‘Head held high’: Younus to bid adieu after West Indies Tests

Pakistan’s highest run-scorer in the longest format of the game calls timing ‘right’ to take decision

Afp/Sports Desk April 08, 2017
TEAM MAN: Younus says he has been planning his retirement for a long time since he didn’t want to burden the team if he wasn’t able to perform. PHOTO: AFP

Veteran Pakistan batsman and former captain Younus Khan announced on Saturday he will retire from international cricket after the upcoming Test series in the West Indies.

"I will be retiring... with my head held high," the 39-year-old told a press conference in Karachi. "I think this is the right time as every sportsman has to take this decision in his career."

Younus, who has captained Pakistan in all three formats and led them to their only World T20 title in England in 2009, needs only 23 runs to reach 10,000 Test runs.

Misbah, Younus on Wisden’s ‘Cricketers of the Year’ list

He missed out on hitting the milestone after his team's disastrous tour of Australia in January, where Pakistan lost all three Tests.

Younus has so far scored 34 Test centuries in 115 matches — the most by any Pakistani batsman — and is set to become the first Pakistani and 13th batsman in the world to score 10,000 or more runs. India's Sachin Tendulkar currently tops the charts with 15,921 runs in 200 matches.

Younus is the second high-profile player to retire this month after his team mate and Pakistan Test captain Misbahul Haq also announced his decision to quit on Thursday following months of speculation.

The pair have formed the nucleus of Pakistan's batting in the last seven years and helped their team square a crucial Test series 2-2 in England last year. When asked about the effect his and Misbah’s retirement will have on the Test team, Younus said that youngsters always take hold of the reins.

“Whenever big names leave the team, everyone asks who will lead the team now,” explained Younus. “But life goes on. When I came in the national side, there were a lot of stars already present and I used to think that what will happen when they leave. But I led a young side to World T20 and they won it with me. So, whenever old cricketers leave, new ones do take their place.”

Swansong for Misbah

On Wednesday the two stalwarts were named in Wisden's best cricketers of the year 2017, following their performances on the England tour after which Pakistan briefly rose to number one in Test rankings for the first time.

Younus hit a hundred in his first Test against Sri Lanka in Rawalpindi in 2000, which started a glorious career during which he also scored a double hundred in Pakistan's series-levelling win against India at Bangalore in 2005.

"I was planning this for few months," he said of his decision to quit. "I always tried to play for my team and for my country."

‘Sarfraz next best choice’

Younus backed Pakistan’s limited-overs captain Sarfraz Ahmed to become the Test captain after Misbah leaves the helm.

Misbahul Haq announces retirement from international cricket

“Sarfraz can be the game-changer for Pakistan. He has the chance to take Pakistan cricket to the next level,” said Younus. “Sarfraz is the automatic and best choice to lead Pakistan in Tests.”

The West Indies Test series will start in Jamaica from April 21 followed by Tests in Barbados and Dominica.


Shah | 5 years ago | Reply Good Wishes and Prayers for your Happiness and Health; You are one of those who set up high standards for others to achieve. You are one of those who are pride of my country; We are very proud of you, Younus Khan;
israr | 5 years ago | Reply younis khan by far the best thing happened to pakistan test cricket and t20 captain to win WC realise potential of afridi and razzaq in t20s, yk the top man in 4th inngs chasing targets scoring 100s the only player to have scored tons in all the countries in the world where test has ever been played all 11 countries. yk should be give a trophy that no one has ever been given a loyality trophy he was not in good books of pcb chairman mr ijaz butt the fatty who destroyed pakistani cricket who ppp never did anything. Pakistan is in good hands with YK retiring i say make him batting coach, or head coach. asad will probably come down to play at 4 and safi at 5 that means 6-7 slots are vacant meaning we can easily have two alrounders i say anwar ali as 3rd- 4th seamer and nawaz as left arm spin alrounder , azhar and sami to open babar, asad, safi wow that will be a great test side i am really hoping abass to perform so we can sort the super stars aamir and wahab , i am also hoping shadab to take over yasir shah who lacks the desire to do well now.
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