Younus Khan, it’s time for you to retire

Published: October 3, 2014

Younus Khan, I am sorry to say but your response to the PCB regarding this issue is way more childish than the example from my childhood. PHOTO: AFP

Younus Khan, I am sorry to say but your response to the PCB regarding this issue is way more childish than the example from my childhood. PHOTO: AFP Younus Khan, I am sorry to say but your response to the PCB regarding this issue is way more childish than the example from my childhood. PHOTO: AFP

“Meri batting nahin ayi, is liye mein fielding bhi nahin karun ga” 

(Since I didn’t get my batting, I won’t field either)

Recalling childhood and those crazy action-filled cricket-centric evenings, this quote was, arguably, the most ‘rational’ argument one could present to back out from fielding.

Whenever such a situation arose, the ‘senior players’ of the team would gather around the kid and try to convince him to field. If he owned the bat or ball, he was awarded with the privilege of keeping the wickets with the youngest boy in team at a ‘third man’ position. However, if this arrogant youngster was just a player and couldn’t add any ‘monetary value’, he was asked not to join the street cricket fiesta from the next day.

The recent out bursts from Younus Khan reminded me of this childhood routine. He was selected for the upcoming tour where Pakistan will face Australia in a hybrid series of T20, ODI and Test matches. However, Khan’s selection was only for the Test team and this upset him greatly. He has already shown his frustration by not only withdrawing his name from the Test team but also challenging the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to win a single test match without him.

Recently, Shahid Afridi – yet another immature but sensational player – has backed his former captain, asking for a better farewell for senior players. I have also seen some former players bashing the PCB for not selecting Khan for the ODI team on media channels. The whole story is presented like as if PCB is humiliating Khan by not selecting him for the ODIs and such disgrace shouldn’t be allowed to happen.

Khan’s ODI career record is good no doubt, but it is nowhere near fantastic, fabulous or incredible. Average of just above 30 runs per innings with a strike rate of 75 is not something that will be remembered for years. Six centuries in 244 ODI innings (41 innings per century) with only one outside the subcontinent speaks off his inconsistency and elongated poor form. His stats look more miserable when you consider the fact that he bats up the order, usually number three or four, and Pakistani openers don’t last more than 10 overs that often.

I will pick India as an obvious choice for comparison but comparing Mr Khan with India’s number three will be a total disgrace. Virat Kohli, who has racked up 19 centuries in 130 innings (7 innings per century) with average of 50 plus while maintaining strike rate of almost 90, is such a superb player that you are forced to praise him even if you have physically taken part in the 1965 war against India.

Khan, like other senior players, asks for a dignified farewell but that can happen only if these players understand that they have to prove themselves consistently. A one-off performance is not big enough to retain them in playing 11 forever. I firmly believe that if you are not performing, whatever seniority level you have, you should humbly step down at the right time; otherwise, you are actually forcing selectors to drop you. You are an employee of a company and if you are unable to produce results, you will only be given a couple of chances – not more than that.

Keeping all political differences aside, I respect Imran Khan for setting an example of taking a dignified exit from the game. Jacques Kallis has recently announced his retirement despite the fact that his board guaranteed his spot in the upcoming World Cup. Rahul Dravid stepped down after a horrible run in England and Australia. Shane Warne retired after a wonderful Ashes tour. All these players put up their resignations before their respective boards could have even thought of dropping them.

Younus Khan, I am sorry to say but your response to the PCB regarding this issue is way more childish than the example from my childhood.


Abdullah Ansari

Abdullah Ansari

An electrical engineer by profession, Abdullah works in the oil and gas industry. His interests include international relations, global politics and debating. He tweets @ChangingTrendz (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • guest

    Hello boss, Rahul Dravid was the highest run scorer in test that year.Won man of the series in England.Watch your facts mate.Recommend

  • Muhammad Zeeshan Siddiqui

    Abdullah Ansari…Your article is complete disgrace for a legend like Younis Khan who soon will be the Pakistan leading test run scorer. I agreed his credentials in ODI are not excellent but his outburst is on the treatment why he was picked for SL tour did his stats changed drastically after that why selectors picked him then. He was selected because Pakistan has failed to bat 50 overs in every other game and keeping in mind WC will be played in Australia and NZ we need a player who can anchor the inning from one end. How many centuries Misbah has scored or the player which is replacing him i.e. either Asad Shafiq or Umar Amin answer is none.If we have any better choices to replace him i would back the decision let him play this WC assign him role and then say good bye from ODI. As far as IK retirement is concerned it was also not dignified he resigned then call back on PM interference and at the age of 42 he has no choice but to retire. On the other hand Younis after winning 2009 T 20 WC himself announced the retirement although he was just 32 at that time and can drag his T20 career but he knew he is not suitable for T20 so he retired from T20 with dignity.He is the only player who is part of team for 15 years without any controversy like match fixing,tampering or any other saga which will tarnish Pak image. Real hero and team man and should be treated properly in my humble opinion he is the only choice in the current lot who has the captaincy ability and he has proved it earlier also.Recommend

