Younis Khan, the Pakistan batsman, has lashed out at the PCB and selectors for dropping him for the one-day series against Australia and saying he is also “out of contention” for the World Cup. He challenged the selectors to build a team without him in the mix and said he will remain sidelined until the 2015 World Cup but will not retire.
“Don’t select me, not even in Tests. I sacrifice my future,” Younis, 36, said on the sidelines of the ongoing domestic T20 tournament in Karachi. “I am saying a simple thing, if they are saying that youngsters are future of ODIs, then where is the future of Pakistan in Test cricket? Don’t select me in Test matches and make [the youngsters] the future of Pakistan in Test cricket too. But what will happen if they can’t make a team for ODIs and Test matches after five months, will they again do recalling?
“I won’t die and I won’t be 70-year-old in four-five months, if they don’t let me play with dignity then so be it. They have hurt me, they have hurt me when they said that players like me have no future. Then who has a future? So a player like me should shoot himself? When they are 35, 36, players like me wake up at seven ‘o’ clock, show commitment, I can do only this. Instead shoot ourselves, don’t play cricket at all, don’t play domestic cricket at all? I will wait for 4-5 months. They are saying that I don’t have a future, I will wait, I am not retiring, I will wait, may this team go ahead, if they make the team [strong] I won’t come back.”
Younis was recalled into the ODI squad for the Sri Lanka tour in August, after a year and a half. But he had to leave the tour midway, to return to Karachi, because of the death of his nephew. In his only ODI in the series, he scored 3 off 7. While announcing the squad for the Australia series, Pakistan’s chief selector Moin Khan said the decision to select Younis for the Sri Lanka series had “backfired”.
“I came back after almost 17-18 months, but they said he is not in our future plans. Who has a future then? I give my 120% as a player, I am perhaps the only cricketer [who does so]. I am not saying drop a youngster and let me play. I am just saying that justice should be done with players like me, give us what we deserve. My nephew died and I came back. When they do such things with senior players, what will youngsters think. Change doesn’t come like this, you can’t wave a magic wand.
“Don’t let everyone be treated in a similar manner, those who have raised the flag of this country, don’t disrespect them otherwise no youngster will play for Pakistan.”
During 30 minutes of fury, Younis said he had never called selectors to win them over and buy himself time but had always played his cricket with dignity. He also said that it is becoming a habit in Pakistan cricket to disregard players who have served the game well. “Javed Miandad, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf went while crying. When Inzamam was leaving, I was the one who went and clapped for him. Is this my mistake that I am a Pakistani? Is this my mistake that when youngsters struggle they come to me instead of going to coaches and I do help them? I try to help Pakistan, and still I am surprised that I have played for 14-15 years for Pakistan.
“I never told anyone to back me in media or phoned anyone [about selection]. If I deserve Test matches and ODI I should be given chance. Is this my fault that I don’t go to selectors? I don’t call them? I don’t meet them before going for the match? England media was very harsh on us in 2009, when they used to allege us that we were doing ball tampering, then I stood firm and I defended Pakistan. I was the captain when Pakistan won the World T20. If this is my mistake, then my suggestion to youngster is don’t play for Pakistan. Don’t think about playing for Pakistan.”