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May 27, 2014
Younis Khan, the Pakistan batsman, hopes to revive his ODI career ahead of the 2015 World Cup and aims to retire on his own terms rather than be dropped for good by the selectors. Younis last played an ODI in March 2013, and a Twenty20 international in December 2010, but he remains a regular in the Test team.
"Whatever format I played I always tried to give my best," Younis said during the ongoing training camp in Lahore. "But I don't have a long-term goal that I want to play the 2015 or 2019 World Cup, my desire is to play as much cricket and keep up my role-model performance. A player like me, who has played 14-15 years of top cricket and played all forms of cricket, his career shouldn't be ended like being classified as only a Test player.
"My desire is to walk away on my own conditions, playing in every form of game I am available to play, rather than being dropped. I obviously want commit myself to playing ODIs and whenever I get a chance I surely would like to grab the opportunity to play the World Cup."
Younis' ODI form took a downturn during the 2012 tour of Sri Lanka, where he was left out of the fifth match of a series that Pakistan lost 1-3. Younis had made only 10 runs in three innings in that series, but managed to find a place on the tour of India and the ODIs in South Africa. However, after making only 190 runs in eight innings at an average of 23.75 and strike rate of 67.37, Younis was left out of the Champions Trophy squad and not found a way back since.
Younis is among the fittest Pakistan players, according to Mohammad Akram, who is running the Lahore camp. Younis was optimistic about his ODI future and hoped to use the rigourous training camp to get the selectors' attention. He felt he had another two years at top level.
"I might play for the next 10 years, but it's all about time and hunger for the game," Younis said. "I am almost in the fourteenth year of my career and it's very difficult to maintain your top performance playing at top level. After all, we are human and we can't maintain the much needed consistency, and sometime you lose interest.
"Such camps actually are very important to know yourself inside out - understand where you stand, what is the fitness level and how much we need to improve. It is good to get a window in international cricket. We unfortunately have lost the home advantage and mostly are on tours, hence no time for such extensive camps. So I took the opportunity to get myself tuned."
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalsonFeeds: Umar Farooq
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