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KARACHI:Former cricketers on Tuesday lamented the retirement of Mohammad Yousuf, saying Pakistan will badly miss the ace batsman if he sticks to his decision.
Yousuf said on Monday he was quitting international cricket to protest against a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) ban imposed over a disastrous tour of Australia, but kept his options open by saying his decision was “for the time being”.
Former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas said the 35-year-old Yousuf was still up to Test cricket.
“Yousuf is a world-class batsman and can still play Tests for Pakistan,” Abbas told pressmen. “Everyone knows the reason behind his decision, so he should decide on his future and we must respect that.
The PCB banned Yousuf and fellow former captain Younus Khan indefinitely earlier this month over infighting following an investigation into dismal performances on the tours of United Arab Emirates, New Zealand and Australia.
Yousuf took on the captaincy following Younus's withdrawal after the UAE tour. Pakistan lost all three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match on its December-February tour of Australia.
“Yousuf has served the country for 12 years and deserved a better end to his career. It's now a catch-22 situation for him, but he will have to think about his future himself,” said Abbas, himself a great batsman in his day.
Another former captain, Ramiz Raja, rued the “bitter end to a glorious career”.
“For the last six months controversies have followed him and forced him to take this decision,” Raja added.
Yousuf's former team-mate Inzamam-ul-Haq criticised the PCB punishments.
Former captain Shoaib Malik and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan were also banned for one year, while Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal and Umer Akmal were heavily fined.
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