and still heard no criticism from him about the selection committee and also PCB chairman. Indeed he has a great moral strength and also sincerity for his team mates...Bravo younis Khan..

  • Naeem Younis Satti on November 19, 2010, 17:48 GMT

    Younis is not only great player but he also a great man and a great captain now days in Pakistan. PCB and some players are against him because he is very straight foward and honest to his job and country. I have great respect to him for Pakistani batting line.

  • Basil on November 19, 2010, 17:39 GMT

    The best player of PAKISTAN is HAFEEZ. He is sure to do something or the other in every match. MASHA ALLAH

  • Zahid Ashrafi on November 19, 2010, 17:38 GMT

    Please do not make him captain. He need to put all of his energy on batting. Captaincy actually is beneath him. Not all player need to be captains!!!!

  • asad khan on November 19, 2010, 17:19 GMT

    ... I found this too difficult to narrate what i feel about great younis khan ... ok let me try Once ...

    He may not be technically sound like M Yousuf , but he always gives his 100% at field and far more better and important than yousif (most technically correct but a lethargic player) ,He keeps great temperament (like he showed against Mornie during 2nd Inn) ... A true hard worker .... Younis is potential Saviour of Cricket in Pakistan ...

  • ravikant on November 19, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    I am an Indian, but am an ardent fan of Younis Khan. I saw him Eden and can't forget his determination. He took on PCB and made a comeback on his own terms. What a champion!

  • Ahsan khan on November 19, 2010, 17:13 GMT

    He belong to the list of best player that Pakistan ever produced, he deserve to be the captain but on the other hand if PCB give him a captaincy once again it might bring some dirty politics which will going to hurt Pakistan team in the world cup. Shahid afridi is the best possible choice till the world cup.

  • Nayar Naqvi on November 19, 2010, 16:49 GMT

    Younis is great player, good temperment. Donot understand why seven players were agaist him. PCB should respect him as a great batsmen, we donot have many more left in Pakistan team as great batsman.

  • junaid on November 19, 2010, 16:48 GMT

    Insightful piece Saad, its been long but finally a pakistani journalist details a piece, which has consistently been on foreign journalists and professionals' minds. i have spoken about Younis Khan to the likes of Bob Woolmer, Imran Khan, Greg Chappel, Geof Lawson, Sunny Gavaskar etc and they all singled out Younis Khan as the best role model of a Cricketer, not just a mere batsman. The ethics taught in English Public schools and Oxbridge are mirrored only in Younis Khan's approach to cricket. The work ethic the most imperative element in exploiting one's talent is only found in Younis's game, a trait which has always made younis a butt of pak team's dressing room jokes, where the likes of Saeed Anwer and Inzimam on record have claimed that they don't need to practise at their game as its only the lesser batsmen that need to work hard. How unfortunate Inzimam, Saeed Anwer, and even Yousuf are the role models for our youth, no wonder we are not producing any batsmen of stature...

  • Tanweer on November 19, 2010, 16:42 GMT

    you guys like to sensalise small performances dont you. Author and the people making comments seem to be watching too much on Indian TV.

  • Amman Nadeem on November 19, 2010, 16:41 GMT

    a fact that most people dont know is that kallis, Tendulkar, Ponting, all these great players at the same stage in terms of matches all of them scored either less runs then them, had a less average or had not scored as many hundred then younis khan. I think with kallis and ponting he scored more runs and had a higher average and scored more hundreds then them. Younis khan is without a doubt the most under rated player.

  • Bismillah Khan on November 19, 2010, 16:41 GMT

    I admire YK for his work ethic, determination, and commitment, and no doubt, he deserves to be in a test/ODI side, but he is not a captaincy material. How many times he has deserted the team and his team-mates, high and dry and at times when the team needed a leader? I'm still looking for a single reason to believe he is a leader, anyone of his fans, would you please cite one incident, a brilliant decision or a move that he made during his captaincy, to convince me?

  • Masood Ahmad on November 19, 2010, 16:39 GMT

    The best thing about this man is great attitude. He keeps a smily face that generates a lot of positive energy on the field and in dressing room.

    To be fair on Afridi, i think he can best perform if the burdon of captancy is taken away and Younas Khan is given that job. This will work as a win-win scnario for Pakistan, as it would relase the pressure of Afridi to play his natural game, and secondly probably the cool and calmn Younis better poised to deal with crowds and cricket in subcontinent.

