The Cricketer
Owen Riley Owen Riley



Class, they say, is ever-present. Younis Khan was not at the peak of his awe-inspiring powers all summer, until The Oval witnessed the return of a colossus. 

Day two was a rescue act, redemption, a riposte. The next was rambunctious, run-filled, and ruddy brilliant. Younis won his country the Test and saved the series.

Who knows if we will see the great man on these shores again. Who knows if Pakistan will ever find another keystone made from the same stuff (pure granite) as Younis.

As he propelled Moeen Ali into the crowd to bring up the double, The Oval arose. Cricket tragics, first-time spectators, young, old, Pakistan or England. None failed to realise that they had witnessed something special.

There are two-bit judgements – “look at him hopscotching at the crease, he’s done!” Then there is the undeniable. He has scored 32 Test hundreds, five of them doubles, a triple poured into the mix for good measure. He has played 108 Tests, averaging 53.72. There are 9,456 Test runs, there for all to see; etched into hearts, minds, and the history books.

Before the final Test many columnists and photographers had scrutinised Younis’ flappable nature at the crease. There was one photo of Younis superimposed onto an image of a flamingo. Talk about wishing the mighty would fall. But those who like to watch great walls crumble will have been left disappointed. Most doffed their cap, relishing the chance to see a masterful player back in his pomp. He puffed out the chest and flipped a metaphorical ‘V’ sign to the doubters, to the sands of time, and anything that dare stand in his path.

The mighty Younis is back. All is right with the world.


If you do one thing today, sit back and watch Younis' imperious double at The Oval.