Younus Khan regrets leaving captaincy in 2009

KARACHI: Veteran Pakistani batsman Younus Khan believes that his decision to quit as captain in 2009 was a mistake.


“When I was made captain in 2009 I had told then-Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt that if I didn’t deliver I would resign from the captaincy myself,” said Younus.

“I decided to resign as captain when we were in Abu Dhabi playing against New Zealand in late 2009 because I felt I couldn’t deliver as I couldn’t unite the team.”

The resignation was a direct result of the coup launched by a few players against the captaincy of Younus.

But the batting great made it clear that in his opinion, Ijaz Butt was one of the strongest heads of the board he had seen.

“Ijaz was ready to take hard decisions even with players. He supported me a lot as captain and he was the one who made me the captain and we went onto win the World T20 Cup in England in 2009,” recalled Younus.

The batsman said like everyone else, he too had made some mistakes in his career.

“No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. I also made mistakes and one of them was to leave the captaincy. But now I realise it is a big honour to lead your country and if I get a chance to lead the team again I will do it,” said Younus.

Talking about the youngsters, the former captain said Yasir Shah was an excellent find and that in his opinion, Yasir would emerge to be a really good cricketer for the country.

Further, he termed Khalid Latif and Shahzeb Hassan as best players of T20.

When questioned about his decision to quit the format of T20, despite leading the team to a World Cup victory in England, Younus said he felt that that form of the game was for the younger lot.

“I still believe this cricket is for youngsters and you can see that in other cricket nations as well.”

However, Younus added that even though he had retired from Twenty20, if he was required to perform in the Pakistan Premier League T20, which is to take place in February 2016, he will make himself available.

“Different leagues have offered me to play for them but my priority has always remained Pakistan,” Younus said.

Younus, who has an impressive test record, said it was his wish to complete 10,000 runs in Tests. He added that he wanted there to be five to six more players from Pakistan to achieve the same milestone.

He said that it was very unfortunate that a big name of Pakistan cricket Muhammad Yousuf was unable to score 10,000 runs.

Younus reminiscenced about the late Bob Woolmer and lauded the services of the late coach naming him as the best of coaches.

“Woolmer was a qualified and able coach who worked really hard with the boys,” recalled Younus.

Taking about his cricket career, Younus said he did not see retirement in his foreseeable future.

He does lay great importance on respect and believes that regardless of whether one is a junior or senior member of the team, both should be treated with respect.

“I have never disrespected anyone in my life. I have always thought about Pakistan first and then myself. No captain or coach can say Younus didn’t support them or backed out of a given challenge.

But I believe that every player whether he has played 100 tests or one test deserves to be treated with respect.”