Younus refuses calls to resign

KARACHI: Pakistan captain Younus Khan accepts responsibility for historic Test and one-day international (ODI) defeats in Sri Lanka but is rejecting calls to resign, lashing out at his critics instead.

Pakistan lost the three-Test series 2-0 with one match drawn, and went down 3-2 in the ODIs, to post their first-ever series defeats in both forms of the game in Sri Lanka. Interviewed in Wednesday’s Jang newspaper, Younus said that as skipper, he accepted responsibility for the dismal showing. “I accept the responsibility of defeat, but will not apologise to anyone nor will I resign as captain because it’s part of the game to lose and win,” he said.

Younus, 31, is not part of the team playing the only Twenty20 match against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Wednesday, having resigned from the newest form of the game after guiding Pakistan to the World T20 title in England in June. Younus rounded on the campaign to oust him as captain. “I am trying my level best to lead the team and achieve the best results but some people want me to relinquish the captaincy, which I won’t,” he said.

Former Pakistan players have launched a scathing attack on Younus, also demanding the head of coach Intikhab Alam, manager Yawar Saeed and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials. Pakistan, needing 97 runs with eight wickets intact, lost the first Test at Galle by 50 runs. They were also well set at 285-1 in the second innings of the second Test in Colombo, before losing the match by seven wickets.

“Resignations should come from top to bottom after the humiliating defeats,” former chief selector and international spinner Abdul Qadir said. Younus said that the team’s success in the last two one-day matches showed it was able to win in Sri Lanka. “We won the last two ODIs by huge margins, and it proved that the team had the capacity and the talent to win the Tests and one-day matches. But due to the batsmen’s inconsistency, we failed to finish properly,” he said.

Younus defended team unity after criticism from former players and the media. “There were no differences in the team. In fact I can say that the team was never as united as it was during the Sri Lanka tour,” Younus said, rejecting match-fixing allegations levelled against the team. “Baseless allegations are affecting the team’s performances,” he said, after reports emerged of bookmakers trying to contact Pakistani players in their Colombo hotel during the Tests last month.

The PCB said it had reported the matter to the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit of the International Cricket Council, which gave the Pakistan team the all-clear after an investigation.