The Pakistan Cricket team is currently touring in the Caribbean. It might sound like an ordinary series and people normally expect Pakistan to dominate all the formats. Already winning the T20 and the One day series, we move towards the Test Matches. The special thing about these Test matches is that by the end of it, two of Pakistan’s prolific run scorers and best batsmen will call it an end on their careers. Both of these are special to the team.
Younis Khan debuted for Pakistan in the year 2000. He has had a 17 year career and has finally decided to hang his bat. One of the finest batsmen of the game, Younis khan, has been known for his defensive approach. He has played a very important role in the middle order. Younis Khan for many years along with Misbah, has been the crisis man for the team.
In crucial times, Misbah and Younis have always fought and rescued the team. In the current series, Younis Khan reached another milestone that none of the other Pakistani test batsmen has achieved. He has scored 10,000 runs in test cricket and his name comes alongside legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Kumar Sangakara. Other than always being a reliable and a dependable batsman, Younis Khan has captained Pakistan and made them win the T20 World Cup in 2009. This was one of his big achievements even though he wasn’t used to that format. He led Pakistan to a memorable victory in the finals against Sri Lanka to win the world Cup.
Misbah ul Haq has a different story compared to Younis Khan. He always struggled to break through Pakistan’s Test side which boasted of Inzimam ul Haq, Mohd Yousuf and Younis Khan. He played a few games on and off, but was never a regular member of the Test cricket. In 2010, three players shaming the whole of Pakistan by being involved in Spot Fixing in a Test Match, led Misbah Ul Haq become the Test and One Day Captain for Pakistan. He was handed a team which had no discipline and were going through changes and shame. The ‘Kaptaaan’ of Pakistan never had so many fans and a lot of people including ex cricketers were against him. This never bothered him because he knew he had a job, he had to rebuild the team and lead it to glory.
For Pakistanis to accept Misbah was difficult because he was not like every other cricketer. He was very calm on and off the pitch and in the era of Shahid Afridi, Misbah was the complete opposite. For Most of his Career he was known as ‘Tuk Tuk’. But all that vanished when he smashed the fastest test century for Pakistan against Australia of just 56 balls. He always silenced his critics with the bat, by bringing Pakistan out of trouble. Under ‘Kaptaaan’ Pakistan might have not become world beaters but there was stability in the Test team.
Since Pakistan wasn’t allowed to play cricket in its own country, UAE became its home and it became Pakistan’s territory. Pakistan became the No.1 Test team in 2016 when Misbah turned 42 years old. Misbah even reached 4000 runs and became the first Pakistani test captain to reach that amount of runs. Misbah like his batting approach slowly, made the whole of Pakistan fall in love with him. People always questioned when will he stop playing? When will he retire? Isn’t he too old? ‘Kaptaaan’ answered all these questions in every series by performing better and staying fit.
According to me these were two of the best test batsmen in the world and as they play their last series, it might leave a big gap in the ever stable middle order when these two were present. A little part of me doesn’t want this Test series to end because I guess I’m not ready to say bye to these legends. I guess no Pakistani is ready to say bye to these two batsmen. With every year going by and a lot of people questioning their retirement, they proved to the world that age is just a number. So for one last time I would like to tell them: Well played ‘Kaptaaaan’ Well Played ‘Younis Bhaiii’. You guys will always be remembered and I have no idea how Pakistan will replace you, you guys are irreplaceable.
To end this I will never forget the quote, I and a lot of Pakistanis used to say: ‘Tension nahi loo, abhi Misbah baaqi hai’.