Osman Samiuddin
Sportswriter at the National

Au revoir or farewell?

Mohammad Yousuf's retirement announcement wasn't all that convincing - after all, we've been there before

Osman Samiuddin

March 29, 2010

Comments: 58 | Text size: A | A

Mohammad Yousuf drives along the ground, Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 3rd Test, 1st day, Colombo, July 20, 2009
Mohammad Yousuf has retired... for now © Associated Press
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Not once in his scripted spiel did Mohammad Yousuf actually say anything about quitting international cricket, which, given that the occasion was to officially announce his retirement, seemed a strange way of going about it. Having already told the biggest, most influential Urdu-language paper in Pakistan - essentially the whole country - two days ago that he was going to retire, perhaps he felt he didn't need to say he was actually retiring at the function organised for that very purpose.

It was only after he finished thanking past captains, players, God, and talking about a PCB letter, that a bemused reporter asked him, just to be sure, "So you are retiring right?"

"Yes, yes," Yousuf quickly responded. "Yes, this is my retirement. I have retired from international cricket." The whole affair has about it the permanence of an ice cube in the Sahara.

Reluctantly, Yousuf answered questions, with answers that weren't really answers at all.

'Why are you retiring?'

"After the Australia tour I got a letter from the PCB which said that me staying in the team is harmful to the team and Pakistan cricket," he answered. "I don't want to cause harm to Pakistan cricket. Everyone has their own thinking and the disciplinary committee has its own thinking and I haven't understood the reasons for it, or senior players, or the public."

'Is this a final decision?' asked another.

"Filhaal, this is what I can see, that my playing for Pakistan is damaging."

Filhaal means, essentially, "for now". Four times over the next 15 minutes, as he was asked variants of the same question - if there is a change in administration will you come back, if captain, coach, PCB, selector call will you come back, if the public want you back, will you come back? - he said the same thing: "For now, this is it, for now this is my retirement."

For now: so here we had retirement as a temporary state of being. Heavyweight boxers have sounded more serious about farewells. Some time into it, journalists started taking bets as to when they'd be here again, covering the return of Yousuf. One even went and told Yousuf he better book the Press Club now for whenever he announces his return, so busy can the calendar get. The response, other than a smile, wasn't recorded.

Yousuf was asked whether he will now appeal against the indefinite ban imposed on him by the PCB, and if it seemed an irrelevant question, it gained significance with the answer. "Retirement I have given but as far as the appeal is concerned I will speak to my elders and if they allow me to, I will appeal." So if the elders approve - the very same who advised him to retire - Yousuf will appeal to have an indefinite ban lifted so that he can what? Stay retired? He'll even continue playing first-class and league cricket, "to stay in touch and keep my fitness".

Even the whole function at the Karachi Press Club was decidedly non-retirement in spirit. It could have been a belated meet for his feats of 2006, the year of Yousuf. Press club officials made impassioned speeches about his greatness and gave him gifts before he finally came on to speak, like a homecoming hero, and not, as was the case, a departing one.

He didn't moan openly about the PCB; he insisted that because the letter said he would be harmful to the team, he would not play for the team. So, came the assumption, you agree you were harmful to the team? "What the PCB is saying, that is what they are saying," he didn't explain. "I don't have answers to what you guys are asking."

 
 
The whole function was decidedly non-retirement in spirit. It could have been a belated meet for his feats of 2006, the year of Yousuf. Press club officials made impassioned speeches about his greatness and gave him gifts before he finally came on to speak, like a homecoming hero, and not, as was the case, a departing one
 

Finally, when everyone reluctantly decided that this was actually a farewell press conference and not the kind of pressure tactic everyone suspected it to be, someone asked him, half-heartedly, to recall his most memorable performances. Usually it is the first question in such situations. "I always tried for Pakistan to benefit from my batting, and if people feel that, then I am happy. Any innings through which I saved Pakistan or won a Test, I am most satisfied with."

It might be final, it might not. Presumably, Yousuf will surely tell us, it is not in any mortal's hands. If it is to be - and the PCB so far seems monumentally unconcerned - then Yousuf leaves behind a comprehensive body of work, though not perhaps unadulterated acclaim.