  • Anonymous

    Very well written!! excellent comparison with street cricket where senior player dominates its in Pakistani culture….players n seniors r bigger than the team unfortunatelyRecommend

  • Rajpar

    Younus khan has better one average than Asad Shafiqm, Umar Ameen and Hafeez.
    and none of Pakistani one player ever has more than 50 average.Recommend

  • Anonymous

    he was selected for Srilanka tour on media pressure and chairman’s intervention which itself is wrong!!! Captain n coach even did not want him in Srilankan seriesRecommend

  • Anonymous

    Fawad Alam, Sohaib maqsood, Umar Akmal all hv better averages than Younis Khan n even better strike rate!! n either one of them will hv to sitout if younis is selected which would do injustice to them n pakistan..Hafeez is an allrounder!!!Recommend

  • Ansari

    Boss, I was pointing their 4-0 loss against Austalia and England actually. Whatever, the point is, he put his resignation before BCCI could have thought about dropping him. You got that point; goal achieved :)Recommend

  • Sohaib

    No they wont have to sit out. Asad Shafiq would have to sit out. Clearly an inferior player. please back up your claims too. -_-Recommend

  • Sohaib

    Baseless. Misbah wanted him in this series and in the Sri Lanka series, Misbah has announced this himself. Absolutely baseless.Recommend

  • Teesra Haath

    Firstly, you can’t compare YK to Hafeez, as Hafeez is an all rounder, selected in the team as much for his bowling as his batting, however flawed/inconsistent it maybe. And please remind me how many ODI matches have Asad Shafiq and Umar Amin played in total to Younis Khan’s. I’m sorry, but a guy who’s played 244 ODI innings and averages a meager 31 (with a SR of 75) batting at the number 3 position, has no right to cry foul over his dropping from the team.
    Having said that, he’s been one of our best batsmen in the Test arena for the last decade or so along with Yousuf and Inzi, and should be in the Test team. We can’t afford to carry any more passengers in the ODI team for the future series and especially the WC.Recommend

  • Kashan Ahmed

    This is as stupid Blog as it can get, I guess has no understanding of the cricket matters. Mahela Jayawardena has a similar average of ODI, should we also call him a failed cricketer. He is the fittest player of the team,even more than the teenagers. For most of his 244 ODIs, he has batted at Number 06/ 07, with Yousuf and Inzamam above him, so how can we expect him to be a player with average within 40s. Kallis batted at 3/4, please get your facts first. Atleast visit Cricinfo, you will get a better idea.Recommend

  • Hamza Shah

    Brilliant article. Seniority culture has plagued Pakistan cricket since it’s inception where players who have been a part of the for a substantial amount of time start to think that it is their birthright to be selected in all formats regardless of their performance.

    Younis Khan does not have a single reason which merits his place in the ODI team. I see people harping on about how Pakistan hasn’t been able to play 50 overs on numerous occasions and Younis Khan would alleviate this issue. How in the world would a player who hasn’t scored a century in the last 4 years and has a pathetic average in early 20s in his last 30 innings rectify this problem!?

    Younis has been a very mediocre ODI player throughout his career and nothing more. This move should have been taken way earlier for by now we would’ve groomed a youngster to take up the mantle at #3 position. However, better late than never. Kudos to the selectors and to you as well for doing an invaluable service to the Pakistan team and its fans!Recommend

  • Prashant

    I would still call Younis Khan the most gentleman cricketer from Pakistan amid all the controversies, other than Yousef and Inzamam, he was the only one who had the technique and temperament to stand up to some of the best bowling attacks in the world. Being calm and composed is not actually a trait of a Pathan going by the way Afridi conducts himself, kudos to Younis for being an example if not all along his career, for most of it.Recommend

  • Anonymous

    check last ODI played by pakistan Asad Shafiq did not play the match :)Recommend

  • Anonymous

    go n check Younis was not even given an A category first !!!Recommend

  • Prashant

    “Younus Khan, it’s time for you to retire”

    There never is a time for Shahid Afridi to retire for being one of the most inconsistent players of the game but Younis needs to retire because he is not boom boom.Recommend

  • Ansari

    Well, dear cricket guru, if he used to play at no. 6/7, it makes things more ugly as it gives him a chance to maintain better average for being not-out. Check stats of michael bevan and MSD !!Recommend

  • Sane

    It is the time for whole team to retire.Recommend

  • Usama

    And that was a total disgrace to a player who have served you for more than a decade.. Not a new thing.. we did the same with wasim, waqar, saeed anwar and all our legendary individuals …Recommend

  • Usama

    And the result is pak all out for mere 160 odd runs .. cheers :)Recommend

  • Cricketer

    Please Grow Up…Recommend

  • Khanzada

    SHAME on this article and Younis has for the umpteenth time silenced his critics with another century. The best player and only world class one in the team, Younis Khan is treated shamefully by the PCB which has tried it’s best to destroy his career while showing blatant favouritism towards perennial failures like Hafeez in bringing him back into the Test squad.Recommend

  • Ali Akbar Shah

    Younis recent performance in the test match is good reply to your this complete absurd.Recommend

  • Sabeet Raza

    It would be great not to praise your own article…Recommend