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Top batsman Yousuf quits Pakistan
Former Pakistan captain responds to ban and claims he is disruptive by quitting side.
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2010 14:25 GMT
Yousuf broke a 30-year record by scoring nine Test centuries in 2006 [AFP]

Former Test player of the year Mohammad Yousuf has responded to claims he is "disruptive" in the Pakistan team by retiring from international cricket.

Top batsman Yousuf was handed an indefinite ban this month following an investigation into poor performances and reports of infighting during his captaincy earlier in the year.

While the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) later said they might remove the ban, a hurt Yousuf, 35, announced in Karachi on Monday that he was walking away.

"The PCB has said in its letter sent to me that I am a disruptive influence on the team and I would never want my presence to affect the team," Yousuf said.

"I have always given my best for Pakistan and if they feel I am not a good influence on the team then it is better that I retire now."

Wearing traditional dress and a white religious cap, Yousuf said: "I thank the fans around the world, all the senior players and family members for supporting me throughout my 12-year career."

Greatest achievement

The batsman's greatest achievement was 1,788 Test runs in 2006 with nine hundreds – the world record for most runs scored and hundreds in a calendar year, beating Viv Richards' 1976 record of 1,710 for the West Indies.

The International Cricket Council named him Test player of the year in early 2007.

Yousuf, who has played 88 Tests – nine as captain – and 282 one-day internationals, was banned on the recommendations of an inquiry committee that looked into the team's thrashings by Australia on January's tour Down Under.

The batsman led a humiliating tour to Australia earlier this year [GALLO/GETTY]

Former captain Younus Khan was also banned.

In 2005, Yousuf converted from Roman Catholicism to Islam and started preaching in his spare time.

"I am thankful to almighty Allah for blessing me with talent and I am very happy that I helped Pakistan win lots of matches," said Yousuf, who defected to rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) after he was dropped from the team in 2007.

On persuasion from the PCB, Yousuf changed his mind only to rejoin the ICL in November 2008 and was subsequently banned from
playing for Pakistan.

Early last year, a stay order from a Pakistani court paved his way back into the team.

He then accepted the captaincy after regular captain Younus withdrew from the tours of New Zealand and Australia.

"I never had any fight with Younus, we both supplemented each other on the tour of Australia so there was no reason for fighting,"
said Yousuf.

"I can still appeal against the ban, but only if my (religious) elders approve."

Pakistan were swamped 3-0 and 5-0 by Australia in the Test and one-day series.

"I have decided it is best that I retire from international cricket now but I will continue to play domestic cricket and in foreign leagues to keep in touch with the sport," Yousuf said on Monday.

For Pakistan he was third behind Javed Miandad and Inzamam-ul-Haq in all time run-scorers for Pakistan in Tests.

Source:
Agencies
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