I have retired 'only for the time being': Yousuf

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Karachi, Mar.30 (ANI): Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf, who announced his retirement from international cricket on Monday, has kept the doors open for a comeback, saying he is only 'retiring for the time being.'

"I'm retired for the time being," Yousuf said while reading a written statement at a packed Karachi Press Club, but he refused to speak about the reasons behind his decision.

Despite a volley of questions from the media gathered at the press club, Yousuf chose to keep mum and repeated the written statement.

Yousuf, however, appeared disappointed at the treatement meted out to him by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which has imposed an indefinite ban on him in the aftermath of the disastrous tour of Australia.

"In a letter sent to me by the PCB I was told that my presence in the national team is harmful for Pakistan cricket.I don't want to cause any more harm to Pakistan because it's very dear to me. That is why I've decided to retire from cricket. I've thought a lot before taking this decision and also received a lot of advise from my elders," Yousuf said.

He also hinted that he would continue playing first-class cricket and in private leagues.

"If I get time, I would love to play first-class cricket and in leagues. I have to stay fit," The News quoted Yousuf, as saying.

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.

Meanwhile, chief selector Mohsin Khan has described Yousuf's decision to quit international cricket as a 'hasty' one, and said the middle-order batsman still has at least another three years of cricket left in him.

"As a Pakistani I am sad that Yousuf has decided to retire. It is his own decision. But certainly I felt he had at least three years of cricket left in him and we wanted him to play for Pakistan soon," Khan said. (ANI)

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