    I wish the PCB could take one good decision to appoint him captain, and then be firm on it for a certain period. This will bring some calm in the ranks.

  • Haroon Alvi on November 19, 2010, 16:39 GMT

    I have always been the biggest fan of Younis Khan. The thing that sets him apart from many other great players is that he is a big match player, and fights when everyone else gives up. I have also heard a stat that I am not completely sure about: THAT JAVED MIANDAD, MOHAMMAD YOUSAF and YOUNIS KHAN are the only test players from Pakistan who have a batting average in excess of 50. With a world cup in his CV......he is definitely comparable with Imran Khan.

  • Tanweer on November 19, 2010, 16:37 GMT

    You are guys are nuts, he does not have the character to be a captain and he was successful in this test where ball was doing anything. Had he played in Australia and England then you all will be cursing him. Yes he deserves his place, but Captain, now you are having a laugh!

  • Anonymous on November 19, 2010, 16:33 GMT

    younis khan is the best player in the world!!!!

  • Redders on November 19, 2010, 16:30 GMT

    "He aint got the talent of Afridi."

    I beg your pardon?

  • Azhar on November 19, 2010, 16:28 GMT

    i believe that Younis Khan is the guy who deserves to be lead pakistan in tests as well as ODI's. The worst thing that PCB did is deprived younis from captaincy and hand over the captaincy to those who were responsible for fixing and made group in the team and took oath not to play well under younis. PCB should have had thrown that bloody ugly group out of the team but it needs courage i wish PCB to have that courage.....

    God Bless Pakistan

  • AP on November 19, 2010, 16:25 GMT

    I love the way Younis Khan smiles through good times and bad; how friendly he is with the opposition and sporting when the opposition does well. A great ambassador of the game. No wonder he is at odds with the moribund clueless PCB

  • tariq saeed on November 19, 2010, 16:22 GMT

    yunus khan played an innings of a lifetime to save the test at dubai. the truth is it was as good as a win if not better! we wish you all the best, yunus khan.

  • nafzz on November 19, 2010, 16:20 GMT

    Younis is dumb ...... even i can play better than him

  • Danish Tahir on November 19, 2010, 16:17 GMT

    He may not be classy as Yousuf or Strong as Inzi, but still he is the most deserving batsman in our history.

  • ali on November 19, 2010, 16:12 GMT

    I want to wait for everyone hailing Younis as the savior for Pakistan cricket until he starts getting out at cruital times. The entire cricket faternity especially in pakistan is fickle. Stick with the guy in troubled times and then I would believe you "Saad:. Thanks

  • ausaff on November 19, 2010, 16:11 GMT

    He is the most underrated cricketer... he performs in pressure and has an never say die attitude. and add to this his enthusiasm to play the game and ever smiling face.. this make him a role model for pakistan..and u cant hold him responsible for at-least 2 out of 3 losses in which their batting collapsed in sri lanka from a winning position.. shameless ajaz butt should resign for betterment of pak cricket

  • bikram gill india on November 19, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    younis playing extremely well in underpressure against south africa so i hope he will be playing for pakistan eleven in world cup 2011 coz pakistan really need younis,yousuf,akhtar,nazeer,he was done very well for pakistan

  • Tas Hussain on November 19, 2010, 15:53 GMT

    Not as talented as Afridi? My brother any person can stand there close their eyes and try to smash that ball. Younis Khan has ability, more than what people give him credit for. Afridi is nothing more than a glorified slogger with no cricketing brain. What makes me laugh is they drop Umar Akmal for playing 'reckless' shots, and yet the captain the man who is supposed to be the leader plays shots just the same and yet he doesent get dropped...??

    How many mactch winning or saving knocks has Afridi played compared to Younis?

  • Shamaz Majid on November 19, 2010, 15:45 GMT

    Please, let's not get carried away.

    I wish him and the team well, but he has had just as many failures as all of the others in the team, and has massively underperformed for years on end.

    I always find it both amusing and frustrating how short some people's memories are.

    As for Captain...come on! Throw that broken record away...for ever.

  • Mohammad Asad on November 19, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    Mohammad Asad from USA..........................................