Undoubtedly, he was Pakistan's best batsman behind Inzamam-ul-Haq this decade, and that he was so good to watch was, in these overcoached times of the stiff elbow, sweet mercy. But an ordinary record against Australia and South Africa will hound him forever (though the beauty of an MCG, Boxing Day special against Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath can never be erased).

After his record year, he never kicked on, mired in petty distractions. And it is strangely fitting that of his 24 Test hundreds, eight were in Pakistan wins, eight in draws and eight in losses; enough ammunition for those who think he didn't win too many games for Pakistan and just as much for those who think he saved them sufficient times and for there never to be a completely clear verdict.

But one day, when all is finally said and done, we will perhaps remember him for his quite extraordinary story. His rise to where he is, to the captain of Pakistan, to become one of their best batsmen ever, is a singularly heartening tale of how sometimes, somehow, talent alone is enough to overcome just about anything. It is testament to a spirit; a spirit that should never die in this land.

If only so that he can go out with the grace that his batting deserves, it is hoped this is not final.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

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Posted by cric4india on (April 2, 2010, 18:21 GMT)

Most of the pakistani cricketers do not know the true meaning of retirement or even ban for that sake! It is a temporary passage of time for them which they can revert from whenever they want to!

Posted by   on (March 31, 2010, 21:56 GMT)

I dont understand what MR.Osman was trying to say?nobody seem to think that how much pain you would feel if you were thrown out of any company or organisation without any solid reason?not a single word about his past 12 years of service?no solid allegation?no specefic time period of punishment?remember he is still pakistan's test captain,pcb yet to told him or anybody else that yousuf is been remove from captaincy.I know yousuf is confuse but i think he has to comeback,we need yousuf for the world cup and for test matches

Posted by asadkum on (March 31, 2010, 14:36 GMT)

Mohammad Asad from USA.

I do not agree with you fully. Yousuf is a very good batsman....no doubt about it.. At present I do not see any dependable experienced middle order batsman. Yeah U Akmal is growing....We need desperately batsman like Yousuf especially in this crisis peroid....He is a good human being also.. Afridi has a good cricketing sense and has leadership capability. PCB management should withdraw socalled fake allegation and unjustified ban against Yousuf.......Higher Pak authority should come up to resolve the matter for the interest of Pak cricket and save the misuse of talent..........

Asad from USA.

Posted by   on (March 31, 2010, 7:37 GMT)

@sabina200 He was match winner in past but now it looks like he is not playing for Pakistan, He played last few matches for himself that is y He is out of the Park now

Posted by Shahraz_London on (March 31, 2010, 7:37 GMT)

LOOK AT WHAT I HAVE BEEN SAYING FOR MONTHS

LESSON 1 - At international level TALENT =40% and the MIND = 60%. Changing players won't make a difference as they will get infected with the wrong mentality. Stick with the team I noted above - then you need to IMPROVE MENTALLY! EG Imran and Wasim were unbelievable strong mentally. Afridi is the only one I can think of in the current team (Cricket brain) - Captain.

LESSON 2 - When you have unruly masses - you NEED strong leadership When you have a third world country - you need tough leadership otherwise things get out of control. The squad is currently out of control. Bring in a tough (but professional) coach who is the boss. If the players don't like it DROP the player not the coach. Afridi captain.

Continued below

Posted by Shahraz_London on (March 31, 2010, 7:36 GMT)

Continued from above LESSON 3 - Long term, being professional and having stable structure is the KEY to success. In Pakistan when something goes wrong every tom dick and harry wants their say. You must set up a system that people agree is the best - then STICK WITH IT. The only time in recent history that I can remember the system working well was when RAMIZ RAJA was head of PCB and AAMER SOHAIL was selector (Junaid Zia aside!). LESSON 4 - Keep it simple! When you have sharp educated mind you can pursue complex coaching. When you have uneducated mind, you have to keep it simple (BOB WOOLMER realised this and kept it simple!) LESSON 5 - These lessons are never going to be learned, so just enjoy the roller coaster ride.

