Younis Khan has etched his name in record books by becoming the 1st Pakistani batsman and 13th overall to complete 10,000 runs in Test cricket. The right-hander achieved the milestone during the third day of the opening Test against West Indies at Sabina Park in Jamaica.
At 39 years and 145 days, Younis broke Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s record (37 years and 254 days) to become the oldest batsman to scale the 10,000-run mark. Having taken only 208 innings, he is the 6th fastest to the landmark after Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Kumar Sangakkara, Ricky Ponting and Rahul Dravid. The others in this distinguished club are Mahela Jayawardene, Sunil Gavaskar, Jacques Kallis, Alastair Cook, Allan Border and Steve Waugh.
Coming into this Test match, the Mardan-born cricketer needed 23 runs to attain the milestone. In reply to West Indies’ total of 286, Pakistan were tottering at 54/2 when he walked into the middle.
Even though he was quite circumspect at the beginning of his innings, Younis gradually got into the groove. Fittingly, he completed the long-awaited landmark with the most productive shot of his career – the fine sweep. Needless to say, the usually composed player was slightly overcome with emotion and the celebration showed how much the moment meant to him.
Younis is also only the 6th Asian batsman to reach the 10,000-run mark after the three Indians and two Sri Lankans. One of the finest players of spin in the modern era, he has carved a niche for himself in the pantheon of greats.
Upon making his debut against Sri Lanka in the 2000 Rawalpindi Test under Saeed Anwar’s captaincy, Younis has played numerous memorable knocks in his remarkable career. Even though he is usually a nervous starter, the right-hander is extremely difficult to dislodge once he gets his eye in. The impressive conversion rate (33 fifties as against 34 centuries) stands as a testament to his insatiable appetite for runs.
Ahead of the series against West Indies, he had announced his decision to retire from the international arena at the completion of the third Test in Dominica. Despite murmurs indicating a u-turn at the behest of his teammates, Younis confirmed that the move will indeed remain final.
Before he bids adieu, the Pakistani batsman has a strong chance of eclipsing Sunil Gavaskar’s tally of 10,122 runs and move into 12th position in the list of leading run-scorers in the game’s traditional format.
With a whopping total of 15,921 runs from 200 matches, Tendulkar stands on top of the historical charts while Ponting and Kallis complete the top three. Apart from New Zealand, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, every other Test nation has now produced at least one batsman with 10,000 or more runs. In this exclusive club, only Cook and Jayawardene average less than 50.
(Note: All Statistics are accurate as of 24th April 2017 after Younis Khan’s dismissal in the first innings of the Jamaica Test)