In a statement issued to the media, Younis said that it was never easy for a cricketer to decide when to retire after 15 years in international cricket. “I am fortunate that I have been able to decide myself when to retire in T20 internationals and ODIs,” he said. In a surprise move, the national selectors had recalled Younis for the four-match ODI series against England after ignoring him for this format since the World Cup early this year in Australia and New Zealand.
The 37-year-old will be appearing in his 265th one-day international on Wednesday, nearly 16 years after making his debut against Sri Lanka in Karachi in February 2000. Going into his last match, Younis has scored 7,240 runs with seven hundreds and 48 half-centuries in one dayers. Since March 2013, Younis has been picked for only 11 ODIs, putting a big question mark on his future in the 50-over format.
“I have taken the decision to retire after consulting my friends, associates and family members. It is never easy to retire from any form. But I am happy that I have been able to play a central role in many of Pakistan’s victories,” the former captain said. “I am satisfied with the future of Pakistan cricket as there is no shortage of talent in our country and I am sure the young players will also play with the same passion and adhere strictly to discipline and fitness,” Younis said.
Speculations were rife that Younis would announce his retirement from ODIs during or after the England series because of the increased debate on whether he deserved a spot in the ODI side. Younis, who has been in prolific form in Test cricket since the last few years and became the first Pakistani batsman to score 9000 Test runs besides hitting 31 centuries, has in comparison struggled in the 50—overs format averaging just 31.34 in 264 matches. In Test cricket, he averages 53.94 in 104 matches.
The senior pro also led Pakistan to their only World T20 title in England in 2009 after which he surprisingly retired from the format. “I have always played with passion for Pakistan and this is probably the best time for me to retire from one—day cricket and this decision is probably the requirement of the time. I hope this spirit is carried forward as well.”