People call you madman for speaking truth: Younis Khan on quitting his captaincy in 2009

Legendary Pakistan cricketer Younis Khan has opened up on the reason why he had to quit as the captain of the national team in 2009. The 42-year-old told that his fault was that he spoke truth and pointed out at a group of players as they were not “pushing themselves hard”.

Younis Khan went on to add that he never regretted for the truth he spoke as it was a lesson from his father to be always truthful and humble. Younis, who played for Pakistan till 2017, said that ‘the group of players’ were regretful later.

“You often face a situation in life where if you speak the truth, you are considered as a madman. My fault was pointing out to a group of players that they were not pushing themselves hard enough for the country,” Younis Khan told Gulf News.

“The players were, however, regretful later and we played for teammates long enough after that. I know I had nothing wrong for it’s a lesson that I had learnt from my father to always speak the truth and always remain humble,” Younis added.

Younis Khan in 2009 had admitted that he had lost command over the team. It is believed that 8 to 9 players from the team were behind the conspiracy to dethrone the legendary batsman.

“I told him I feel as If I have no command over this team. And if a leadership has no command over its players, what is the point of continuing to lead? I also told him that the last 3-4 months have been very trying times for me, not just with the cricket but all that has happened outside it. I need time to get myself together now,” Younis Khan had told back then.

Younis Khan also revealed about the contribution of Javed Miandad during his playing days. He said that Miandad would always suggest him to look for big hundreds and not relax after reaching the 3-figure mark. He opined that guidance of a senior in the initial phases of a player’s career was of utmost importance. He quoted the examples of Indian batsmen Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma to solidify his thoughts.

“During my playing days, I had Miandad as a coach. As someone who was a master of the big hundreds himself, he used to tell me that once you reach 100, think you are starting from zero. This may sound like a cliche, but it’s quite a difficult thing to do as it needs a great deal of mental fitness along with physical fitness.”

“If you look at Indian cricket, you will see that when the likes of Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma were coming up, (Sachin) Tendulkar was still around. You can learn a lot from watching how a great batsman prepares himself for an innings,” Younis Khan said.

Pakistan’s all-time leading run-scorer in Test format Younis Khan reckoned that modern day cricket was very hard for the players as the rivals are constantly finding ways to pip each other. Younis added that being consistent is very tough.

“The rival teams are constantly analysing the video footage of the likes of Virat, Rohit or a (Steve) Smith. They keep track of which batsman can have a lapse of concentration once getting into his fifties or sixtiesand it’s to the credit of these batsmen that they can still build their innings.”

“It takes a lot of strength of character to perform consistently at this level. I tried to focus on this need of building a strong character during a virtual workshop for the Pakistan batsmen where the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) wanted me to speak recently. I am happy to note that someone like Babar Azam has said he benefitted from it,” Younis Khan concluded.

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