Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Veteran Pakistan batsman Younis Khan has announced that he will retire from international cricket after the upcoming three-Test series against the West Indies.
Younis’ decision comes just two days after Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq confirmed that he would be ending his international career after the same series.
“People are calling me and asking me not to make any announcement to leave but now is the time,” the 39-year-old said in Karachi. “A time comes in every player’s life when he has to decide and I always tried my best to serve my county with my head high.
“No player always remains fit, the motivation never remains the same, so this is the time when Younis should leave the field after the upcoming series in West Indies.”
Younis will be looking to make history in the Test series against the West Indies as he is just 23 runs shy of becoming the first Pakistan batsman to score 10,000 Test runs.
“I always tried to be a good ambassador and serve my country to take it one step forward,” Younis said. “If I’ve ever made a mistake in my career, if I’ve forgotten something, or done something wrong, please think of me as one of your own and forgive me, ignore me and let’s move on.
“This isn’t something sudden, this was always building up and few of my close friends knew it. Although I had a plan to retire after surpassing Javed bhai’s [Miandad] runs record, then I was motivated to complete 10,000 runs so I have decided to get them. The reason I announced it beforehand was people start asking me for more, they could then ask me to take 11,000 or 12,000 or I may start thinking about reaching Sachin’s 15,000 runs. Humans can never be satisfied but I am not of an age to make it that far, so I want people to respect my decision and allow me to fulfil my future plans.”
With Pakistan losing two of their most senior players and anchors in their middle order, there are concerns about whether Pakistan will be able to cope.
However, Younis is confident that the national team will experience a smooth transition phase, and said: “In the past these things were said, what Pakistan will do with big stars leaving, it will be difficult ahead … but life never stops for anyone, it needs to move on.
“When I came in I shared the dressing room with players like Rashid Latif, Moin Khan, Inzamam, Wasim, Saeed Anwar and I thought what will happen if they fade away. All pressure will come on us as junior players.
“But after two to three years Pakistan still did wonders, like in 2009 I won the World T20 with youngsters around me … I think Sarfraz [Ahmed] has a chance here to stand up and take the Pakistan team forward and we should think this way.”
Younis has represented Pakistan in 115 Tests thus far and has scored 9,977 runs at an average of 53.06. His career-best score of 313 against Sri Lanka in 2009 is the third-highest individual knock for Pakistan behind Hanif Mohammad’s 337 and Inzamam-ul-Haq’s 329.