Posted by Shahraz_London on (March 31, 2010, 7:34 GMT)

LOOK AT WHAT I HAVE BEEN SAYING FOR MONTHS

S BUTT- Of all the useless players he's the best, has centuries against Australia. FARHAT/MALIK/ALAM - Farhat, useless, but is there anyone better? -Malik, if he wants this spot, but he shouldn't open his mouth - Alam, allegedly the second best young batsman in Pakistan, if in, give him a clear run of 10 matches)!) Y KHAN -Should have remained captain - now ignore captaincy M YOUSUF - Leader off the field, definitely not on the field U AKMAL - The future S AFRIDI - Captain on the pitch (should remain humble off the pitch) excellent cricketing brain, excellent spinner, has aggression, extra bowler, can change game with bat, Kaneria will bowl better

Contniued below.

Posted by Shahraz_London on (March 31, 2010, 7:33 GMT)

Continued

K AKMAL - What idiot dropped him, he just needs some help to work out why he was making drops - loss of concentration - too much pressure? U GUL - Reverse swing M AAMER - It's about time a new Wasim came along, improve your batting M ASIF -You're good but not that good to be arrogant D KANERIA - Under rated, needs to be used better by captain

MO YO IS A LEGEND - JUST NOT A CAPTAIN - YOU CAN SEE IT A MILE OFF

Posted by skkh on (March 31, 2010, 5:15 GMT)

Very unkind article Mr Osman. You were just trying to pick holes in this retirement of Yousuf. You did not try to look into the hurt that Yousuf is going through because of this bungling Pak cricket board. Yousuf will be missed. He was a very good cricketer and a good human being. The very idea of banning Yousuf and Younus is ..well only the Pakistanis do such a thing. From across the border we do not miss cricketers like Afridi, Malik and their likes but would certainly miss Yousuf and to some extent Younus

Posted by OnlySujit on (March 31, 2010, 4:00 GMT)

Osman you really write classic, really funny articles. But to the point as always. No one gets decent farewells in Pak if they want or at least go away gracefully if told. Just look at how Wasim Akram, Waqar Younus, Inzi went. I bet our Yousuf bhai will be back soon when Pak is 2-0 down in the next series.......

Posted by sabina2009 on (March 31, 2010, 2:22 GMT)

Pakistan should look for alternatives. Mohammad Yousuf is definitely a good player but I simply do not consider him as one of the greatest batsmen. He is not at all a match winner. He plays good but without him Pakistan cricket can also survive.

Posted by   on (March 30, 2010, 19:43 GMT)

Yousuf AKA Youhana is a confused man....so nothing new about his retirement. His greed to be captain of Pakistan is like Sharad Pawar's in Indian politics to be PM

Posted by kkulkarn on (March 30, 2010, 18:37 GMT)

@Edassery - Ravi Shastri was kicked out too... one of the most useless cricketer in his last few years..

Posted by xxxxx2009 on (March 30, 2010, 17:30 GMT)

Incompetence of BCCP is an endless spiral.Banninig Mohd Yousuf,Younis Khan,Shoaib Malik,Fining Afridi are stupidities of such colossal magnitude.only the BCCP can attiain.Two of the top ten batsmen in the world are banned by the management while the team has performed miserably in batting cocsistently.Afridi fined but appointed captain.Yousaf banned indefinitely,but the chief selector has plans for him this summer.Razzak,a proven allrounder,dropped fim one day side.Salman Butt selected for T20.The list is endless.Heads ought to roll but not of players,but of the management.Is there any body out there who can restore some sanity to Pakistan Cricket?

