Karachi [Pakistan]: Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has paid rich tributes to outgoing Younis Khan, saying the veteran batsman should be renamed as Unique’ Khan for his selflessness and honesty towards country’s cricket. “To me Younis Khan should be renamed ‘Unique’ Khan for his selflessness & honesty towards Pakistan cricket. Take a bow brother, u r a champ,” said Akhtar on Twitter. The ‘Rawalpindi Express’ also maintained that Younis’ retirement should not be seen as ‘the end’, adding that the latter should be given a role in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Umar Akmal thanks god for Misbah-ul-Haq’s retirement; leaves Twitteratti in splits
“Younis Khan’s retirement shud not b seen as The End but a Start.Let’s give him a role in the PCB & benefit from d treasure of his experience. Younis Khan was d broadest bat to play for Pakistan, a bat that didn’t have d edges. Let’s retire jersey no. 75 as a respect to him (sic),” he added.
Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram, while playing his tributes to Younis, said, “He still fit but there is always a time when you have to decide about leaving.” The legendary pacer further said that the 40-year-old has set many records which are a testimony of his greatness. “It will be tough to replace players like Younis and Misbah, so Pakistan will have to work hard in Tests without them,” the Dawn quoted him as saying.
Just two days after Pakistan Test skipper Misbah-ul-Haq announced his retirement from international cricket, Younis on Saturday also announced that the upcoming three-match series against West Indies beginning April 22 in Barbados will be his last. “I would like to formally announce that [my retirement] after this next series against West Indies and thank everyone for their continuous support in my journey,” he said yesterday in a press conference.
Meanwhile, Shahid Afridi called Younis as one of Pakistan’s greats. “One of our greatest! #ThankyouYounisKhan for serving country with such pride. I’ll always remember some great moments together especially WT20 2009,” Afridi tweeted.
England spinner Monty Panesar also congratulated the veteran Pakistani batsman for his super career. “Congrats Younis Khan on a super career. A man who cud smile even when there was absolutely carnage around him. Don’t know how he did that,” Panesar tweeted.
While paying his tributes, PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said the services of Younis will always be remembered.
He asserted that it would not be easy for them to fill the void left behind by Younis and Misbah. Over the 17-year span of his career, Khan has been a hugely successful batsman. One of his major achievements was leading the Pakistan side to a win in the 2009 T20 World Cup. With a Test average of over 50, a triple-hundred, a double-hundred against India and a memorable partnership to guide Pakistan’s 3-0 Test series win against England: Younis’s career speaks for itself.
Younis is just 23 runs short of becoming the first Pakistan batsman to reach 10,000 Test runs. He has 9,977 runs in 115 Test matches, the highest run-aggregate for a Pakistani batsman in Test cricket.
In January, Younis also became the first cricketer in Test history to score centuries in 11 countries when he smashed his 34th hundred in the third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), tying him with Sunil Gavaskar, Mahela Jayawardene and Brian Lara in the all-time list at 6th place.