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Younis Khan snubs PCB's grand farewell plans

Younis Khan signs off in style AFP

Younis Khan was almost as famous during his playing career for his fractious run-ins with the PCB as for his batting ability, and it appears his grievances with the board haven't ended with his retirement. In a lengthy interview with a local television channel, Younis rebuffed an offer from PCB chairman Najam Sethi to attend a farewell event to honour three recent big-name retirees: Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, and Younis himself.

"I don't think this farewell matters now," Younis said in an interview with Geo. "What is the use after Misbah and I retired in May this year? In other countries, former captains or stalwarts are given farewells within days of their retirement. I don't see the use of this farewell now and I'm not after any money. Someone from the PCB called me and invited me and said I would receive a handsome amount but I have decided not to go because whatever I have seen in the PCB or have gone through when I was playing is not something I can forget."

The board has been keen on a farewell for some time, but now looks to have been given the cold shoulder by at least two of them, with Afridi also reportedly unlikely to attend. There were earlier plans of a farewell for Afridi, but that was shelved after the T20I series against West Indies in 2016 did not materialise. And while Younis and Misbah had looked the picture of contentment upon their retirement after a last-gasp series win in the West Indies, it appears - at least in Younis' view - that had little to do with the PCB.

"For me nothing is more important than pride and respect. I don't think the board has treated many players with the dignity and respect they deserved," he said.

Over the years, Younis has expressed his unhappiness with the board over a number of matters. The latest seems to centre around his contractual status immediately after his retirement. While his contract was set to expire at the end of June, he said his salary for the last 45 days was deducted because he retired on May 14. "I informed the board about this [my contractual situation] but I never expected them to deduct the amount. It is not a sign of respect for a senior player. They also did the same with Misbah."

A number of his grievances had to do with incidents strewn across his playing career that he believed showed the lack of respect the PCB afforded its senior players. "There are so many examples," he said. "Ask Inzamam (ul-Haq) who is chief selector now. Was he not stopped at the Gaddafi stadium main gate? Ask Misbah, was he not told during a Pakistan camp at the stadium that he can't bring his car into the stadium?

"There are so many incidents and they hurt. At one time there were no LCDs, refrigerators or phones in the rooms at the NCA where the players stayed. All the facilities were for administrative block."

Pakistan is due to host a World XI side at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore for three T20Is in the upcoming week, with the farewell event was tentatively planned in between the games.