Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mohammad Yousuf set to retire

Mohammad Yousuf is preparing to retire from all forms of international cricket, a direct result it is believed, of the treatment and punishment the PCB handed out to him in the aftermath of Pakistan's recent Australian tour of which he was captain. "I have decided to quit cricket," Yousuf told the Urdu-language daily Jang. "This is not an emotional decision. I consulted my family, friends and elders before taking it."

The board blamed Yousuf for spreading infighting and indiscipline within the side and banned him for an indefinite period - along with Younis Khan - from all forms of the international game. He was subsequently not included in the central contracts list for this year. Yousuf was handed an indefinite ban as per the recommendations of an inquiry committee

Yousuf had taken over the captaincy last year when Younis stepped down following an ODI series loss to New Zealand in Abu Dhabi, at a time he says no one was willing to take the responsibility. Though he hasn't yet specified the reasons behind his decision, it is believed that the PCB's punishment and a lack of support from the board have made his mind up for him.

If it is the final goodbye - and his current mood, say friends, indicates that he is serious - then Pakistan will lose the services of their most accomplished batsman of the decade alongside Inzamam-ul-Haq. He has over seven thousand Test runs from 88 Tests at 53.07, the highest for any Pakistani batsman. He has 39 international hundreds, including 24 in Tests alone. Pakistan are due to play six Tests in England this summer, a prospect they must now consider - if Younis also misses out - without either of their most formidable middle-order batsmen.

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