Karachi: Australian captain Michael Clarke and Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara may have bid adieu to international cricket but Pakistan veteran Younis Khan has no such plans as he dreams of becoming the first Pakistani to score 10,000 Test runs.
Younis Khan. Pic/AFP
Younis is 1186 runs short of the 10,000-mark in Tests. "It has always been my desire to do something special for Pakistan cricket and scoring 10,000 runs in Test cricket is my dream now," Younis, who will turn 38 in November, said. Clarke announced his retirement after the Ashes series at the age of 34, having scored 8643 runs in 115 Tests at an average of 49.10, while Sangakkara, who turns 38 in October, retired recently after scoring 12,400 runs in 134 Tests at a remarkable average of 57.40.
Younis, who has so far accumulated 8814 runs in 101 Tests at an average of 54.07 with 30 hundreds and 29 fifties, said no Pakistani player has so far managed to reach the magical 10,000-run mark in Tests and he wanted to achieve it. "It would be a remarkable achievement to score 10,000 Tests runs for Pakistan and I am confident I can manage it if I retain my hunger and passion for playing cricket," Younis said in an interview.
Ruling out any immediate plans of retirement, Younis said he is focusing on preparing for the home series against England and India this year in the UAE, and then the tour to England next year. "I want to enhance my runs tally against quality bowlers. I am looking forward to the tour to England as we haven't played a Test there since 2010," he said.
Younis said setting targets have always helped him perform better. "I like challenges. I know people talk about top players retiring recently but I look at my career and game differently. I know what I can still do and it should be my decision when I must go," he said. "I have faced ups and downs in my career but always come back because of the discipline and self-belief installed in me by my parents and family.
I have learnt to cope with different situations and personal tragedies and continue to focus on cricket," he said. Younis said he was happy to be part of the national team at a time when new players were coming in and the transition period was going on. "I hope I can inspire and pass on positivity to these new and young players. I remember we won the World T20 Championship in 2009 under my captaincy even though we had a young team without any big names. We managed to do it because of unity and hard work," said Younis.