Posted by S.N.Singh on (March 30, 2010, 16:38 GMT)

IF I WAS YUSSUF I WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME. AT HIS AGE AND AN IDEFINITE BAN WILL DO HIM MORE THAN GOOD. P B C IS A CORRUPTED BODY AND THE OFFICIALS ARE ALL CORUPTED DUE TO THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN PAKISTAN. YUSSUF DECISION IS A GOOD ONE AND TO MAKE AFFRIDI THE CAPTAIN IS THE BEST THEY (PBC) HAVE BUT HE IS NOT THE BEST CAPTAIN TO HAVE FOR HE IS CORRUPTED BY HIMSELF BY SAYING "TAMPERING OF THE BALL" IS THE NORM AND HIS ATTITUDE ON THE FIELD IS NOT TOO GOOD. I AM SORRY FOR YUSSUF, I KNOW HE IS A GREAT BATSMAN AND A SERIOUS PLAYER. FOR YUSSUF, TRY AND PLAY COUNTY CRICKET IN ENGLAND AND LIVE IN ENGLAND, THEIR IS NO LIFE THERE FOR YOU AND YOU FAMILY. S.N.SINGH

Posted by   on (March 30, 2010, 16:15 GMT)

I think for someone of his stature, he deserves a better farewell. But, he seems to be using this very concept of "farewell" to the advantage of gaining sympathy and kind of to show his resent towards PCB. C'mon Yousuf, this is not expected from you!

By the way, is there anyone here who sense shades of match-fixing in all this drama that is currently surrounding Pakistani Cricket ?

Posted by   on (March 30, 2010, 15:10 GMT)

Good that he's retiring. I think Shoaib Malik & Younis should retire too. I think the administration need to retire as well.

Ijaz butt and company should retire and Wasim Akram should be made the new chairman of the Pakistan Cricket :-)

Posted by khan_203 on (March 30, 2010, 14:15 GMT)

yusuf is a gud batsmane.but we dont need him one dayers.... pakistan are world champions... forget abt yusuf, yunas,and malik just keep ur eyes on t20 worldcup.... pakistan was under estimated the same way in last T20 worldcup...i am sure that IPL hits are going to be biggest flops in the forthcoming world cup...bec playing at international level needs strong nerves not PAISA....wake up pakistan...wake up afridi....wake up champs....

Posted by Blueangle on (March 30, 2010, 14:03 GMT)

@ Edassery Little knowledge is dangerous thing and your comment is the best example. I am not sure about Kapil Dev but Imran was retired after winning 1992 world cup as a national hero and was not kicked out. You better do some research before you post your comments. As for as MoYo is conversion to Islam is concerned, that is between him and his God. You and me are not qualified to judges the motif and rational behind his conversion.

Posted by Itchy on (March 30, 2010, 12:55 GMT)

Unfortunately, MoYo will be remembered by me for the poor field placings set to Mike Hussey and Peter Siddle in the Sydney Test earlier this year. The test was given away while I watched on in disappointment even though Australia won (or did they not lose!)

Posted by manifantasticcheema on (March 30, 2010, 12:32 GMT)

Usman Bhai!! you are right he is actually one of the best cricketer Pakistan has ever produced or should I say born in pakistan because pakistan does not produce it destroys such great talent.. Insanity prevails and even the best of minds are left emtied when it comes to grooming them and turning into some legen.. Oh My God I as a supporter also want to listen about our cricketer with will and determination playing for 2 consecutive days and still fielding,,, but alas there are no such cricketers in our land and if there is some like younis or Yousef,, the 3 test played former test cricketers turned administrators who even played those test due to some one's favour and not on their talent are ruining everything.. I wonder if we have something better than Shafqat Rana, Ijaz Butt, Stupid , dumb Intikhab alam, Haroon Rashin and yawar saeed who don't know even about the basic features of the game yet? God have Mercy on us,,, save us from these hawks ruinging the game... may live long cric!

Posted by imirfan on (March 30, 2010, 12:23 GMT)

I know one thing if asked with Love he will change his mind and will go to shoaib malik's wedding with Sania Mirza?" He is such a nice gentleman.