    Yes Saad !!!!!!!! 'Younis may be on the wrong side of the PCB, but he is not on the wrong side of history'. I guess, for the time being, Pak should not think to give him captaincy right away; to avoid internal politics. He should be given some time to adjust himself in the squad and play as a batsman...... PCB should also watch the current test captain's performance & keep an eye on his way of handling the situation .....

  • raja on November 19, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    he understands the opposition bowling strengths and weekness very well.

  • Habib on November 19, 2010, 9:48 GMT

    Younis Khan is a great player of both ODO's and test cricket. He is the only condidate deserving to be a captain. A great hero of Pakistan cricket in both ODI's & test. PCB should give him captancy. None other is able to handle this job.

    He is cool mind and a brave man. We all love you Younis Khan. Keep it up.

  • Numan on November 19, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    I admire Younis Khan more than anyone else in the current Pakistan team. A simple and sincere man. He aint got the talent of Afridi. But as still as a player...he's miles ahead of anyone else. If theres someone who truly deserves the captaincy....its Younis.

  • Amir on November 19, 2010, 9:03 GMT

    Younis is best possible choice to lead pakistan in tests and imran khan was right in saying younis is right up there with inzi and yosuf.Infact his record is better than both of them vs aus and plays well under pressure

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  • Amir on November 19, 2010, 9:03 GMT

    Younis is best possible choice to lead pakistan in tests and imran khan was right in saying younis is right up there with inzi and yosuf.Infact his record is better than both of them vs aus and plays well under pressure

  • Numan on November 19, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    I admire Younis Khan more than anyone else in the current Pakistan team. A simple and sincere man. He aint got the talent of Afridi. But as still as a player...he's miles ahead of anyone else. If theres someone who truly deserves the captaincy....its Younis.

  • Habib on November 19, 2010, 9:48 GMT

    Younis Khan is a great player of both ODO's and test cricket. He is the only condidate deserving to be a captain. A great hero of Pakistan cricket in both ODI's & test. PCB should give him captancy. None other is able to handle this job.

    He is cool mind and a brave man. We all love you Younis Khan. Keep it up.

  • raja on November 19, 2010, 10:08 GMT

    he understands the opposition bowling strengths and weekness very well.

  • Mohammad Asad on November 19, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    Mohammad Asad from USA..........................................

    Yes Saad !!!!!!!! 'Younis may be on the wrong side of the PCB, but he is not on the wrong side of history'. I guess, for the time being, Pak should not think to give him captaincy right away; to avoid internal politics. He should be given some time to adjust himself in the squad and play as a batsman...... PCB should also watch the current test captain's performance & keep an eye on his way of handling the situation .....

  • Shamaz Majid on November 19, 2010, 15:45 GMT

    Please, let's not get carried away.

    I wish him and the team well, but he has had just as many failures as all of the others in the team, and has massively underperformed for years on end.

    I always find it both amusing and frustrating how short some people's memories are.

    As for Captain...come on! Throw that broken record away...for ever.

  • Tas Hussain on November 19, 2010, 15:53 GMT

    Not as talented as Afridi? My brother any person can stand there close their eyes and try to smash that ball. Younis Khan has ability, more than what people give him credit for. Afridi is nothing more than a glorified slogger with no cricketing brain. What makes me laugh is they drop Umar Akmal for playing 'reckless' shots, and yet the captain the man who is supposed to be the leader plays shots just the same and yet he doesent get dropped...??

    How many mactch winning or saving knocks has Afridi played compared to Younis?

  • bikram gill india on November 19, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    younis playing extremely well in underpressure against south africa so i hope he will be playing for pakistan eleven in world cup 2011 coz pakistan really need younis,yousuf,akhtar,nazeer,he was done very well for pakistan

  • ausaff on November 19, 2010, 16:11 GMT

    He is the most underrated cricketer... he performs in pressure and has an never say die attitude. and add to this his enthusiasm to play the game and ever smiling face.. this make him a role model for pakistan..and u cant hold him responsible for at-least 2 out of 3 losses in which their batting collapsed in sri lanka from a winning position.. shameless ajaz butt should resign for betterment of pak cricket

  • ali on November 19, 2010, 16:12 GMT

    I want to wait for everyone hailing Younis as the savior for Pakistan cricket until he starts getting out at cruital times. The entire cricket faternity especially in pakistan is fickle. Stick with the guy in troubled times and then I would believe you "Saad:. Thanks