Younus to continue leading Pak

KARACHI: Pakistan skipper Younus Khan 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 said. 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 had tendered his resignation over a lawmaker’s allegations of match-fixing in the recent Champions Trophy. The captain received strong support from fans 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.”

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 next play New Zealand in three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches in Abu Dhabi and Dubai early next month.