“Who says this is my last World Cup” asks Younis

Published January 15, 2015
Younis Khan, right, throws the ball during a fielding drill at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan. — AP
Younis Khan, right, throws the ball during a fielding drill at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Pakistan. — AP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's experienced middle-order batsman Younis Khan has no plans to quit limited-overs cricket after the World Cup and said Thursday that as long as he stays fit he will continue to be available to play both one-day internationals and test matches.

The 37-year-old Khan is one of Pakistan's fittest players and forced his way back into the World Cup squad after his scintillating batting form in the test series against Australia and New Zealand late last year. He made three centuries in four innings against Australia and another against New Zealand to make the selectors rethink his exclusion from the limited-overs team.

“How come you know that it's my last World Cup?” asked Khan when queried about whether this will be his last major ODI tournament.

“Whenever I feel my body is not allowing me to play, only then I will retire.”

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq and flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi have already announced plans to retire from ODIs after the tournament in Australia and New Zealand ends in March.

“It's an honor for me to share the dressing room with such good players,” Khan said on the retirement of his teammates.

“The way they both have served the nation, it's amazing. We should appreciate and respect their decision.”

Khan has scored 7,177 runs in 259 ODIs with seven centuries and 48 half centuries at an average of 31.75.

However, his ODI batting stats aren't encouraging in either Australia or New Zealand where he has scored only 262 runs in 15 ODIs.

“I had not scored a Test century against Australia before the series against them in the United Arab Emirates, but I scored two centuries and also a double century,” he said.

“I hope I will carry the same form in the World Cup.”

Khan said he wanted to bat at No. 3 at the World Cup and wanted to emulate the performance of former captain Imran Khan, who also pushed himself up the order during Pakistan's successful campaign in the 1992 World Cup.

“My whole batting changed when I started batting at No. 3 position in 2004. I will be very happy if I could replicate Imran's batting in this World Cup.”

Pakistan is scheduled to play a short two-match one-day series against New Zealand before it takes on India in the opening match of the World Cup on Feb. 15 at Adelaide. Pakistan has never beaten India in the World Cup.



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