Cricket is most widely played and followed sport in Pakistan and the prolific cricketers enjoy iconic status hence all their movements are monitored and watched with great interest.
It was only the other day when I had come to know from the most reliable of sources that Yousuf was desirous of announcing one of the most important decisions of his career at the Karachi Press Club (KPC), an institution he is believed to be holding in high esteem.
What I was not told beforehand was about the contents of the disclosure. To be honest it didn’t matter to me what exactly were his plans. Whether you like him or not, Yousuf remains one of the biggest names in Pakistan cricket, a position he cannot be denied.
I considered it as an opportunity and, after completing the formal process in the quickest possible time, extended the invitation to the celebrated cricketer who returned the compliments by accepting it very promptly.
Within a matter of minutes of our decision to invite Yousuf in the KPC Meet the Press programme on March 29, the news broke out that the former Pakistan captain was all set to announce his retirement from all forms of international cricket and he was going to make the decision public at our club.
"I have decided to quit cricket. This is not an emotional decision. I consulted my family, friends and elders before taking it," Yousuf was quoted as saying.
Well it’s not going to be first time, though, when Yousuf would be bidding farewell to Pakistan cricket, having already done it two times in the past. Initially he did so after being upset over his treatment from the selectors as well as the management and then he was provoked after being overlooked for Pakistan's World Twenty20 squad in 2007.
By the look of things, he had signed up with the Indian Cricket League (ICL) in protest but the controversies kept chasing him and he remained in the news for the wrong reasons on a number of occasions.
With the Pakistan batting flopping more often than not in the limited opportunities coming their way in the international arena there was added pressure on Ijaz Butt to expedite Yousuf’s return into the side.
That Ijaz Butt held a soft corner for Yousuf in particular or he was doing it as an exercise of damage control there was a feeling of a personal favour involved the manner in which the accomplished middle-order batsman was drafted in the team after distancing from the ICL finally.
Ijaz Butt also obliged Yousuf by elevating him to the post of captain for the important tours of New Zealand and Australia earlier this season and there was not much element of surprise in the final results.
Yousuf saw the other side of Ijaz Butt when he was among seven players penalised for various reasons after the disastrous tour. Yousuf was banned indefinitely, a decision that was equally debatable as the one of having made him the captain.
The blog was co-founded by Syed Khalid Mahmood and Zee Waqar Ahmed Samdani in 2008 with the objective of peeping into the sporting arena and bringing news and views about the current events while also sharing thoughts about the historic events of the past.
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