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Yousuf to lead Pakistan after Younis's refusal
by AFP


Player:Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan, Abdul Razzaq, Inzamam-ul-Haq
Event:ICC Champions Trophy 2006/07

DateLine: 6th October 2006

 

Batsman Mohammad Yousuf will lead Pakistan in the Champions Trophy after Younis Khan dramatically refused to captain the side, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said Thursday.

 

The latest controversy to engulf Pakistani cricket came less than a week after Younis was appointed to replace Inzamam-ul-Haq, who has been banned for four matches following the Oval Test fiasco in August.

 

Younis made his surprise announcement earlier Thursday, just two days before the team were due to fly to India for the Trophy, saying that he did not want to be a "dummy captain.

 

"The PCB deeply regrets Younis chose to announce his withdrawal from the captaincy of the Pakistan team for the Champions Trophy," PCB director Abbas Zaidi said after a day of frenzied meetings.

 

"He did so without prior consultation with the board and Yousuf has taken over as captain."

 

All-rounder Abdul Razzaq is vice-captain, Zaidi said.

 

The PCB said it was disappointed by Younis's timing but confirmed that he would still play in the Champions Trophy.

 

"The PCB has noted that Younis's ill-timed decision to renounce the captaincy was a breach of discipline. However, Younis has since expressed his regret to the PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan for the unsavory incident," said Zaidi.

 

"Younis has reconfirmed he doesn't want to lead the side but is prepared to continue playing as a team member."

 

Zaidi refused to say whether there would be any fines or punishment.

 

Younis vowed he would not lead Pakistan again. "I'll continue to play but will never captain Pakistan in future," he said.

 

The 32-year-old Yousuf, who has played 70 Tests and 223 one-day internationals, has led Pakistan in four one-day internationals, losing two and winning two. In his three Tests as captain Pakistan lost two and won one.

 

The drama unfolded when Younis, 28, was scheduled to hold a routine press conference with coach Bob Woolmer about the team's training camp and its chances in the biennial Trophy.

 

"I am leaving the captaincy. Whether I am made captain for four or six matches I am not willing to be a dummy captain and no one should ask me any questions," he said before storming off.

 

PCB director operations Salim Altaf and manager designate for the Trophy Talat Ali failed to convince Younis during a 30-minute talk in the afternoon before Inzamam held a meeting with Younis.

 

Pakistan are due to leave for Jaipur on Saturday. They open the Trophy with a match against a qualifier team there on October 17 before taking on New Zealand (October 25) and South Africa (October 27) -- both at Mohali.

 

Inzamam was banned for four one-day games by the ICC a week ago for bringing the game into disrepute after he led his team's refusal to play in the fourth Test against England at The Oval in August.

 

But he was acquitted of ball-tampering, the allegation which led to Pakistan's protest.

 

Woolmer said he was "saddened" by Younis's resignation.

 

"Having known him for two years and having a good relationship with him I think he would have a number of personal reasons for his decision," the coach told AFP.

 

Sources said the apparent reason for Younis's refusal was disagreement over the selection of Faisal Iqbal to fill the squad after Inzamam was banned.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)



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