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Younis wants to bow out on World Cup high

Veteran batsman Younis Khan expressed his hope that his team would win next year's World Cup, saying Pakistan is one of the four favourites to win the event, which will be hosted in the sub-continent.

cricket Updated: Nov 09, 2010 20:41 IST

Veteran batsman Younis Khan on Sunday expressed his hope that his team would win next year's World Cup, saying Pakistan is one of the four favourites to win the event, which will be hosted in the sub-continent.

"It's in my mind that before I leave we win a major ICC (International Cricket Council) event and if that's the World Cup (50 overs) then it would be great," said Younis of the event held every four years.

India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh host the World Cup from February 19 to April 2 next year and Younis rates Pakistan as one of the favourites.

"Pakistan is amongst the top four favourites to win the World Cup and I always give top ranking to my team. If we play to our potential we can win the World Cup like we won the World Twenty20," he said.

Younis, 32, led Pakistan to a memorable World Twenty20 triumph in England in June last year, but five months later he had to relinquish the captaincy after falling out with some senior players.

He also withdrew from the team, which toured New Zealand and after missing the Test series in Australia returned to the one-day squad in January this year.

Pakistan lost all three Tests, five one-dayers and a Twenty20 on the Australia tour, also marred by disciplinary problems, resulting in bans and fines on seven players, including Younis.

Although Younis's indefinite ban was lifted in June his legal tussle with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) kept him away from the team for eight months -- even so it was a period Younis insisted he remained focussed on the game.

"To be out of the team was tough but I never lost my focus and kept my fitness because I knew that that was not my end, my end will come in a better way, like I want to do well before leaving the game," said Younis.

Younis, who hit a match-winning 73 in the fourth one-day match, which saw Pakistan to a narrow one wicket win here on Friday to level the five-match series against South Africa at 2-2, said he fulfils the senior batsman's job.

"I am one of the most senior players, so my job is to guide the team to safety and whenever I do that I am very happy and it adds to my confidence," said Younis, who has so far played 63 Tests and 206 one-day matches for Pakistan.

"If senior players remain focussed and do their jobs then I am sure that Pakistan will make winning a habit and that's very important at international level," said Younis.

Younis hoped Pakistan clinch the final match against South Africa, to be played here on Monday.

"We have not won a series for two years," said Younis of Pakistan's last series win against the West Indies in Abu Dhabi in 2008. "So it's important that we clinch this series and get more confidence before the World Cup."

Pakistan also play two Tests against South Africa - one each in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.