World Twenty20 title a gift to Pakistan: Younis

June 22nd, 2009 - 1:58 am ICT by IANS  

London, June 22 (IANS) Pakistan captain Younis Khan said their World Twenty20 title was a ‘gift’ to their strife-torn nation.
The talented Pakistani team, which entered the tournament as underdogs, made a mockery of the favourites tag as they beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the final at the Lord’s here.

Pakistan off late have been a pariah for the top cricketing nations which refused to tour the bomb ravaged country because of obvious security concerns. Pakistani players were starved of cricket for almost a year, before Sri Lanka toured in March. But an ambushed terror attack on the islanders in Lahore led to the World Cup hosting rights being taken away from the country.

The win Sunday was balm to the grieving people of strife-torn Pakistan.

“This is a gift to my nation,” said a smiling Pakistan captain, Younis.

“This win could not have come at a more opportune time for Pakistani people. Even if I do not achieve something great from here on in my career, I will have no qualms. I will be a happy man forever,” Younis said in an emotional speech.

“It will remain a memorable moment for me all throughout my career. Only Imran Khan won a World Cup for us in 1992 and now we have been able to achieve this.”

Younis, who was reluctant to accept captaincy after Pakistan’s ODI World Cup debacle in the Caribbean, said he was forced to take on the reins because of the love of his people.

“I took on the captaincy because everyone in the streets wanted me to become the captain. Anyone I spoke to told me to take over the captaincy. I had to in the end.”

“I am not a good captain, I know, but sometimes I can be a brave captain,” Younis said when asked about his leadership in the tournament.

“Sometimes certain decisions appear silly if theydon’t click and then sometimes they work.”

Younis, who replaced Shoaib Malik as captain in January after Sri Lanka thrashed them in the ODI series, said that nobody gave them a chance when they came to England.

“It worked in our favour that nobody was talking about us. We had less pressure compared to other teams.”

“It was fantastic the way my team came together. The team specially played well in big matches. We had depth in the team and credit goes to the boys for this victory. Abdul Razzaq joined us and the momentum was going in our favour.”

“Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Kamran Akmal all played their part in the final. We wanted to restrict Sri Lanka around 150, then we though we had a chance. We needed a good start and we got that in the final.”

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