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Younis returns home to Karachi to a hero’s welcome

ZEESHAN AHMED

A large crowd gathered at the Jinnah International Airport on Monday to welcome recently-retired Younis Khan as he touched down in Karachi after his final Test against the West Indies.

Thanking the gathered crowd, Younis said he felt overwhelmed with the love he had received.

“I would like to congratulate Pakistan for all the achievements I have in cricket: they are wins for the nation and not just myself. I am grateful for the welcome I have received,” Younis said while taking to the media.

“I have a number of offers on the table and I will choose the option that is the best, for myself and for Pakistan,” he said while talking about his future plans.

Laughing off the idea of a foray into politics, the batsman said: “There are already great politicians in the country, I would like to continue serving the nation in my own way.”

Younis Khan cemented his place in Pakistan’s cricket history as an iconic batsman with unparalleled success. He returns to Pakistan on the back of a historic win against the West Indies, as the jinx of Pakistan never winning a Test series in the Caribbean was lifted.

Over the 17-year span of his career, Khan has been a hugely successful batsman. With a Test average of over 50, a triple-hundred, a double-hundred against India in India and a memorable partnership to clinch Pakistan’s 3-0 Test whitewash over England: Khan’s career speaks for itself.

Khan also became the only batsman to have scored a century in 11 different countries when he smashed the 34th ton of his career at the Sydney Cricket Ground against Australia in 2016.

He is the only Pakistani to have reached the 10,000-runs mark in Test cricket.

He was a busy batsman at the crease. His batting style, in all its uniqueness, drew a fair amount of scepticism, but his ownership of his style remained unapologetic and firm.

Khan first’s major break in international cricket came with his debut Test hundred against Sri Lanka in February 2000 at the Karachi National Stadium.

In the second innings of the match, he scored a 107, cementing his place in the team as a strong lower middle-order batsman.

One of his major achievements was leading the Pakistani team to win the 2009 T20 World Cup.

While the cricket board would have to work hard to replace Khan, his retirement will bring him closer to pursuing his life-long passion of sport fishing and spending more time with his family.

publish in Dawn

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