Cricket: Javed Miandad retires

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The Independent Online
ONE OF the most glittering yet controversial careers in modern cricket came to an abrupt and sorry end yesterday when a tearful Javed Miandad announced his retirement from the international game at the comparatively tender age of 36, saying he had been insulted and humiliated by the Pakistani selectors.

'My decision is irrevocable,' the former Pakistan captain said, explaining that his decision was prompted by his omission from the party for the Australasia Cup in Sharjah next week. 'I feel that my exclusion is unjust. I have been victimised.' Supporters shouted slogans attacking the Board of Control for Cricket in Pakistan - the previous board was sacked in January - and hunger strikes are planned. Board officials said his performances had not matched up to expectations.

Javed, who intends to carry on playing for his employers, Habib Bank, played in 124 Tests, scoring 23 centuries and 8,832 runs at 52.57, the highest average of any batsman in the post-Packer era. He remains the youngest player to score a double-century at Test level, a feat he achieved as a 19-year-old at Karachi in his debut series against New Zealand in 1976-77.

Yet despite the verve and the footwork with which he played the diversity of shots at his disposal, Javed made as many enemies as he did friends with his abrasive approach, a legacy of his struggle to overcome a disadvantaged upbringing. Although he led his country in 34 Tests, winning 14 and losing only six, his long-running battle for the captaincy with Imran Khan was a microcosm of class warfare.