Posted by Anneeq on (March 30, 2010, 12:08 GMT)

One thing that us fans will remember Yousuf for is Sydney, never have we been so ashamed of Yousuf, so ashamed of our cricket team until Yousuf put 8 fielders on the boundary when the opposition was 60 for 6. That opposition being Australia as well, the team we havent beaten in Aus in my living memory at least. As well as that, he goes on and publicly has a go at Salman Butt, whilst at the same time backs Kamran Akmal after that horrendous performance in Sydney with the 4 dropped catches. I'm in no doubt he deserves the ban, petty little spats with Malik really messed up the whole team, a man whos 35 years old and has spent 20 years in international cricket should know any disagreements publicly can be bad for team morale.

I suppose u have to give credit where its due, u cant deny he has been Pakistan's most consistent performer. With the bat he was a real artist, pleasure to watch, i suppose he's our Sachin. He did take the captaincy when nobody else wanted it.

Posted by paulantony on (March 30, 2010, 11:50 GMT)

Finally the end of Md Yusuf or is it so? Even he is not sure about it. Sad ending for a person who changed his religion to cash in on the attached benefits, its seems to be futile now. Hope PCB can at least give him a decent farewell considering all that he has achieved for pakistani cricket but for that to happen he has to be sure about his retirement.

Posted by MB81 on (March 30, 2010, 11:24 GMT)

I find his situation sad because he's taken the value of "retirement" away from himself and what retirement means and the whole occasion. If you look back at some of the Greats retirement: Curtly Ambrose- He went out with his best mate Walsh in front of a clapping oval crowd. Steve Waugh- Went out in front of his home crowd at the S.C.G Shane Warne, Justin Langer and Glenn Mcgrath- Warnie was chaired off, followed by Mcgrath and Langer.

Posted by ankurdd on (March 30, 2010, 10:50 GMT)

Be more liberal about it. It's freedom of choice. No system or religion allows such comment. In particular slam strictly forbids such hideous remarks on the intentions of one's acceptance of Islam as a religion. No ethical and liberal system of life will support a narrow minded view of your's. Having said that I think Yousaf has made some very silly cricketing decisions. He probably could have fared better if he would have been more calculated and sharp and less hasty about his decisions during his career.

Posted by ankurdd on (March 30, 2010, 10:42 GMT)

Edassery on (March 30 2010, 06:44 AM GMT) .................... It's not the first time he's doing this drama (and remember, he had even changed his religion for the associated benefits)..............

Come on man, you're not supposed to and neither you should have any right to say something like this. It's ethically wrong. You don't live inside him. What's within him is not to you're disclosure. Make a comment on something more politically correct. It's his choice for whatever his reasons.

Posted by Wypinkara on (March 30, 2010, 10:11 GMT)

Yousuf was one of a kind. A very rare Kind. i.e. Pakistani Artists. Though very few of them, they have enthralled me with their sheer Artistry. Shahbaz Ahmed Sr. (Hockey), Jansher Khan (squash), Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (Music) among others.

Posted by mriaz on (March 30, 2010, 9:54 GMT)

its really a shame for the world cricket to see the treatment given out to such a great in the game of cricket. Despite the fact this is internal matter of PCB, I still feel that world cricket, ICC should have some kind of platform to protect this maltreatment to the greta players. We all ned to see yousyf playing his elegance style cricket. for a cricket lover, such a great style will be missed by bigtime.Hope that this "Phihal" remains for only brief time and better sense prevails to PCB and Yousuf recalls his retirement.Salute to the gentleman of the game of gentlemen.good luck to Yousuf for whatever he does in future.

Posted by Rag-Aaron on (March 30, 2010, 9:45 GMT)

This is like a crazy-off. He was banned for life - but with the possibility of recall further down the track so he's responded to that absurdity with his own one - a retirement that is also only temporary. Aside from faking his own death I don't see how he could have done more to out-crazy the PCB.

Truly I do not understand Pakistani cricket - and I will never ever begin to comprehend why Yousuf and Younis were banned.

Posted by NRS11 on (March 30, 2010, 9:42 GMT)

NAWABSAHA & EDASSERY I absolutely support your comments, this guy played it diplomatically in getting hold of the captaincy. my only suggestion to the cricketers in india and pakistan is to see the australian cricketers like gilchrist, hayden, langer, mcgrath and many more, dont you think they deserved to play more cricket but they whole heartedly paved the way for younger and deserving cricketers to get a chance to shoe their talent. and ofcourse there are players who can come out better than any kicked out cricketers. LONG LIVE PAK MANAGEMENT!!!

