An era has come to an end in Pakistan cricket.
Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan retired from Test cricket.
Misbah made his debut for Pakistan against New Zealand at Auckland in March 2001 and went on to play for nearly two decades. Younis, on the other hand, came in the international scenario in 2000 and went on to play for next 17 years. Misbah and Younis, when combined, have a vast experience of 193 Test matches in their kitty. And they bid adieu on a winning note after Pakistan cricket team secured a 2-1 series victory over the West Indies. A much-deserved farewell for the two legends.
And after retirement, they got admired by none other than Waqar Younis. The legendary fast bowler, who used to be the head coach of Pakistan national team, had spent a lot of time with both Misbah and Younis. And Waqar feels that these two players have set examples for the youngsters of Pakistan.
Waqar now stays in Australia and he is enjoying holidays with his family. From there, he opens up his mind to CricketSoccer about the retirement of Misbah and Younis. Waqar told, “Misbah and Younis have served Pakistan cricket for nearly two decades. They have achieved a lot of things on the field. But what they have done the best is to set examples in front of the young enthusiasts who are aspiring to be professional cricketers.”
Misbah-ul-Haq had amassed 5,222 runs in 75 Tests, including 10 tons and 39 half-centuries. He also scored 5,122 runs in 162 One-Day Internationals (ODI) with 42 fifties. Younis Khan managed 10,099 Test runs in 118 matches, including 34 hundreds and 33 half-centuries. His 10,000th run in the longest format of the game came in the first Test at Kingston as he became the first Pakistani cricketer to reach the landmark. He is also remembered for his 313 against Sri Lanka in 2009. In ODIs, he tallied 7,249 runs.
The 42-year-old Pakistan captain Misbah and his 39-year-old batting wizard Younis called curtains on their playing days following Pakistan’s 101-run victory in the 2-1 Test series win in the Caribbean, the first series win from their Test visits to the Caribbean islands.
Younis and Misbah were one of the great partnerships. They started late because Misbah became a regular member of the team only in 2009 when he was 34 but still scored more runs together than any other pair of Pakistan batsmen. In the long history of Test cricket, only two pairs scored more runs in partnership at a higher average. Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe were one, Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting the other. Then it is Misbah and Younis, 3,213 altogether, at 68.36. After Allah, his wife and his children, Younis was the one Misbah wanted to thank in his farewell speech. “It was a very fine journey with him in the middle,” he said. “My name will come with his and be remembered in history.”
Younis was one of the finest players Pakistan have had, the first to score 10,000 Test runs, the first to score more than 30 Test centuries. He scored five centuries in the fourth innings, more than any other player in history. Since he started, Pakistan have won 28 Tests away from home, outside of the UAE. And in the 24 of those matches he played in, Younis scored 2,826 runs at 94.20, with 10 centuries.
Misbah won more Tests than any other Pakistan captain. He never lost a home series and became the only captain in history whose team whitewashed England and Australia. He batted slowly. But also scored the fastest 50 in Test cricket and tied Viv Richards’ record for the fastest ton.
For all the records of Younis and Misbah, their achievements are not of the kind best expressed in numbers or on lists. Between them they carried Pakistan through the hardest, darkest years and in doing so they did not just serve their country but the sport and all of us who love it.
Waqar, besides wishing them luck for the future, told to CS, “Everyone has to retire one day or the other. But Pakistan cricket will feel their absence.”