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Younis honoured at Lord’s

LONDON: Record-setting former Pakistan Test batsman Younis Khan was accorded a warm reception held here at Lord’s the other day.

The simple yet impressive event took place in The Long Room at the game’s headquarters.

Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK Syed Ibne Abbas, Wisden editor Lawrence Booth, members of Pakistan cricket squad, former Test cricketers and a large number of fans attended the ceremony during which rich tributes were paid to the legendary 118-Test veteran who retired after the recently-concluded Test series in the West Indies.

In his remarks as chief guest, Ibne Abbas termed Younis a role model for the youth to emulate.

“Congratulations Younis Khan for ending your over 17-year cricket career in a memorable manner when team Pakistan wrapped up the historic Test series win, first time on the West Indies soil,” Ibne Abbas said.

“By becoming the first Pakistan batsman to achieve the commendable milestone of 10,000 Test runs making an impressive 34 centuries, and captaining the team which lifted the 2009 World T20, you have made history and made Pakistanis proud,” the high commissioner added.

Heaping praise on Younis, Pakistan team head coach Mickey Arthur said the thoroughly professional manner the batsman went about his business was fantastic. “It has been a privilege and honour to work alongside a player like Younis,” the South Africa-born coach said.

National ODI and T20 captain Sarfraz Ahmed on the occasion said Younis deserved all the applause. “I have played with him during the last couple of years, and I have found him a complete professional,” the wicket-keeper stated.

Speaking on the occasion, Booth specifically mentioned Younis’ epic Test knock against England at The Oval last year.

“With the pressure on, Younis delivered. His classy 218 in the final Test of the [2016] summer at The Oval helped Pakistan square the series after successive defeats had left them in danger of squandering their win at Lord’s. It was his 32nd Test hundred — and a reminder that his struggles earlier in the series had been a blip rather than part of a decline,” said Booth.

The 39-year-old Younis, in his speech, thanked all for honouring him, and expressed the resolve that he would continue to serve cricket in Pakistan.

“It is a great honour for me to have played cricket for Pakistan and cross the 10,000-run milestone,” the right-handed batsman said, while thanking the people of Pakistan for their love and support they gave to Younis throughout his cricket career.

Published in Dawn

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