Pakistan veterans Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan bid farewell to cricket after the country’s first Test series triumph in the Caribbean.
Pakistan clinched the series with a 101-run win against the West Indies in the third and final Test, ending 2-1 at the end of their tour.
Many termed Pakistan’s first Test series win touring the West Indies as the perfect end to the careers of 42-year-old captain Misbah-ul-Haq and 39-year-old Younis Khan.
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.
While the International Cricket Council (ICC) toasted to their achievements through the words of chief executive David Richardson, Indian cricket dignitaries also came out in praise of the outgoing players.
Former Pakistan cricketers Ramiz Raja, Saqlain Mushtaq, Imran Khan and Shahid Afridi led the international cricket fraternity in bidding a fond farewell to their retiring compatriots.
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.
While ICC CEO Richardson praised them for their spectacular careers, former Pakistan cricketers and several greats from other nationalities also took to Twitter to show their appreciation.
“I congratulate Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan for leaving a great legacy behind them and retiring at their own terms,” Ramiz Raja, who was commentating on the Test series, said.
“Younis remains a great sportsman, a great batsman and a great ambassador of the game. He was a selfless superstar,” Ramiz said of Younis, who became the first Pakistani cricketer to amass 10,000-plus runs in Test cricket.
Misbah also got credit from Ramiz for giving the Pakistan team a cricket compass.
Former spinner Saqlain Mushtaq termed the duo as legends of Pakistan cricket.
“We are proud of them, they’re legends of Pakistan cricket and have led Pakistan to so many victories,” Saqlain was quoted as saying.
Many cricketers also used the hashtag #MisYou when sending out their messages on Twitter.
Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan praised the two for being at their best until retiring which allowed them to bow out with grace and dignity.
Congratulations to Misbah & Younis for their gt achievements for Pak & for retiring with a grace & dignity that few sportsmen r blessed with— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) May 15, 2017
A video of former captain and all-rounder Shahid Afridi began doing the rounds on social media before the end of the final Test.
In the video, Afridi thanked Misbah and Younis for ther wonderful careers and highlights that they can be key assets to development of domestic cricket in Pakistan.
“We always talk about improving domestic cricket, these two have been playing domestic cricket regularly and know inside-out the problems faced by our domestic cricketers. PCB should leverage their experience for improving the domestic cricket structure,” Afridi is heard saying in the video.
Shahid Afridi paid tribute to Younis Khan and Misbah ul Haq pic.twitter.com/bnyIqnXUk6— TEAM AFRIDI (@TEAM_AFRIDI) May 12, 2017
Former England captain Michael Vaughan was one of the international cricketers to tweet out that he thought Misbah and Younis were great people.
Compatriot Geoffrey Boycott agreed with him, saying they were a credit to their country.
Former West Indies cricketer Ian Bishop tweeted a video of the Pakistan team’s celebrations saying he was speechless while former Australian cricketer Dean Jones said the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should organise testimonial matches for the two greats as farewells.
Congrats to Misbah and his team. Bye bye Younis. History at Windsor Park. I am speechless. pic.twitter.com/2xM7rFxbM6— ian bishop (@irbishi) May 14, 2017
The PCB should put on 2 Testimonial matches in Pakistan for Misbah and Younis playing against a World XI! As a thank you for their service.— Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) May 14, 2017