Posted by nawwabsahab on (March 30, 2010, 7:24 GMT)

its really a waste of words to write about such a cricketer who isnt really capable of retiring respectfully. He still wants to earn through his nonsense form. what a joke

Posted by Edassery on (March 30, 2010, 6:44 GMT)

Cricketers in the sub-continent never retires until they are kicked out. It's has happened even the greatest of them - including Kapil Dev and Imran Khan. Only very few people like Ravi Shastri retired gracefully.

Mohd. Yusuf is one of the most pathetic player when it comes to this kind of decisions. It's not the first time he's doing this drama (and remember, he had even changed his religion for the associated benefits)

Posted by Rahul_78 on (March 30, 2010, 5:17 GMT)

'FILHAAL'..lol, OMG, is anything permenant and stable in pak cricket? No offenses to yusuf he is a great player but this is ridiculous. Osman I am sure you dont watch reality tv or soap operas on TV cause you r a part of the most enthralling one called 'PCB, Players aur fans' in pak cricket.

Posted by anwaralam on (March 30, 2010, 4:55 GMT)

Mohammad Yousuf has been one of the best dependable middle order batsman Pakistan has produced. His loyalty to the team is unquestionable. The debacle in down under is not his legacy rather the inept collective team effort that let him down. Shoaib Malik the ex-captain could not tolerate him as captain. Given the history of captainship this not new to see infighting within the Pakistan team especially when it comes to being the captain of the team. Everybody wants to be the captain-fit for the job or not. He drew the series in New Zealand but lost a surewin match against Australia in Sydney. Everybody including coach, Manager and the team are to be blamed for this defeat. Lack of strategy cost them the match. Not Yusuf alone. All players in the team first must learn to respect their captain. learn to respect their captains and be committed to the team perfomance. It will be not too late before Yusuf will be given a call to reverse his decision to retire for now. PCB in quandary now.

Posted by anilkp on (March 30, 2010, 3:03 GMT)

Yousuf is one of the greatest cricketers of the modern era; take nothing away from him. However, he has been consistently flickering over his cricket-related decision making. Too many flip-flops and now this new "for now; filhaal"! Don't be surprised at Yousuf scoring another century for Pakistan. Do not mourn yet! This is somewhat annoying and somewhat shameless, but that's what he is.

Posted by bustermove on (March 30, 2010, 2:38 GMT)

If we put aside all the fluff that is associated with his fragile temperament and his volatile relationship with the ungrateful mob that is the PCB then there is shear joy to be found in the enigmatic Mohammad Yousuf. I know that aesthetics don't count for much in this biff and barge age of cricket but when he is on song, there has been no batsman in the last 20 years whose batting is easier on the eye, with the exception of perhaps Mark Waugh or V.V.S.Laxman. His 95 at Brisbane in 1999 is still the most stunningly beautiful innings I have watched live. His timing was breathtaking. The ball barely made a noise as it left the bat and yet reached the boundary at light speed. As a captain I wouldn't rate him but I would drive a long way to watch him hit a century. If he has truly departed the scene then we are poorer for it.

Posted by Himayun on (March 30, 2010, 2:22 GMT)

Well Yousuf was a gentleman cricketer who never committed illegal and humiliating acts on or off the field. He does not belong to that group of cricketers. His class and averages are simply the best in Pakistan.

In another country he would not have been banned for life and the others rewarded for their overt and covert shameful acts. With this kind of management it is not surprising that Pakistan is last in the world in its national game and way down towards the bottom in cricket. This is obvious from the fact that once a man like Imran Khan was captain now it is ball chewing, pitch digging Afridi.

Shame, shame and more shame.

