England should be patient with Adil
May 21, 2007 | Younis Khan
After my first month of county cricket itís nice to be able to say Yorkshire are top of the league and that Iím feeling in good form. Iím enjoying life very much.
Obviously the World Cup wasnít a good time for me so it has been nice to have a change of scenery, start scoring runs and winning matches again. And I was married on March 30 so life is quite different now.
It is a pleasant change to come back from a game and be able to talk about my day or my performance with my wife Amna, rather than be alone as sometimes happens when you are on the road as a cricketer.
My form wasnít too good at first and I started the county season as I had finished the World Cup, making just four and 12 against Surrey but at least we won the match. I scored 42 against Durham and then came my best game of the year so far when I hit 106 and 202 not out against Hampshire.
Sadly the game didnít have a happy ending as we couldnít get the last two wickets we needed to win. But from a personal point of view it couldnít have gone any better, especially when I chipped in with 4-52 in their second innings. We were up against two great bowlers in Shane Warne and Stuart Clark so I knew I had to lead by example. Everyone was asking me how to play Warne so I tried to show them the way.
The thing is I am a good player of leg-spin because I bowl it myself and I have also spoken a lot about it to Mushy bhai (Mushtaq Ahmed) and Danish (Kaneria). I was just glad to show my best form as Yorkshire are a big club and I was keen to do something special for them.
The team have been very good to me and have made me feel very welcome. They are all good guys. I travel with Adil Rashid so we have become good friends. He is keen to learn from me, especially about leg-spin so when we are driving to matches he listens to what I have to say very much about my experiences.
Adil has a lot of talent with bat and ball and he is also a good fielder, but England shouldnít be too impatient with him and instead should let him develop for at least another two seasons. After that he might just be ready for an England debut.
One of my most recent games was a one-day match against Lancashire. I soon understood what the rivalry was like between those two counties. It was like Pakistan against India. Whenever you field on the boundary the fans say things to you but it was all in good humour. If you are a good player they respect you. It was good fun but a shame we couldnít win the game.
Iíve also been keeping in touch with the guys in Abu Dhabi, especially Umar (Gul). I was very pleased to see they won the series against Sri Lanka. Iím always happy when Pakistan wins whether Iím playing or not. Itís good for team morale that we keep winning, and Sri Lanka are a tough side also, especially in those conditions.
I have been talking regularly with the chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed, not necessarily about my availability or anything like that, just about Pakistan cricket in general. He was the one who first supported me to play for Pakistan in 1999, before he was a selector. So I will always appreciate what he did for me.
I was very pleased for Shoaib Malik that he was able to win in Abu Dhabi. There would have been a lot of pressure on him so it will give him and the team a lot of confidence.