Younis refuses Pak captaincy for Champions Trophy

Lahore, October 5 :

Younis Khan dramatically refused the cricket captaincy of Pakistan on Thursday, just two days before the team were due to fly to India for the Champions Trophy. The stylish 28-year-old batsman was appointed skipper last week after the International Cricket Council (ICC) slapped a four match ban on regular captain Inzamam-ul-Haq following August’s Oval Test fiasco.

“I don’t want to be a dummy captain and the reason why I have refused the captaincy will be revealed afterward,” Younis told reporters at a press conference in Lahore with coach Bob Woolmer. “I am leaving the captaincy. Whether I am made captain for four or six matches I am not willing to be captain and no one should ask me any questions,” he added before storming out.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) held an emergency meeting at its headquarters in Lahore between chairman Shaharyar Khan and other officials, to which Inzamam was also summoned.

PCB director operations Salim Altaf and manager designate for the Trophy Talat Ali failed to convince Younis during a 30-minute dialogue. Altaf told reporters: “Younis has not told us any reason and we are in negotiations with him. As soon as we get any details we will reveal them to the media.”

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). Woolmer said he was saddened by Younis’s refusal to captain Pakistan. “I am saddened by Younis’s resignation and 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.”

Sources said the apparent reason for Younis’s refusal was disagreement over the selection of Faisal Iqbal as the 14th player. Iqbal was named on Tuesday in place of Inzamam .

But Woolmer refused to confirm this. “Younis would be in a better position to tell everyone and the PCB is dealing with the affair and we hope to have the matter resolved soon,” he said.

Mohammad Yousuf named skipper :

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

The PCB said that Yousuf, 32, is now captain for the upcoming trophy and all-rounder Abdul Razzaq is vice-captain. It did not say whether Younis would still play. The PCB held a day of frenzied meetings after Younis made his surprise resignation at a press conference in Lahore.

Yousuf, 32, 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. — AFP