Yusuf Pathan, the big-hitting allrounder who was part of the Indian teams that won the 2007 World T20 as well as the 2011 World Cup, has announced his retirement from all forms of the game. "The time has come today for me to put a full stop to this innings of my life," Pathan, 38, said in a statement, which he released on social media.
Yusuf, who last played for India on March 30, 2012 in a T20I in Johannesburg, played 57 ODIs and 22 T20Is between 2007 and 2012. In ODIs, he scored 810 runs at an average of 27.00 and strike rate of 113.60, with two centuries, while also picking up 33 wickets. In T20Is, his 236 runs came at a strike rate of 146.58, and he also picked up 13 wickets.
He made his first-class debut for Baroda in the 2001-02 season, not long after he had made a name as a batsman who could hit a long ball and an offspinner who had a knack of picking up wickets when he was picked in the Baroda Under-16 team. He moved up the rungs quickly, but it took him a while to establish himself in the Baroda senior team, which he succeeded in doing only in 2004-05.
His ability to score runs quickly - he had the highest strike rate in the 2006-07 Ranji Trophy (minimum 200 runs) - coupled with impressive performances in the 50-over Deodhar Trophy and domestic T20 tournament in the 2006-07 season was rewarded with a spot in India's squad for the 2007 World T20. He didn't get a game till the final against Pakistan, though, in which he opened the innings with Gautam Gambhir and scored an eight-ball 15. India won the final by five runs, with the younger Pathan, Irfan, winning the Player-of-the-Match award.
By the time the 2011 World Cup came around, Yusuf was an established member of India's white-ball sides, and played six games in India's triumphant run, scoring 74 runs at a strike rate of 115.62 and bowling 35 overs at an economy rate of 4.77 - he picked up just one wicket.
"Winning two World Cups for India and lifting Sachin Tendulkar on my shoulders were some of the best moments of my career," Yusuf said. He also called his brother Irfan his "backbone" and said he was "always there for me during the highs and lows of my career".
Yusuf was a major cog in the Rajasthan Royals wheel in their run to the title in the inaugural IPL, when he scored 435 runs with four fifties at a strike rate of 179. He was the Player of the Match in the IPL 2008 final, taking 3 for 22 in four overs and then hitting 56 off 39.
In February 2010, after a spell out of the Indian team, he put his name back in the reckoning with a 190-ball, unbeaten double-century as West Zone sealed the highest first-class chase ever in the 2010 Duleep Trophy final.
Yusuf went on to have more success in the IPL, with the Kolkata Knight Riders. He was bought for USD 2.1 million (INR 9.4 crore approx.) in the mega auction by the Knight Riders, the joint second-highest bid at the auction that year, and stayed with the franchise for six years till 2017. He was part of both their title triumphs in 2012 and 2014. In 2014, he hit what was then the fastest fifty in IPL history, getting to the mark in just 15 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad on the way to 72 off 22 balls, ensuring the Knight Riders finished second on the league table. Yusuf's half-century remained the quickest ever in the tournament until KL Rahul got there in 14 balls in 2018.
He had earlier hit a 37-ball hundred in the 2010 edition, against Mumbai Indians, which remained the fastest century in the IPL till Chris Gayle got there in 30 balls in 2013.
Overall, Yusuf made 3204 runs in 174 IPL games, at an average of 29.12 and a strike rate of 142.97. He picked up 42 wickets, at an average of 33.69 and an economy of 7.40.
Yusuf was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL 2018 auction, and played for the franchise for two years. He went unsold in 2020 and 2021.