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Younus or Younis Khan?

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I recently heard Yorkshire player, Younus Khan, saying this is his name is "Younus" and not "Younis". The player wears Younus on his shirt and the YCCC website also lists him as such.

Having seen Ceefax name him as Younis (on scorecards) and BBC Sport do likewise on their website, I contacted the Beeb to see what was going on? I received the following reply:

"Thanks for your email. Although he has asked for his name to be spelled "Younus" he is still listed as "Younis" in International Cricket Council

and other official records. To avoid confusion, this is what we have

decided to stick with." - BBC Sport.


Surely the player knows his name so why has Younis arisen in the first instance? I think the ICC should amend the records but am awaiting a reply from Yorkshire as to what next?


"Unfortunately this is the type of response we get when we ask for the media to get their facts right! We will keep trying!"


Stewart - Reply from CEO Stewart Regan confirming YOUNUS.

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An interesting reply from a representative of WISDEN:


"Thanks for copying Wisden in on your correspondence with Sky, the BBC and YCCC about the correct spelling of Younis/Younus Khan's first name.


As it happens, I have some sympathy for the BBC. The problem derives from the difficulty in transliterating a name from a language that does not share our (Latin) alphabet.


I have no doubt that Younis/Younus Khan knows exactly how to spell his name in Urdu, but would you, for example, be sure how to write your name in Urdu?


I'm no expert, but all we are talking about here, I believe, is how to convey an unstressed vowel. Someone, somewhere, thought that job could be done with an "i", but someone else believes it is done better with a "u". Quite probably, the second person is correct, but the devil is in the hassle caused by change.


It's a simple matter to buy a new team shirt or ensure that a scorecard for sale at the ground uses Younus. It's rather different where complex databases - and annual publications such as Wisden - are concerned. The danger is that his records will appear in different places under different names, leading to confusion.


It's not to say it can't be done - we and others have coped with Yousuf Youhana changing his name to Mohammad Yousuf. That, though, was a full-scale change of name rather than an attempt to tune the spelling to the pronunciation, which, as I see it, is what Younis/Younus Khan is hoping for. And so, while many, including the ICC, continue to use the familiar spelling of Younis, we shall follow suit.


Incidentally, the same applies to Muttiah Muralitharan, who apparently prefers the spelling "Muralidaran". In this case, the ICC have adopted the new form, though Wisden - and others - have stuck with Muralitharan for the reasons above.


I hope this goes some way to explaining our position.


Thanks for contacting Wisden - and with best wishes"

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Nice reply. Thanks for that. Given the fact that it's an unstressed vowel, I'll stir the pot with "Youn's".

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A final one-liner referring to O'Brien's aberrant apostrophe on his World Cup shirt - is even better!


"My pleasure. Those of us who care about the wellbeing of the apostrophe have had cause to worry for many years, though the advent of desk-top publishing and the internet have raised the alert level from severe to critical."

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