The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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It’s just cricket, says Younis

Johannesburg: Pakistan’s middle-order batsman Younis Khan is expecting at least a semi-final finish for his team in the World Cup but he wants fans back home to treat cricket just as a sport and “not as a matter of life and death”.

“I am sure we will reach the semi-finals and with a bit of luck cross the hurdles,” said Younis. “But at the same time I urge fans to take cricket as a sport and not as a matter of life and death.”

Younis, who has an average of 31.44 from 70 one-day Internationals and mans the Pakistan middle-order alongside Inzamam-ul Haq and Yousuf Youhana, is also confident he would do well in his first World Cup. “I just can’t wait to go out there and do something special for my country even though there are butterflies in my stomach,” he said.

Younis said the younger boys were trying to follow in the footsteps of the senior players. “When we see the seniors sweating, working extremely hard and staying focussed for the World Cup, naturally we get the inspiration. And that’s when your performance improves”.

Younis named Inzamam, Rashid Latif, Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram as his sources of inspiration.

“I am sure all the youngsters feel the same because these senior boys have tremendous experience. They have been through this before and when they tell something from their experience, it’s always encouraging.”

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