Pakistan cricket in danger - Younus
Younus Khan fears for the next generation of Pakistan cricketers if overseas Test series continue in the long term.
Security concerns have forced Pakistan to seek alternative venues for international matches, with Lord’s and Headingley Carnegie the venues for the two-Test series against Australia next summer.
Younus, at Headingley for the launch of next July’s series, said: “For me Test cricket is everything, especially for Pakistan - we need Test cricket, especially against countries like England and Australia.
“If we do well against them, we’ll be recognised very well.”
Younus, who captained the side to World Twenty20 glory in England earlier this year, is also worried for the future.
He looked up to the likes of Imran Khan, Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram as an aspiring young cricketer, but is concerned children in Pakistan do not currently have the same opportunity.
He said: “If there is no international cricket in Pakistan who will follow us? This is the main concern for me. There are worries about the children.”
Younus, who has opted out of Pakistan’s tour to New Zealand in order to rest, hopes cricket will return as soon as security clearance is granted.
“We should play in Pakistan, but the situation is not right,” he said. “But it’s not possible to play all the time in neutral venues. I hope we will play soon in Pakistan.”
The series against Australia has been rescheduled from 2008 and Giles Clarke, the England and Wales Cricket board chairman who helped facilitate the contests, believes home Tests for Pakistan remain a long way off.
Clarke, who is also chairman of the International Cricket Council Pakistan task force, which provides strategies on Pakistan’s future involvement in international cricket, said: “At the moment there’s no security advice that supports it.
“Indeed, I chair the Pakistan task force and the ICC security advice is that I can’t even go there, which I think is unfortunate.
“Clearly there is a lot to be done. I think everybody in cricket supports those in Pakistan.
“Pakistan is essentially a delightful country and that’s why it’s important we look after them and give them the opportunity to play Test cricket, with, no doubt, a highly enthusiastic Pakistani community in Yorkshire supporting them.”