Pakistan reappoint Younis, sacks Mushtaq

Lahore, October 7 :

Younis Khan dramatically returned as Pakistan captain, two days after refusing to lead the team for the Champions Trophy, officials announced on Saturday.

In a strange twist of events, newly-appointed Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Nasim Ashraf announced Younis and not Mohammad Yousuf would lead Pakistan in the elite tournament.

Ashraf, who took over as PCB chairman after incumbent chairman Shaharyar Khan resigned on Friday night, announced the decision at a press conference.

“Younis has been reappointed as captain and we have decided not to take Mushtaq Ahmed as assistant coach for the Trophy,” Ashraf said, apparently on advice from Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, who is also patron of the PCB.

Younis refused to lead the team, saying he did not want to be a “dummy captain”, apparently over differences with some of the senior players and over selection of Faisal Iqbal as 14th player.

Mushtaq’s appointments as assistant coach were criticised as a match-fixing inquiry conducted by Justice Malik Mohammad Qayyum in 1998 barred the former leg-spinner from holding any post with the team.

Pakistan’s regular captain Inzamam-ul-Haq is facing a four-match ban over bringing the game into disrepute during the August Oval Test against England.