Mohammad Yousuf ready to lead Pakistan if required

Mohammad Yousuf also made it clear that he had no issues playing under any other captain AFP

Karachi: Apr 25, 2012

Insisting that he had never ruled out captaining the national cricket team again, senior Pakistan batsman Younis Khan said if any such offer was made to him by the administrators, he would surely give it a thought.

“If any offer is made to me to captain the national team again, I will definitely think about it and discuss it with the people I trust,” said Younis.

“Leading the national team has been an honour and if the board has any offer I will consider it,” he added.

Younis though clarified that he didn’t want to give an impression that he was after the Pakistan captaincy.

The 37-year-old cricketer also made it clear that he had no issues playing under any other captain as he continued to enjoy his game.

Younis, who led Pakistan to the 2009 World Twenty20 title as well as the Champions Trophy semifinal later that year, resigned from the captaincy after the home series against New Zealand in the UAE the same year, claiming he was not getting support from his team members.

Since then, he has declined offers to lead the side, telling the authorities that he wanted to focus on his batting.

Sources close to Younis said that despite him saying publicly that he may consider leading the team again, he is not interested in the captaincy anymore.

“He is a sensitive soul and after what happened in 2009 and the way some players went against him, he has definitely ruled out taking on the responsibility of leading the team again,” a source told PTI.

Younis, meanwhile, made it clear that he had no intention of retiring from the game soon.

“I am 37 and very fit. I enjoy playing cricket and doing well for my team. I look at playing at least 100 Tests before I can call it a day from Test cricket,” he said.

Younis, who has played 76 Tests, said being a professional player he realised that at the end of the day everything depended on one’s form and fitness.

“No player can survive at the top level without the required level of fitness and performances. But yes I plan to touch the 100 Test mark before I think of retiring.”

The senior batsman said he, like other Pakistanis, is disappointed at the postponement of the Bangladesh’s tour to Lahore as was earlier planned.

“It is very disappointing what happened but I think we as a nation also need to work against those people who are bringing a bad name to Pakistan and spoiling its image. We need to clear some perceptions about the security in Pakistan,” said Younis.

He also said that until international cricket returns to Pakistan, the media must focus on highlighting and building up the hype around country’s domestic cricket. (PTI)