KARACHI: Pakistani Test cricketer Younis Khan on Saturday announced his retirement from international cricket bringing an end to an illustrious seventeen year career.
The 39-year-old made the announcement during a press conference and said that he will step in the field for the last time during the upcoming series against West Indies.
“I was under a lot of pressure. Many people are calling me and asking me not to make any announcement to leave but now is the time,” he said appearing nostalgic of his struggle to be a part of the cricket team.
He said that he tried to be a cricket ambassador for his nation, and will be available to serve in any other capacity. “I always tried to take Pakistan one step further,” he said.
“No player always remains fit, the motivation never remains the same, so this is the time when I should leave the field after the upcoming series in West Indies.”
However, he said that it will be better to bid farewell to the world of cricket and leave with respect and grace. He thanked the cricketing authorities and his teammates who have supported him over the years.
“I want to depart with my head held high,” he said hoping to make the West Indies series memorable after the tragic death of former coach Bob Woolmer in the Caribbean in 2007. He further said that Sarfaraz Ahmed has the opportunity to take Pakistan further.
The unanticipated move comes days after the retirement of Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq who will also play his final series against the West Indies. The retirement of the two veterans is likely to create a vacuum for the Test cricket team. Both were recently selected among the five Cricketers of the Year by Wisden.
In January, Younis Khan had said that he expects to play cricket for the next two years, but has reportedly decided to quit after conflict with Chief Selector Inzaman-ul-Haq who hinted at a revamped team after the West Indies series.
Younis Khan has played 115 Test and is just 23 runs shorts of the 10,000 runs milestone in his Test career. This includes 34 centuries and 32 fifties and memorable triple century. He is also the only player to score a century in eleven countries.
Often known as one of the greatest players of modern era, Younis Khan made his debut against Sri Lanka in 2000 and played his last Test match against Australia in January. He also captained during the 2009 World T20 win in England. Younis will be remembered for his batting strength and his extraordinary resilience as a cricketer.