“The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.”
Becoming Pakistan’s most prolific Test run-scorer is an accomplishment sought by many but garnered by few. Despite all the trials and tribulations with the PCB, on the field, Younis Khan has shown himself to be unabatingly relentless in his pursuit of runs. With a Test average of 53.92 and having scored 8897 runs in only 102 matches (excluding the ongoing Dubai Test), Younis Khan is fast on his way to becoming an immortal part of Pakistani cricketing folklore.
Speaking to the press on the eve of the 2nd Test against England in Dubai, he must have anticipated the media’s interrogation of why there had been no celebration of sorts. Knowing there had been a few gap days between the 1st and 2nd Tests, he did not bother to use the usual excuse of being busy with the tour. This time, though, he did try to avoid the storm in the teacup. ‘The board will answer that, celebration or no celebration, scoring runs for Pakistan is most important.’
When queried by ARY News, the PCB informed us that they will honour Younis Khan once the team is back on home soil. Perhaps realizing that UAE journalists and fans who have supported the team over the last few years would also like to share in his joy, it has since been let known that an event will be held in Dubai at month end.
With ARY News having asked comeback king Shoaib Malik if he were still interested in Test captaincy, it was only befitting that we ask Younis Khan the same thing. His diplomatic answer revealed more than it hid. “Whenever my country needs me I am available, whether that is for captaincy or any other role.”
Is this, then, one of the remaining goals he had discussed in an earlier interview? For a player whom, to the outside world, has acquired respect in the game’s biggest format, a yearning longing for captaincy shows a sense of dissatisfaction, something unfinished.
Often described as a rearguard specialist, it remains to be seen in what fashion he will finish his final innings for Pakistan. Discounting his penchant for run-ins with the board and given his intensity, fitness and absolute focus on his game, if Pakistan plays enough Tests in the next two calendar years, it is probable that he will achieve most of his remaining targets.