Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Champions Want Home Series

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Champions Want Home Series

Article excerpt

Byline: Myles Hodgson

YOUNUS Khan has used Pakistan's World Twenty20 triumph to appeal to cricket's leading nations to consider playing in his country again following the recent troubles.

Captain Younus watched his side complete a comfortable eight-wicket victory in yesterday's Lord's final with eight balls to spare against Sri Lanka to lift their first major trophy since winning the 1992 World Cup in Australia.

Having restricted Sri Lanka's powerful line-up to a modest 138-6 with Abdul Razzaq claiming 3-20, Pakistan sealed their triumph after man-of-the-match Shahid Afridi hit an unbeaten 54 off 40 balls.

It was an impressive victory for a side who have been starved of cricket in Pakistan with international sides refusing to tour because of a succession of terrorist incidents, including an attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore three months ago. But Younus chose the moment of Pakistan's triumph to appeal to world cricket to reconsider their decision and encourage the next generation of cricketers in their country.

"Everybody is following Twenty20 cricket these days and now we are cham-pionit would be good if we could get some home series," said Younus.

"I would like all the countries to come to Pakistan again. Everybody knows the situation is not good but it's not our fault. We need home series because if there isn't any cricket in Pakistan how can we motivate the youngsters especially at V I C TO RY Clockwise from above left, Pakistan''s Shahid Afridi celebrates his winning runs; Pakistan start the celebrations; Kamran Akmal hit 37; Isuru Udana shows his frustration; Pakistan fans celebrate; Younis Khan misses a catch.

school level and college level? I would say to the world, please come to Pakistan and play. I am very proud of my nation, I'm a proud man and this victory is good for all of us."

Other than the ill-fated series against Sri Lanka earlier this year, they have not hosted a home Test series since South Africa visited in October 2007 and their last one-day series was at home to Bangladesh over a year ago.

Younus, draped in a Pakistan flag, dedicated the final triumph to former coach Bob Woolmer, who died in Jamaica during the 2007 World Cup. …

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