Younus ready to lead Pakistan again

ISLAMABAD: Younus had tendered his resignation over a lawmaker's allegations of match-fixing in the recent Champions Trophy

Pakistan skipper Younus Khan on Tuesday said he was ready to lead the team again after the country's cricket chief rejected his resignation, saying he had been heartened by shows of support.

"I am very happy right now. The faith that the chairman and the board has placed in me again, it's good to know. The support that I have received from the board and the country through this time has been fantastic," Younus told Cricinfo website.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt on Monday rejected Younus's resignation, saying he should lead the team until the 2011 World Cup as long as he retains form and fitness.

Younus, who replaced Shoaib Malik in January following Pakistan's home defeat in a one-day series against Sri Lanka, had tendered his resignation over a lawmaker's allegations of match-fixing in the recent Champions Trophy.

The captain received strong support from fans, who staged street protests while a parliamentary committee said the match-fixing claims were groundless.

Younus said he had resigned because he was hurt over allegations in connection with defeats against Australia and New Zealand in the Champions Trophy held in South Africa in September-October, but he was now much happier.

"The environment is good right now and I am very happy with it. All that has happened over the last eight months, all the effort is worthwhile now," he said.

However, his task could be made more difficult by dressing room unrest with the Pakistan media reporting that there had been serious differences between Younus and his team-mates.

Pakistan's next international assignment will see the team take on New Zealand in three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches in Abu Dhabi and Dubai early next month.

The matches are officially home games, with Pakistan forced to play all their games abroad following the March gun and grenade attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore.