Lahore, Mar.28 (ANI): Pakistan T20 captain Shahid Afridi has described former captain Mohammed Yousuf's decision to retire from all forms of cricket as an 'emotional decision', and said Pakistan cricket still needs his services.
"I think if he retires it would be an emotional decision and Pakistan cricket still needs him now," Afridi said.
Afridi said Yousuf, who has been banned for an indefinite period by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) along with Younis Khan, still remains the country's top batsman.
"We have a lot of Test matches coming up this year and Yousuf remains our top batsman," The Daily Times quoted Afridi, as saying.
Meanwhile, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt has said the board has no information about Yousuf's decision, and added that he (Yousuf) is a respected player.
"Right now, there is no such thing, but he is our senior player and we have lot of regard for him," Butt said.
On Saturday, Yousuf told a foreign news agency that he has decided to quit international cricket in protest against the PCB's decision to ban him for an indefinite period.
"Yes, I have decided to retire as Pakistan player and my decision is not an emotional one. It's of no use playing after such an insult which is unacceptable and I will announce my decision on Monday," Yousuf said.
The PCB had slapped an indefinite ban on Yousuf and his teammate Younis Khan after a report of the inquiry committee, which was set up to look into reasons behind Pakistan's deplorable performance during Australia tour.
Pakistan drew the three-match series in New Zealand 1-1 but lost all three Tests, five one-day and a Twenty20 match in Australia.
Earlier this week, the 35-year-old middle order batsman, who scored most number of Test runs in a calendar year in 2006 breaking the record of Vivian Richards, had said that he would appeal against the PCB's decision.
"Yes, I may still appeal, but a final decision will be taken on Monday," Yousuf had said.
"I am deeply hurt because I have always played with commitment for my country and fans know this, but not those people who run cricket, this is a big tragedy," he added.
The PCB also denied any central contract to Yousuf, which were announced earlier this week.
Originally a Roman Catholic, Yousuf converted to Islam in 2005 and has since been involved in preaching besides playing cricket.
Yousuf has so far played 88 Tests for Pakistan, scoring 7,431 runs with 24 hundreds. He has also scored 9,624 in 282 one-day internationals.
He received the International Cricket Council's (ICC) player of the year award in 2007. (ANI)