Younis Khan announces ODI retirement

CRICKET-RSA-PAKPakistan batsman Younis Khan will bring the curtains down on his ODI career after the first match against England at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Younis, 37, played 264 matches in an ODI career that spanned 15 years. With 7240 runs, Younis is currently sixth on the list of highest run-getters for Pakistan in ODIs. Earlier this month, he overtook Javed Miandad’s record to become Pakistan’s highest run-scorer in Tests.

Overall, Younis scored seven hundreds and 48 fifties at an average of 31.34, but had been on the fringes of the limited-overs side in recent months; he managed just one century since 2008, against New Zealand last December.

“I am really pleased to announce that today I am retiring from ODI cricket after deliberation with my family, wife, and close friends,” Younis said. “I feel satisfied and grateful to almighty for showering numerous blessings on me. It is one of the his great blessings that I, by my own will, have taken this decision to retire from ODI cricket after having retired from T20 cricket already.”

Explaining his decision, Younis said that he had to be honest with himself while contemplating his ODI future. “During my 15-year long association with ODI cricket, I always tried my best to play positive cricket for my team both as captain and as a player. But now I feel that the time has come when I should call it a day from one-day cricket,” Younis, who captained Pakistan in two stints, first in 2005-06 and later in 2009, said. “I hope that our young players will exhibit the same passion with which I played my game with strict adherence to discipline and fitness.

“I would like to thank the PCB, selection committee and my fellow players who always respected and encouraged me. It is difficult to bid adieu to one-day format, but I believe in being sincere and honest with myself as well as with my profession. Pakistan cricket has a bright future ahead. We have been the champions in this game once and I believe we have all necessary ingredients to become champions once again.”

While Younis has been in fine form in Test cricket, scoring eight hundreds from his last 15 matches at an average of 68.68, his records in ODI were less impressive. Last year, after being dropped from the ODI squad for the home series against Australia, a hurt Younis lashed out at the PCB, challenging the board to build a team without him in the mix. Despite being out of favour in ODIs at the time, Younis eventually returned to the squad for the home series against New Zealand, and was also included in the team’s World Cup squad. He however had a tournament to forget, scoring just 43 runs from three matches and was eventually axed from the line-up.

Younis’ ODI retirement leaves him as an active international cricketer in just Tests. He had retired from Twenty20 Internationals after leading Pakistan to the World T20 title in 2009 in England, their first trophy on the global stage since the 1992 World Cup win. (ESPN Cricinfo)


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