Mohammad Younus Khan (Pashto: محمد یونس خان), (born November 29, 1977 in Mardan, North-West Frontier Province) is a Pakistani cricketer and former captain of the Pakistan national cricket team. Younus' name is often spelled Younis Khan, but he has been quoted as saying, "My name is Younus Khan. I tell people that everywhere, but they don’t listen." He is only the third Pakistani player to score 300 or more runs in an innings.
On March 10, 2010, Younus, along with another player, Mohammad Yousuf were axed by the Pakistan Cricket Board from playing for Pakistan in any format for an indefinite period, following an inquiry report which suggested that both the player were involved in breaches of discipline by inciting divisions within the team. The ban was overturned three months later.
Younus Khan made his international debut in an ODI against Sri Lanka at Karachi in February 2000, and has since played over 150 ODIs for Pakistan. He has also played in over 50 Test matches. Younus was one of the few batsmen who retained his place in the team after Pakistan's disastrous World Cup campaign in 2003, but lost it soon after due to a string of poor scores in the home series against Bangladesh and South Africa. He came back for the one-day series against India, but failed to cement a place in the Test side.
It was his return to the side in October 2004, at the pivotal one-down, against Sri Lanka in Karachi that laid the groundwork for his emergence as a force in Pakistan cricket. He was the top run-getter in the disastrous 3-0 whitewash in Australia immediately after and on the tour of India, for which Younus was elevated to vice-captain, he blossomed. After a horror start to the series he came back strongly, capping things off with 267 in the final Test. It was his highest Test score and came off 504 balls in the first innings, to set up a series levelling victory in Bangalore.
As well as being an accomplished batsman, Younus is also a skilled slip fielder and a very occasional leg-spin bowler. He has performed particularly well outside Pakistan, including on tours of Australia, India, England and Sri Lanka. In the six Tests he has played against India, Younus averages an exceptional 106, the highest average against India by a Pakistani. Apart from his 267 at Bangalore, Younus also made 147 at Kolkata in 2005 and a pair of centuries during India's trip to Pakistan in 2006. More importantly, the tour to India also showcased his potential as a future captain of Pakistan and his energetic and astute leadership has impressed many people. Also in 2006, Younus made a century in the third Test against England at Headingley. On 22 January 2007, he scored a matchwinning 67 not out in the 4th innings to guide Pakistan to victory over South Africa in Port Elizabeth. The five wicket win levelled the series at 1-1.
In 2005, he was one of the 15 nominees for the ICC Test Player of the Year. He is the second fastest Pakistani in terms of innings to reach 4000 Test runs, behind Javed Miandad. Younus reached the milestone in 87 innings, just one more than Sachin Tendulkar took.
Younus Khan topped the ICC's Test Batting Rankings in February 2009 after an acclaimed innings of 313 in his first test as captain, in the process of helping save the match for Pakistan. His ranking score of 880 is the third highest achieved by a Pakistani batsmen after Mohammad Yousuf (933), Javed Miandad (885) and just ahead of Inzamam-ul-Haq (870).
He first led Pakistan against the West Indies in 2005. In September 2006, he was offered the position of captain for the course of the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy, following the suspension of Inzamam ul Haq. He turned down the offer, stating he did not want to be a "dummy captain". However, on the morning of October 7, 2006 the Pakistan Cricket Board announced that Khan would lead his team in the tournament. Following the resignation of Inzamam after the side's exit from the 2007 Cricket World Cup, Khan was offered the captaincy on a permanent basis, but turned it down. He blamed the angry reaction by the Pakistani public to side's early exit from the tournament.
After Pakistan's 2009 2 matches to 1 defeat to Sri Lanka, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt appointed Younus Khan as the permanent captain of both the Test and ODI teams. The appointment became effective as of January 27, 2009. Shortly after accepting the post Younus was quoted as saying, "I will try and fix things that aren't right at the moment...I want our team to be consistent above all, in everything we do and that will require everyone to put their hands up." Younus went on to say that he expects full support from former captain Shoaib Malik whom he called a senior player in the side.