Younis to quit international cricket after WI series

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Pakistan’s most successful test batsman, Younis Khan, is joining Misbah-ul-Haq in retiring from international cricket after the three-test series against the West Indies next month.

“No player always remains fit, the motivation never remains the same, so this is the time when Younis should leave the field,” the 39-year-old Younis said Saturday in the southern port city of Karachi.

“A time comes in every player’s life when he has to decide and I always tried my best to serve my country with my head high.”

Younis needs only 23 runs to become Pakistan’s first ever cricketer to complete 10,000 test runs and is almost certain to reach this mark against West Indies. He has played 115 test matches and scored 9,977 runs with an impressive average of 53.06 and 34 centuries.

Younis said his decision was not made suddenly and close friends have known for some time. He had thought about quitting test cricket when he surpassed Javed Miandad’s test runs of 8,832, but was then motivated to complete 10,000.

“(Fans) could then ask me to take 11,000 or 12,000,” said Younis, who made his test debut in 2000. “Humans can never be satisfied but I am not in an age to make that far, so I want people to respect my decision and allow me to fulfill my future plans.”

Younis and Misbah were both this week named among Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year. Younis’ highest test score of 313 made against Sri Lanka in 2009 is Pakistan’s third biggest individual test innings after Hanif Mohammad’s 337 and Inzamam-ul-Haq’s 329.

Pakistan won the World Twenty20 title under Younis’ captaincy before he stopped playing in the shortest format of the game. He also scored 7,249 runs in 265 ODIs with seven centuries before quitting in 2015.

Younis played down fears over Pakistan’s batting taking a hit after he quits test cricket along with Misbah, saying “life never stops for anyone, it needs to move on.”

“When I came in I shared the dressing room with players like Rashid Latif, Moin Khan, Inzamam, Wasim, Saeed Anwar and I thought what will happen if they fade away ... But after two to three years Pakistan still did wonders, like in 2009 I won the World T20 with youngsters around me.”

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