Karachi: Senior Pakistan batsman Younis Khan, toast of the nation three months ago after reeling off four Test hundreds, has become the target of criticism after the team's humiliating World Cup losses with senior players calling on him to retire.
After he failed again in Pakistan's demoralising defeat to the West Indies, former Test players advised him to withdraw himself for the remaining matches in the event.
"I request Younis Khan to now say goodbye to this team. He has given lot of service to Pakistan cricket but he should now go himself," Pakistan's former fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar said on a local news channel.
Former captain Rameez Raja also advised Younis to consider asking the management to not pick him in the remaining matches of the World Cup.
"Younis should rest himself from these matches and go and spend lot of time in the nets," Rameez said.
But according to his mentor and former captain Rashid Latif the senior batsman had made a mistake by not choosing to bat lower down the order in the World Cup.
"I had suggested to him he should bat at number five because of the conditions in Australia and New Zealand but he felt otherwise," Latif said.
"It is sad to see the reactions at his failure because Younis has been one of our top batsmen and his records show this," Latif added.
Younis, 37, has been Pakistan's leading run-scorer for the last one decade and just as recent as October and November reeled off scores of 106, 103, 216 and 100 not out against Australia and New Zealand to boost his Test record to an impressive 8327 runs at an average of 53.37 with 28 hundreds and 29 fifties.
"I think Younis made a mistake trying to prolong his ODI career in a major event like the World Cup. His presence obviously means that the team management is also under pressure to give him chances because of his past performances and seniority," former Test captain and coach, Mushtaq Muhammad said.
Mushtaq felt that Younis' recent ODI form and his overall ODI record showed he was a far better Test player.
"I just want to see him now return from the World Cup gracefully," Mushtaq said and added "If the team does not have a turnaround in form people will look for scapegoats to explain the poor performance.