Yousuf announces retirement from international cricket
KARACHI: Former Pakistan captain and world record holder batsman Mohammad Yousuf on Monday announced he was to quit international cricket in protest against an indefinite ban.
Yousuf was banned earlier this month in a crackdown on players by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) following a disastrous tour of Australia. Pakistan lost all three Tests, five one-days and a Twenty20 match.
The dismal performance resulted in bans and fines on seven leading players -- Younus was captain for most of the games.
"I received a letter from the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) that my staying in the team is harmful for the team, so I announce my retirement from international cricket," he said in Pakistan''s financial capital Karachi.
"I thank the fans around the world, all the senior players and family members for supporting me throughout my 12-year career," said an emotional Yousuf, 35, dressed in a religious white cap and traditional dress.
"I always played for my country and if my playing is harmful for the team then I don''t want to play," he told the news conference, fielding a barrage of questions at the Karachi Press Club.
Yousuf played 88 Tests, nine as captain and scored 7,431 runs at an average of 53.07, including 24 centuries. He also scored 9,624 runs in 282 one-day internationals.
Yousuf was third behind Javed Miandad (8,832 in 124) and Inzamam-ul-Haq (8,829 in 119) in all time run-getters for Pakistan in Tests and second behind Inzamam (11,701 in 375 matches) in one-day cricket.
But his greatest achievement was 1,788 Test runs in 2006 with nine hundreds -- the world record for most runs scored and hundreds in a calendar year, beating Viv Richards'' 1976 record of 1,710 for the West Indies.
He also won International Cricket Council (ICC) Test player of the year in 2007.
Asked during Monday''s news conference if he could rescind his decision, Yousuf said: "at the moment my playing in the team is harmful so I am quitting".
"If I get time, I would love to play first class cricket and private leagues," he later added.