Posted by Dashing_deccans on (March 30, 2010, 1:34 GMT)

Its sad to see a great player exit the game in such manner,Its PCB which needs to be dissolved and some sober heads should take up without any political Influence. Instead of solving the internal issue of pakistani cricket PCB is firing players whithout even thinking how they are going to fill the viod left by Mohammed yousuf,Younis khan and others, The rehabilitation of the team will take years, sorry face of Pak cricket. good luck yousuf please dont come back now no matter who ever forces you.

Posted by   on (March 30, 2010, 0:06 GMT)

to Mr yousuf: dude if it is "for now" its not retirement. its a temporary break just like younis decided to have few months back. your break might be longer than his, but its still not 'retirement' because you said it too clearly that its "for now" i mean come'on !!

Posted by   on (March 29, 2010, 23:09 GMT)

He was a modern artist of unparalleled class. Probably the most correct batsman of his era with a record that stands out as a testimony to his talents. The way he was treated by the PCB and the people around him is another story, since it has become a normality in that part of the world where heroes are made the heaviest laughing stock and where integrity has no meaning. RIP Mohammed Yousuf (for now). You'll be sorely missed! Cheers for the memories!

Posted by saaanid on (March 29, 2010, 20:53 GMT)

i love him i like cricket bcoz of his batting style.......i will miss him and may be this is also an end of my cricket career as a viewer of criciket....

God bless him.......

Posted by Croc_on_mara on (March 29, 2010, 20:46 GMT)

He averaged below 30 against the best seam attacks (29.6-SA and 29.7-Australia) and against the best spin attack (a mere 29 against Sri Lanka). Also, kindly note that he averaged below 20 ( A shocking 19.68 and 18.84) in SL and WI in ODIs. Further, inspite of having played all his 9 tests in India on absolute featherbeds he average a very ordinary 33. Looks like your 'legend' had a few too many chinks in his armoury. Ahem..Ahem..

Posted by Bharat_number_1 on (March 29, 2010, 20:06 GMT)

@Hammad Fayyaz what does sachin fielding at third man have to do with yousuf's lack of fitness?? sachin is fitter than most other cricketers, certainly the ones above 30.

get your facts straight mr.

Posted by Hassan.Farooqi on (March 29, 2010, 19:56 GMT)

Those who are ridiculing his announcement citing earlier retirements and comebacks. Please remember clearly. On all occasions the decision to retire was not his. He was not considered in the team, joined ICL, and was banned. Then he was brought back on promises, which were not kept. This time also his decision comes after being banned for life. So if you want to ridicule someone, do it to PCB which keeps banning him, and then bringing him back on false promises.

Posted by krik8crazy on (March 29, 2010, 18:47 GMT)

"Retired hurt" would be an apt description for Yusuf's departure. It is not easy to be in the position he has been in so please don't be judgmental, people. Anyways, he is not getting any younger and at the most he has another year or two left at the international level. His prime years were wasted due to the ICL related ban. After Inzy he is the next best Pakistani batsman of the modern era. The PCB made him a scapegoat for the disastrous Australian tour. As soon as he was appointed captain, I thought "poor guy, he is taking up the crown of thorns". And that is exactly how it turned out to be. He seems to be a mild mannered guy unsuitable for captaincy. Why was he made the captain then? Why couldn't the board appoint someone else who is more assertive? Instead of having this great batsman playing for another couple of years and playing a mentor role to groom the next generation of great batsmen, Pakistan board has crushed his spirit and pushed him out. What a shame!

Posted by haroonalvi on (March 29, 2010, 18:38 GMT)

He is one of the greatest ever batsmen, he still holds the record for the highest number of runs in a calander year, most runs made in ODIs without getting out, and one of the few batsmen in the history of the game to reach the magical figure of 900 rating points in tests. However, having said that, had he not been too arrogant, he might have improved loads more. When hes a bad captain, its Shoaib Mailk's fault, when he fields poorly, thats the way he's been doing for 7 years, i mean wth, Anyways arrogance apart, he's a legend and will remain one.

Posted by anubhav.sarathy on (March 29, 2010, 18:37 GMT)

There areplenty of fine writers in cricinfo's drawers but if ever there was an award to pick the best of them , then my vote goes to you Osman,and if there is an award for best written farewell article of the year( amd there are many coming up with this being the last year for many greats like haydos, kumble,gilly,warne) , this article would again get my vote. keep it coming.....

