Younis relieved with win over West Indies

Published: Wednesday, November 15, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:Given the turmoil in which Pakistan's cricket finds itself currently, Younis Khan says the victory over West Indies in the first Test has come as a relief to his beleaguered side trying to overcome the loss of banned pacers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif.

''After all that has happened to the Pakistan team in recent months, the win against West Indies in the first Test in Lahore was a nice relief for us,'' Younis wrote in his column for a website after the win over Brian Lara's men in the first Test here.

''Obviously with what went on in England and other controversies, it's always good to get back to doing what we do best, which is playing cricket and the nine-wicket win over West Indies was definitely a relief,'' he added.

Younis said the morale-boosting victory would help the team in coping with the recent scandals, the latest one being the bans imposed on Shoaib and Asif for failing a dope test.

''It's good for the Pakistan team and the country that we can look to move on. It always feels good to be a Pakistan cricketer when you win, we are treated very well, and especially to win inside four days is a big boost,'' he said.

Calling for a regular place for man-of-the-match Umar Gul in the team, Younis said the youngster had compensated well for the absence of Shoaib and Asif.

''Umar Gul was rightfully man of the match for his nine wickets but his performance didn't surprise me. He must be a regular in the team and Im sure he will be,'' he said.

''There was a certain amount of pressure on him with no Shoaib and no Asif but he stood up to the task facing him,'' he added, praising the bowler.

Apart from praising his team's performance, Younis also appreciated the West Indies effort, especially skipper Brian Lara's fighting hundred. The Pakistani said he was pleased to have witnessed Lara at his best.

''I am pleased they were able to witness such a genius in action in our country. I could hear the crowd shouting Lara is our hero, which was nice,'' he said.

''Even I enjoyed watching him, as you cant fail to learn from this kind of player,'' he added.


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