Younus dedicates World T20 title to nation

Updated: 22 June 2009 18:24 IST

Pakistan captain Younus Khan dedicated the team's World Twenty20 triumph to the terror-stricken nation, calling it the defining moment of his captaincy.

Younus dedicates World T20 title to nation

London:

Pakistan captain Younus Khan on Sunday dedicated the team's World Twenty20 triumph to the terror-stricken nation, calling it the defining moment of his captaincy.

"This triumph came at the right time and it's our gift to the people back in Pakistan," an emotional Younus said after his teammates beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets to lift the title.

"After Imran Khan, no Pakistan captain won a World Cup title and I'm happy to have achieved that. Whenever I end my career, I can loom back and feel good about it," he said.

Having missed much of international cricket because of volatile security scenario at home, Pakistan capped their fairytale campaign by cruising to a facile eight-wicket win.

Often considered a reluctant captain, Younus said he did not rate himself very high as a leader but insisted he never shied away from putting up a fight.

"There was a time when every man I met requested me to take up Pakistan's captaincy. I know I'm not a very good captain but at the same time I know that I'm brave and captains need to be brave," said the veteran batsman.

Younus said sending Shahid Afridi to bat at number three made a lot of difference to the team's campaign in the tournament. "I always felt that he is best at number three on one dayers and Twenty20 and he has been fantastic in both the last two matches," Younus said.

Continuing his rich form, Afridi followed up his one for 20 with an unbeaten 54-ball 20 to win the Man of the Match in the final and the all-rounder thanked his captain for reposing faith in him.

"Younus gave me a lot of confidence. I asked him to promote me up the order and let me bat at number three, to which he agreed. He told me to go out and play my natural game," Afridi said.

"I have been bowling well for the last two years but was struggling a bit with my batting and Younus' words really helped me," said the all-rounder.

Meanwhile, tonight's defeat ended Sri Lanka's brilliant campaign in the tournament in which the islanders remained invulnerable going into the summit clash.

Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara still was proud of his teammates.

"I'm very proud of the team, the attitude they have showed and the stomach for a fight. We'll return stronger from the tournament," he said.

Sangakkara said the Sri Lankan batsmen have been below-par at times and relied too much on the bowlers to gloss over their frailties.

"We did not bat well on more than one occasion. It was tough for the bowlers to keep on defending low totals and even today, we fell some 20-odd runs short," he rued.

"I believe we have the best bowling unit in the world at the moment and we have a lot of cricket ahead of us," he said.

Asked about Sri Lanka's ability to produce unorthodox cricketers almost at will, Sangakkara said, "It keeps happening that in the formative years, many slip through the cracks of formal cricket and play it their own way.

"Fortunately, we have a number of talent-spotters who identify those talents and ensure they acquire a good basic technique and blossom in their own way, flourish with the uniqueness intact," he added.

One of the Lankan innovations has been their run-machine Tillakaratne Dilshan's scoop over the wicket-keeper's head which earned the right-hander lots of runs.

Adjudged Man of the Tournament for scoring 300-plus runs in the tournament, Dilshan, however, was out for a duck today and the Sri Lankan was dejected after failing when it mattered most.

"I have been in great form in the last six months, scoring a lot for my teams but nothing clicked today. They bowled short indeed but I play the pull well. Unfortunately, it did not happen today," he rued.

Asked about his trademark scoop, Dilshan said, "I actually tried the normal scoop when the bowler bowled it short and I played that short. Then it struck me and I practised it in the nets to gain confidence before introducing it more regularly," he added.



Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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