Posted by inswing on (March 29, 2010, 18:31 GMT)

Unfortunate loss for Pakistan and world cricket. The best batsman in Pakistan, a victim of poor management and a culture of lack of discipline.

Posted by Rajesh. on (March 29, 2010, 17:53 GMT)

"For now".... I don't see Yousuf 'actually' retiring this time too. He has never been one who has stayed true to his words or been committed to a cause. So it won't be a surprise if (read WHEN) he comes back. By coming back again & again such players are only making a mockery of themselves...........

Posted by Hammad.Fayyaz on (March 29, 2010, 17:46 GMT)

The ending is bad, but the thing is... lets accept that his fielding lacks the valour and athleticism which is a crying need of hour in today's cricket scene. In today's cricket, one MUST be good in 2 depts. (if not in all 3) to get counted. Like VVS Laxman & Rahul Dravid, Yousuf also should have mastered fielding in slips rather than on mid-on/off... See More or in-front of wkts. They (dravid n laxman) are wiser enough to understand changing times and they adapted accordingly. Tendulkar also fields on third-man or fine-leg. One must accept that its body who has to do the labour than the mind. No matter if ur mind is young, its the body who has to do the labour to make ideas counted.

Posted by samuel69 on (March 29, 2010, 17:40 GMT)

MY is second only to zaher abbas in grace and style of batting, but the best batsman from Pakistan of this decade, poorly handled by the managemnt, my bet is he will revert back to christianity once he retires

Posted by rkannancrown on (March 29, 2010, 17:34 GMT)

I dont know what else could he have done. PCB was looking for scapegoats after the Australian tour and Yousuf was one of the most convenient ones. It is sad that such a fine cricketeer (in my opinion, he & Javed Miandad have been Pakistan's best ever - all the rest fall behind) should be hounded out so shabbily.

Posted by ManHOOS on (March 29, 2010, 17:32 GMT)

old man go home molvi saab

Posted by govik on (March 29, 2010, 17:12 GMT)

Simply a great article .. Not only yosuf's retirement, almost everything about Pakistan cricket is almost always - "INCONSISTENT"... And, Osman covered it beautifully. After highlighting that the whole state of affair is unconvincing - he also points out the talent.. For me, this is exactly what pakistan cricket is all about... I remember, Javed Miadad came out with a bat in his hand in quarter-finals of 96 WC - when he was coaching the side.. Anything can happen .. stay tuned !! Cheers, Goverdhan

Posted by   on (March 29, 2010, 17:07 GMT)

And the entertainment continues non-stop from Pakistan Cricket. This week, Yousuf Youh ...err.. Mohammad Yousuf retires ....temporarily (whatever that means). Tune in next week for an explosive expose by former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and follow your favorite nail.. I mean ball-biting moments of Shahid Afridi... only on Cricinfo.com (.com .com .com - fading echo).

Posted by nsidd75 on (March 29, 2010, 17:06 GMT)

yousuf' career is blighted by his contradictory actions. Multiple retirements, walking out, press tantrums, and ICL u-turns. Not once did he do what he does best, let his bat do the talking. Had he hit a domestic triple century, not even Ijaz Butt's dad could have kept him out of the team. A mountain of domestic runs would have made the board do a u-turn. Unfortunately what ever elders advise him must be high on something because they give him the wrong advice. Adieu yousuf, hope you don't u-turn again.

Posted by jedjfdp on (March 29, 2010, 17:04 GMT)

Some what weird article!! Sad ending to a good batsmen.

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Osman SamiuddinClose
Osman Samiuddin Osman spent the first half of his life pretending he discovered reverse swing with a tennis ball half-covered with electrical tape. The second half of his life was spent trying, and failing, to find spiritual fulfillment in the world of Pakistani advertising and marketing. The third half of his life will be devoted to convincing people that he did discover reverse swing. And occasionally writing about cricket. And learning mathematics.

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