When you think he is down and out, Younis Khan manages to produce a decisive knockout of nowhere by stamping his authority on the game. A bona fide legend for Pakistan cricket, the 38-year old has bailed his team out on numerous occasions to take them to the top spot in Tests while the more flamboyant players grabbed the limelight.
During a chat with ICC Cricket 360, the veteran opened up on his truly remarkable career and expressed intent to bow out on a high.
Younis began, “I am that kind of Pakistani cricketer who always to tries to move on from one performance to the next. My aim is to always play cricket with full fitness and hopefully, I will score more centuries and more runs in the future and nothing can give me more satisfaction than that.”
Making his Test debut against Sri Lanka at Rawalpindi during 2000, the gritty right-hander instantly created an impact with a magnificent century against a bowling attack featuring the iconic Muttiah Muralitharan. He grew from strength to strength by digging deep into his unflinching determination and managed to carve out a reputation as a master of crisis-filled situations.
Like most exceptional cricketers, the dream stemmed by following his loved ones. “In my family, all my older brothers used to play cricket and everyone loved sports a lot. Whatever they used to play, I just used to follow and in the end, I became a cricket player,” reminisced Younis.
For any young Pakistani growing up in the early 90s, the enduring image of Imran Khan lifting the 1992 World Cup on a balmy night at Melbourne served stuck with them throughout the ages. 17 years later, Younis himself got his hands on an ICC trophy, this time the World T20 which remains the high point in his limited-overs exploits.”
He enthused, “First, when Pakistan won the World Cup in 1992, I had a dream that I would also be part of such a historic achievement. And the Almighty ensured that I led the team to victory in the ICC World T20 in 2009.”
By holding the record for most Test runs as well as centuries for Pakistan, Younis has already cemented a unique place for himself in his country's cricket history. Things could be even better once the remaining 544 runs are secured and 10,000-mark finally breached. But, the only way in which he wants to be remembered is that of being a team-player.
The seasoned campaigner quipped, “I don’t have any regrets in my career but I just want to leave the game with my head held high and want people to remember that used to play for the Pakistan team and my team-mates.”