KARACHI: In an unexpected move, veteran Pakistani Test cricketer Younis Khan has decided to retire from cricket, Geo News learnt early Saturday.
Khan is expected to make a formal announcement in this regard at a press conference later in the day, according to sources.
“Younis Khan is one of the best batsmen we have had. And he has always given his best for Pakistan,” said former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram.
“Younis was always a very hard-working player. He was proactive in all fields of the game, whether it was batting, fielding, helping others out during practice. He was a proper team-man. The way he has handled his image, he will always be respected for it,” said Akram. “The void left by Khan will be filled in years.”
Khan is shy of 23 runs to reach the 10,000-runs mark in Test cricket. He is part of the Test squad that is set to play against West Indies.
Earlier this year, Khan became the first player in the history of Test cricket to score centuries in 11 countries when he smashed his 34th century at the Sydney Cricket Ground against Australia, tying him with Sunil Gavaskar, Mahela Jayawardene and Brian Lara in the all-time list at 6th place for most hundreds.
Khan has played 115 matches in his Test career, scoring a total of 9,977 runs at an average of 53.06. He knocked his highest score being 313 against Sri Lanka in February 2009.
Khan’s retirement follows a similar announcement from Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who said earlier this week that the series against West Indies would be his last.
About Younis Khan
Full name Mohammad Younis Khan
Born November 29, 1977, Mardan, North-West Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
Current age 39 years 130 days
Major teams Pakistan, Habib Bank Limited, Nottinghamshire,Peshawar Cricket Association, Rajasthan Royals,South Australia, Surrey, Warwickshire, Yorkshire
Also known as Younus Khan
Playing role Middle-order batsman
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium, Legbreak
One of Pakistan’s modern batting greats, Younis Khan is the kind of man who responds best in adversity. A Test average of over 50, a triple-hundred, a famous double-hundred against India in India, and a brilliant rearguard partnership to clinch Pakistan’s 3-0 Test whitewash over England, leave no doubt about his quality and class. He is also one of the most successful fielders for Pakistan, and can bowl respectable slow-medium. As a captain, Younis has enjoyed success in leading Pakistan to the world Twenty20 title in 2009. Much of his persona evokes the idea of the quintessential Pathan warrior – committed, inspired, capable, and bearing the burden of conflict with fortitude and poise. Born in Mardan, a prominent city in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Younis moved at an early age to Karachi, where he caught the eye of Rashid Latif and Saeed Anwar at Malir Gymkhana, one of the city’s renowned sports clubs. The relationship with Latif blossomed into a nurturing mentorship, guiding Younis towards entry onto the world stage. After two impressive domestic seasons, he got a Test call-up, and marked it with a century on debut. Style and aesthetics are not his strongest points. His technique relies on a good deal of bottom hand, which deprives it of the fluidity and grace that is typical of Asia’s best batsmen. Yet when Younis gets going, he produces results in the face of steep odds. Indeed, the steeper the odds, the more Younis seems to thrive. His match-winning 267 and 84 not out in Bangalore came after a string of low scores prompted a sarcastic comment from the team manager that leaked into the media. His greatest captaincy feat – the world Twenty20 championship in England – was achieved weeks after Pakistan cricket had been devastated by the terror attacks in Lahore. And though his triple-century came at home on a flat track, the innings began under pressure when Younis, eschewing the nightwatchman, stepped out himself in the dying moments of the second day with Pakistan staring at a huge Sri Lankan total. Unsurprisingly for a rearguard specialist, Younis has emerged a master of the fourth innings. Among players with 1000 or more fourth-innings Test runs, his average is among the highest. Along with these accomplishments, Younis’s career has also seen turmoil. Inability to control infighting within the team and display tact with the PCB led to him losing the captaincy in late 2009, and he effected a moody refusal when circumstances changed and it was offered again. His nature is to be inward-looking and intensely focused, quietly fighting his way through. While this makes for a reclusive personality that shuns the media and runs afoul of officialdom, it has also been the source of Younis’s batting strength and his extraordinary resilience as a cricketer.