Younus bows out as T20 hero
Younus Khan wrote his name into Pakistan folklore by leading his country to their second world crown.
Last Updated: 22/06/09 6:04pm
Younus Khan was content after securing his place in Pakistan folklore by leading his country to victory at the ICC World Twenty20.
Younus, 31, followed in the footsteps of Imran Khan, who skippered the triumphant Pakistan team at the 1992 World Cup in Australia, when he oversaw an eight-wicket defeat of Sri Lanka at Lord's on Sunday.
His response was to retire from the shortest form of the game at international level and, therefore, confirmed he bows out on the highest of highs as captain.
"I am the second Khan," said Younus, with a smile. "I have been thinking the whole tournament that I could be remembered just like Imran Khan was when his team won the 1992 World Cup.
"This one was Twenty20 but at least we have won our second World Cup.
"The dream has come true and this is a gift to our whole nation."
It was fitting that Younus, a reluctant leader throughout his top-level career, should dedicate the campaign success to former coach Bob Woolmer, who died during the 2007 World Cup.
It was Woolmer who pushed his name forward as captaincy material.
"This final must go to Bob Woolmer because he was doing a lot of good with us," added Younus.
"He would be proud if he was sitting here next to me because he was such a nice guy. A father figure for us.
"At that time in 2005 when he was first in charge, I was not a regular player for Pakistan but he was always chatting with the chairman and the selectors, saying that Younus will be the next captain.
"So it was because of him I became vice-captain and then captain."
However, someone else will now front Pakistan's defence of their title next spring in the Caribbean.
"I am old now for this kind of cricket," Younus said. "The good thing is we have some good youngsters like Shahzaib Hasan and Ahmad Shahzad so I am retiring from Twenty20 cricket. This was my last game."
Pakistan overcame the odds to beat both South Africa and Sri Lanka but it did not necessarily surprise their camp.
"Teams like Pakistan and West Indies have match winners, especially in this kind of format," continued Younus. "I knew if we played to our potential we would reach the last four and then we just needed a bit of luck. The last two games we were lucky."