By Muhammad Asif Khan
KARACHI: Younus Khan’s poor run of form has not only cost him a place in the Pakistan squad for the upcoming Champions Trophy but also put his ODI career in jeopardy. Some former cricketers have advised him to hang his boots however the chief selector, Iqbal Qasim feels that this important call had to be made by the veteran batsman himself. “Putting an end to somebody’s career is not the mandate of the selection committee. Whoever performs is considered for selection and Younus Khan is no exception”, said Iqbal Qasim while talking to this correspondent for News One TV.
“In view of the current form, Younus was not picked, but it doesn’t mean that he was sidelined forever”, added the chief selector.
The Pakistan Cricket Board’s selection committee on Sunday announced the preliminary 30-men squad for the Champions Trophy scheduled in England later this year, where Pakistan will face the West Indies in their opening match on June 7.
Younus, 35, only managed 116 runs in the recently concluded series against South Africa, while this year, he scored 132 in seven ODI innings.
Since his debut in 2000, Younus Khan has played 253 ODIs as yet with 7014 runs to his credit. In Test Cricket he is amongst Pakistan’s top batsmen of all times with 6749 runs in 82 matches.
The former skipper gave up the Twenty20 format following Pakistan’s World Twenty20 triumph under his captaincy in 2009.
While terming the initial squad a balanced one, the chief selector said that the upcoming domestic One-day tournament would help them in choosing the final squad for the Champions trophy. “The domestic One-day tournament is a great opportunity for the players included in the initial list. It will make our [selection committee] job a little easier as well”, concludes Iqbal Qasim
The departmental One-Day tournament is scheduled to begin later this week, in which stars like Younus Khan and Shahid Afridi etc will represent their respective departments.
The writer is a sports journalist in Pakistan, heads the sports department at News One TV & tweets @mak_asif