Pakistan suspends ex-captains for bad performance

KARACHI: Former Pakistan captains Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf have been banned from the national cricket team indefinitely after a dismal performance in Australia, the cricket board said Wednesday.

The punishment was recommended by a six-man committee set up by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to probe the December-February tour, in which Pakistan lost the Test series 3-0, the one-day matches 5-0 and the only Twenty20 match.

The committee blamed a feud between Yousuf and Khan for the disastrous result, and recommended that the former skippers "should not be part of national team in any format."

"Their attitude has a trickledown effect, which is a bad influence for the whole team," the committee found.

The PCB said in a statement that the "recommendations of the inquiry committee have been accepted by PCB in totality."

Khan, 32, abandoned the captaincy after losing a one-day series to New Zealand in Abu Dhabi last year. He stayed away from all international cricket, saying he needed rest to regain his batting form.

Yousuf replaced Khan as captain for the tour of Australia, but has faced harsh criticism for failing to keep the team in check.

Other recommendations included a three-million-rupee (35,500-US-dollar) fine and six months' probation for Shahid Afridi, who was caught by TV cameras biting the ball during the Australian tour's final one-day match in Perth.

The International Cricket Council match referee handed Afridi a ban of two Twenty20 matches for ball tampering. Afridi later apologised.

The PCB said Afridi had committed a "shameful act... which has brought the game and country into disrepute" and said his conduct would be monitored.

Cricketers Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal, Rana Naveed ul Hasan and Shoaib Malik also faced fines of between two million and three million rupees and bans of between six months and one year for discipline and performance issues.

The PCB said that implementation of the "landmark" recommendations would stop the scandal-tarnished national game from further embarrassment.

"The recommendations of the committee will go a long way to arrest the continuing decline Pakistan cricket and improve the state of cricket in Pakistan," the statement said.