Younis pleads for return of international cricket to Pakistan following Twenty20 win

June 22nd, 2009 - 12:57 pm ICT by ANI  

London, June 22 (ANI): After lifting this year’s Twenty20 World Cup at Lord’s, Pakistan’s triumphant captain Younus Khan made an emotional appeal to all teams to tour his turbulent nation in a bid to revive cricket in the sports mad country.

“I think it (the win) was a gift for all our nation. Everybody must come to Pakistan, we need a home test series. How can we attract the youngsters? Players must come to Pakistan,” Sky News quoted Khan, as saying.

On Sunday, an unbeaten 54 from all-rounder Shahid Afridi took Pakistan to an eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka before thousands of exultant supporters in London.

Pakistan did not play a single test last year, and lost the games they were due to host at the 2011 50-over World Cup after gunmen attacked the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in March.

Their international matches in the forseeable future will be staged either in the host countries or at neutral venues.

Pakistan was not the favourites at the beginning of Twenty20 World Cup, as the team lost all its warm-up matches.

Afridi, with his explosive batting and brisk leg-spin, was the crucial player in the semi-final win over South Africa and again on Sunday.

Younus’s batting throughout and the skills of pace bowler Umar Gul, who took a Twenty20 best five for six against New Zealand, were also critical to Pakistan’s ultimate success.

Their progress throughout the 16-day tournament mirrored that of the 1992 50-over World Cup winners. (ANI)

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