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18 August 2017 Last updated 33 minutes ago

Younus ready to take Afghan batting coaching job, claims board head

Younas Khan Younas Khan

Veteran batsman Younus Khan, who is playing his last Test for Pakistan against West Indies, has said yes to a batting coach job with Afghanistan cricket team, claimed the chairman of the minnow’s board Atif Mashal on Thursday.

In an interview with BBC Urdu, Mashal said that the contract is being finalised and they are considering the demands made by the 39-year-old.

“We haven’t reached an agreement but we want to hire the services of the best players for our team,” said Mashal, adding that Younus has said yes to the proposal.

If the contract materialises, Younus will become the fourth Pakistani — after national chief selector Inzamamul Haq, former captain Rashid Latif and former cricketer Kabir Khan — to coach Afghanistan.

“We are looking at our possibilities and his demands,” said Mashal about the agreement.

Amid recent border tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Mashal thinks cricket can play a big role in serving as the ice-breaker between the countries.

“Cricket diplomacy can improve the relations between countries,” he said. “It can serve as an ice-breaker between Pakistan and Afghanistan. A few Pakistani players are already playing the Afghan Super League [which is a good sign].”

On the non-participation of Afghan players in this year’s Pakistan Super League (PSL), Mashal said the players drafted were representing their country. He also lent his support behind the narrative of keeping politics and cricket apart.

Pakistan has hosted almost no international cricket since the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore. Afghanistan, meanwhile, due to its security situation, also doesn’t have a conducive environment to welcome international cricket but Mashal would still like to host their neighbours.

“I wish Pakistan visits Afghanistan for a series,” he said. “The condition in both countries is the same. However, we can host them in Kabul and provide ample security. We assure them that if they visit us, they’ll receive fool-proof security.”