Younis Khan will be Pakistan’s full-time batting coach, after he accepted a long-term deal from the PCB to train the national team at least until the 2022 T20 World Cup. The PCB also has the option to consider extending Younis’ contract for another term, till the 2023 50-over World Cup. In addition to his role with the national team, Younis will also run the Batsmen Development Program at the Hanif Mohammad High Performance Centre in Karachi.
Younis had travelled with the team to England during the summer on a short-term stint as a batting consultant, with the PCB keen to fully integrate him into the coaching system. His immediate assignment now will be to assist the team’s head coach Misbah-ul-Haq in New Zealand, as Pakistan will fly out on November 23 for a tour that includes three T20Is and two Tests.
“I am pleased to join the Pakistan cricket set-up on a long-term basis,” Younis said. “I felt honoured when I was given the opportunity this summer and thoroughly enjoyed my time, and I now look forward to continuing the work with the same group of people on an important tour of New Zealand. I am particularly happy that my scope of work has been extended beyond the national duties.
“I am equally interested and keen at working at the domestic level by identifying potential batsmen and then helping them improve their skills. However, I want to remind all fans and followers that there is a process to achieve excellence and while some improvements can be noticed quickly, this will require lots of hard work, perseverance and patience before the required skills are embedded and start producing consistent results.”
Younis’ integration into the Pakistan coaching set-up hasn’t been straightforward, as the former batsman had turned down the PCB on two previous occasions. The board had earlier tried to rope him in to work at the development level at the NCA, but those talks didn’t materialise into anything concrete. Then, in May last year, Younis was close to taking up a role as the country’s Under-19 coach, but that plan, too, did not come to pass. One of the sticking points, ESPNcricinfo reported, had to do with finances, while the other was with the job profile, as the PCB had proposed for Younis to be only a mentor and coach, while the former captain wanted a bigger say in the national team’s selection as well.
The PCB moved on and turned to other former players, with an aim of revamping the entire coaching structure. While Younis brings with him vast experience as Pakistan’s highest scorer in Test cricket, he has had a frayed relationship with the PCB over the years. However, a pep talk that he gave to the players on video during the Covid-19 enforced lockdown earlier this year, as well as his first stint as batting coach in England, seem to have mended some bridges. Younis even received positive feedback from the backroom staff for his role during the tour of England, where he had to deal with a large pool of players.
“I am delighted that Younis will now be with us for, at least, the next two years as a batting coach,” Wasim Khan, the PCB chief, said in a statement. “The feedback we received about Younis’ impact in a short period of time in England was excellent. His work ethics, commitment and knowledge are second to none, and I am confident that his appointment will benefit a number of talented batsmen who have either recently broken into the national side or are knocking on the door of international cricket.
“The PCB will also be utilising his expertise and skills when he’s not on national duty as he will help local batsmen hone their skills. This is part of the PCB’s strategy to appoint highly-qualified and respected coaches across all major centres of the country so that we can start producing cricketers who can represent Pakistan with distinction.”