I`m happy to be back and eager to play for Pakistan: Younis

Last Updated: Thursday, October 21, 2010 - 20:12

Lahore: A day after earning his place back in the Pakistan team, former skipper Younis Khan said he is happy that the ordeal is finally over and he is back to playing for his country.

Younis, one of the seven players who were banned by PCB after their forgettable tour of Australia, had to deal with some torrid times after the board decided not to select him even though they had lifted the ban.

Yesterday, the 32-year-old resolved his difference with the Pakistan Cricket Board and was soon given a place in the national team which will take on South Africa next week in a ODI series.

"I am happy to be back and eager to play for my country. I am available to play in all three forms of the game and it`s up to the management to play me whenever they want," Younis told reporters.

Younis had led Pakistan to a memorable World Cup Twenty20 triumph last year in England and soon decided to quit but his career suffered badly ever since.

With the team performing poorly during their tour of Australia, Younis along with six others were banned or fined on disciplinary charges.

Mohammad Yousuf, whom Younis is replacing in the squad, retired in protest but the rest appealed against the bans and fines. Soon a one-man tribunal of retired judge Irfan Qadir overturned the bans and halved the fines.

But Younis was still not selected as the PCB entered into an ego tussle with the cricketer and wanted an undertaking from him promising that he won`t repeat the offence in future.

"There was some misunderstanding and I am happy that it is over now, which has helped me focus on my cricket," said Younis, who played 202 ODIs and 22 Twenty20 internationals for Pakistan.

"I have joined the training camp and am fit to play as soon as I am given the chance. I am eager to do my best for the team," he added.

Pakistan cricket is currently going through a very turbulent phase after three players -- Test skipper Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir -- were provisionally suspended by the ICC for alleged spot-fixing at Lord`s Test against England.

However, Younis said he is content to play for his country and has no desire to run for the captaincy any more.

"To play for my country is my only desire. I am not in the race for captaincy," said Younis, who has so far played 63 Tests, scoring 5260 runs.

After developing differences with his teammates, Younis had resigned from captaincy before pulling out of a tour of New Zealand in December. He was not selected for Tests against Australia but was drafted in the team for the five ODIs.

It has been around nine months that Younis had played international cricket but the experienced cricketer knows it would take just one good innings to get back his old touch.

"I have not played cricket for nine or 10 months, but it`s just a matter of one good innings and then I will be back in the rhythm," said Younis, who last played for Pakistan in a one-day at Perth in January.

Pakistan will play two T20s, five ODIs and two Tests against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, October 21, 2010 - 00:00
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