Veteran batsman says its saddens him immensely to see absence of cricket in Pakistan
Pakistan veteran Younus Khan said he, along with all Pakistani cricketers, have a responsibility to sacrifice everything for the country which is isolated at the moment.
Younus, while commenting on Pakistan’s inability to host cricket at home, said that it is difficult to motivate the youngsters in the current situation.
“I am just a normal human being and I do get affected by the same things as others. But the one thing that saddens me immensely is the absence of cricket in Pakistan,” said Younus, who is now the highest run-scorer for Pakistan in Tests.
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“How are we supposed to promote and motivate youngsters given the situation we have? I hope things become normal in Pakistan so that the kids can play all sports.
“There is no cricket in Pakistan, and we are struggling. But the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is making all effort to keep the sport alive. We come to play our home series in the UAE, and we play in such heat. We are away from our friends and families for a long time. We are away from the home fans.
“But we cannot think of those things. We have a responsibility towards Pakistan cricket, and we should be ready to make any sacrifice we can as players.”
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The 37-year-old said that cricket has the power to bring people closer despite differences in nationality.
“I am forever trying to make new friends on the cricket field. I have always been taught that cricket is a gentlemen’s game and it should be played like a gentleman,” said Younus, while talking to Sports360.
“One of the most amazing things about cricket is that when we go to India, or when they come to Pakistan, we have our flag flying in their country and we have their national anthem being played in our country. This thing cannot happen in normal course. I guess it is the same with England and Australia, or any other country. That is the power of sports.
“We are all ambassadors of our countries, and I keep telling the youngsters that they have this great opportunity…they should enjoy it, keep praising other players and keep making more friends by being nice to everybody.”
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Younus further said that he came from a rural background and all he ever wished for was to play alongside the legends of Pakistan cricket.
“I was just a typical small-town Pakistan boy, who used to derive great pleasure watching players like Imran Khan and Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram playing cricket,” he said.
“If there was something I wanted to do growing up, it was to somehow get a chance to play cricket with these heroes of mine, spend time with them and most importantly, learn something from them.
The veteran also said that he never lives in the past and always tries to focus himself of what he can do further to add more feathers in his country’s cap.
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Like any other youngster, I just wanted to do something for my country. And that ambition still remains. I don’t want to think about what I have done, I only think about what I can still do. That’s my philosophy of life.
“I have more than 9,000 runs, I have got performances against India in India, against Australia in Australia and against England in England. I have got 30 centuries, and a World T20 trophy, but I don’t want to think about all that. I want to think about tomorrow and what more I can do for my country.
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“It is an extremely amazing feeling for me that I am being counted among the elite of Pakistan cricket. If Allah is kind and helps me get 10,000 runs that would be something. I am going to try hard for that, I am working on my fitness and on my focus.
“These last two-three years, I get a lot of attention wherever I go…in the airports, in the shopping malls, in other countries… I have got a lot of fame and respect from the fans and others. I have tried to live with it. I have tried hard not to let these things change me. I don’t ever want to get a thought in my head that I have become bigger than the game.”