Kolkata: Long serving Pakistani Test batsman Younis Khan added another feather to his illustrious cap after he became the first Pakistani batsman to reach to the 10,000-run mark during the third day of the first test match between West Indies and Pakistan at the Sabina Park in Kingston on Monday.
Younis also becomes the 13th overall player in the history of Test cricket to have achieved this feat and now joins a list of elite cricketers led by the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, which also features Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis, Rahul Dravid, Sunil Gavaskar and Allan Border to name a few.
Younis, 39, who is also Pakistan’s best batsman in the five day format begun his 116th test match with a tally of 9,977 runs and got to the five figures after he swept West Indies off-spinner Roston Chase for a boundary after tea. This makes him only the sixth batsman from Asia after Tendulkar, Gavaskar, Dravid, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara to have achieved this unique record.
An emotional Younis, in an interview with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that he was finding it difficult to express his feelings after having become the first cricketer from Pakistan to have scored over 10,000 runs in Test cricket. “I am extremely happy, and I cannot explain my feelings,” said Younis.
He further dedicated this achievement to the people of Pakistan saying, “There have been many great players in Pakistan cricket, but no one managed to achieve this milestone. So I am just really pleased to finally achieve this landmark. This is not just my achievement, but this record belongs to the whole of Pakistan.”
The man, who also has the most number of centuries in Test cricket from his country went on to say that this achievement of his was very important for Pakistan Test cricket. “We had legends in the past like Javed Miandad, Mohammad Yousuf, Inzamamul Haq, but no one managed to go on and achieve this milestone. Now finally I’ve reached there, and it is a great achievement for Pakistan cricket, as they’ve produced a player who managed to score 10,000 Test runs.”
Younis Khan, undoubtedly is the finest Test batsman to have come from his country and his 17- year old career has been, just like many other cricketers, full of ups and downs. But he had the grit and determination to fight back from all odds and now believes that there wouldn’t be a problem after his retirement as someone esle would successfully fill up the void.
“I don’t think after retirement there should any problem in the team. That’s a part of life. When I came in I saw many legends retiring in 2003 and a lot of youngsters came with Bob Woolmer and we managed to come on top. So it won’t be any problem. Someone else will come and stand like me and perform” he said.
The veteran war horse however doesn’t want to cut off his ties with cricket after he hangs up his boots, but instead wants to coach young teams to help Pakistan produce quality cricketers in the future.
Said Younis, “I have done my Level-2 coaching course with an intent to do it further, take it to level 3 and level 4. I want to associate myself with younger teams like Under-15s, Under-19s because that is the spot where coaching should be done and mentoring at that level is a difficult test. So if in the future I manage to work with the PCB, I would want to start from there and help produce players.”
After playing another solid innings of 58, he fell to Shannon Gabriel and his walk to the pavilion was applauded by his teammates. A classy, right hander and a dependable cricketer throughout his career- Younis Khan’s contribution to Pakistan and world cricket has been immense. This indeed would be a day of celebrations in Pakistan cricket and we could all admire and applaud him for the various memories he has given to us. Well played Younis!
(With inputs from agencies)