More Fawad Alam, more fishing, more slick suits - just a few of the things we can look forward to if the former Pakistan captain takes over as coach
By Imran Yusuf
December 17, 2009
Younis Khan attended a coaching course in Lahore this week, prompting rumours he will rejoin the Pakistan team in Australia not as a player but as head coach. It could happen: such a shock move is possible from a cricket board that recalls Mohammad Sami. Two days ago a Sami comeback was less likely than one from Bob Woolmer.
Younis would certainly cut a dashing figure in the pavilion; a South Asian counterpoint to those European smoothies Pep Guardiola and Josť Mourinho. He's been frequently pictured of late in slick dark suits - evidently, in hindsight, a deliberate move to look the part and subliminally prepare the ground to take over as coach. He also chews gum, sometimes like a masticator possessed: with the great Sir Alex Ferguson, Younis is in good company.
Beyond the cosmetic and onto the pitch, we might also look forward to the following changes.
Fawad Alam will stop getting shafted. The poor chap gets moved in the order from 6 to 2 to 5 to 7 to water carrier to biryani taster and back to 6, and so on. Younis will remember that the same was done to him. All he needed was a coach who had faith (Woolmer), made him a long-term No. 3, and the rest was history. The point that Fawad's technique, with its huge trigger movement, is highly suspect should not be allowed to ruin my neat analogy.
With the team playing home series in foreign countries, Younis will try to recreate the atmosphere of Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Faisalabad Test matches. Consequently there will be a limit of 1500 spectators per day, leaving the intriguing possibility of cricket lovers being turned away from Lord's with the apology, "Sorry, mate, it's getting far too lively in there. This is a Pakistan home Test match, after all. Come back for the Twenty20." Other foreign factors will be banned, including cheerleaders, seam movement, and rain.
Younis is famously against the concept of a "dummy captain", ruling out most of the team. Misbah-ul-Haq MBA (University of Management & Technology, Lahore), expect a call.
Is it Younis or Younus? Clearly the man likes random letter changes to a name. This could very well be good news for the out-of-favour Abdul/Abdur Razzaq, widely considered the best random-name-changer in world cricket.
A recent news report said that Younis is fond of fishing. Someone should tell Imran Farhat, Faisal Iqbal and the discarded Yasir Hameed, serial fishers outside the off stump, that the report was not a cricketing metaphor.
Finally, forward planning: essential for every coach in the modern sporting world. Younis is a man who thinks of the future. He will no doubt be on the lookout for a 13- or 14-year-old also called Khan, who can follow the tradition and, in 17 years' time, lead an unfancied, disunited team and start disastrously but eventually turn it around against New Zealand and build up an unstoppable momentum to win the World Cup: 2026, here we come.
Imran Yusuf is a writer and editor. He lives in Karachi
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