MULTAN: Ahead of Pakistan’s second Test match against England in Multan, veteran batter and team’s incumbent batting coach Mohammad Yousuf Wednesday recalled some fond memories of the Green Shirts’ 2006 Test series against the West Indies.
The cricketer was part of the team playing against the Caribbeans in Multan sixteen years ago.
In an exclusive interview with Geo News, the former batsman hoped for Pakistan’s victory recollecting his time on the field in the city of saints and shrines.
“A Test match is taking place in Multan after 16 years, which is a great thing. A large number of fans come here whenever there is a match. Hopefully, the Multan Test match will be good, and Pakistan will win,” he said.
“16 years ago, I played a match-saving innings in the Multan Test. I scored 56 runs in the first innings, and 191 runs in the second innings against the West Indies.”
“West Indies took the lead, thanks to Brian Lara’s double century. A good altercation between Brian Lara and Danish Kaneria made the Test interesting. After the altercation, Lara hit three sixes and a four,” he added.
Yousuf was the only Pakistani batter who scored a century in the Test. On the last day of the second Test in Multan, Yousuf helped Pakistan navigate out of a difficult spot and to safety. His outstanding 191-run knock allowed Pakistan to maintain a 1-0 lead.
On breaking Sir Vivian Richards’ record
Yousuf holds the record for the most runs in Test cricket in a calendar year as he amassed 1,788 runs in 2006, overtaking West Indian legend Sir Vivian Richards.
“I cannot forget 2006 in any way. I can’t really say that I did the most runs in that year all by myself. I tried my best, and Allah blessed me for my hard work,” he further said.
He broke Richards’ record that year, and despite doing so, he said, the former West Indies captain was a great player, and he was no way near him.
Talking about his record, he said: ” Players like Saeed Anwar, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Javed Miandad, and Zaheer Abbas came, but I was the one who made the most runs in a calendar year. Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara couldn’t break the record.”
England’s Joe Root had the chance to overtake the former Pakistan batter and Sir Viv Richards during last year’s Ashes series but failed to do so.
His dismissal on day three of the third Test in Melbourne against Australia for 28 left him with 1,708 runs for the year, at an average of 61.00, behind only Mohammad Yousuf (1,788 in 2006) and Viv Richards (1,710 in 1976).
The 48-year-old said he is enjoying his new role as a batting coach with the national side as he is attached to the game.
“Earlier, I used to come here for batting myself, and now I am guiding the batters. All of us coaches have only one focus the players do well under our guidance. I see batters like Babar Azam, Muhammad Rizwan Imamul Haq, and Abdullah Shafique scoring runs now. There are great batters like Salman Ali and Saud Shakeel,” he concluded.
England beat Pakistan by 74 runs in the first Test at the Pindi Cricket Stadium after bowling out the hosts for 268 runs in the second innings.
The two sides will take on each other in the second Test from 9-13 December at the Multan Cricket Stadium.