Mohammad Yousuf has been appointed Pakistan captain for the Test tour of New Zealand later this month with Kamran Akmal as his deputy. The appointment came after Younis Khan sought a break from cricket following the ODI series defeat to New Zealand in Abu Dhabi, Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, said.
“I have taken this decision after giving it serious thought,” Younis told AFP. “Since I am not in the best of form, I need rest and there is no personal grudge against anyone, that’s for sure. I want to tell my fans that I am not finished, I will come back. My country comes first, more than my family and more than myself.”
Butt said he had no objection to Younis seeking a break. “We did appoint Younis captain until the 2011 World Cup, subject to his performance and fitness, but we have no objection to him asking for a rest, and I don’t think it’s a turmoil in Pakistan cricket,” he said.
Pakistan’s 2-1 loss, after winning the first game, sparked criticism of Younis’ captaincy and media reports suggested he had lost the confidence of his players. The teams play two Twenty20 internationals on Thursday and Friday and Pakistan leave for New Zealand on Sunday.
Yousuf’s appointment marks a full comeback for the batsman, who only recently was in exile from the national team for his involvement with the ICL. More importantly, it is the latest development in a period of uncertainty over the Pakistan captaincy that began after their semi-final defeat to New Zealand in the ICC Champions Trophy..
Younis resigned as captain following that loss and it was believed that suspicions of match-fixing raised in the aftermath of Pakistan’s Champions Trophy semi-final exit, and murmurs about factions in the team and management working to undermine Younis, led to the decision.
The PCB, however, rejected his resignation and Butt had a meeting with Younis, where Younis said he would return only if certain conditions were met. Stability of tenure was one, though those close to Younis insist he didn’t want an assurance till the 2011 World Cup. A streamlining of the selection process, as well as changes in the team management were thought to be the other conditions. Younis then took back his resignation and said that he was happy to return as captain following the wave of support he received.
Image Source: Cricinfo
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 and is filed under Cricket, General, Statistics, World Cup.
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