IPL: Indian Premier League 2009

Younis resolution likely by Monday


younisLittle clarity has emerged from two key meetings within the Pakistan Cricket Board centering around the future of Younis Khan as captain of Pakistan.

Younis met Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, on Thursday in Lahore and Butt then presided over a meeting on Friday with the chairman of selectors, Iqbal Qasim, the coach Intikhab Alam, the team manager Yawar Saeed, associate manager Shafqat Rana, and the team’s vice-captain Shahid Afridi. Younis had been invited, but had informed the chairman that he would not be able to make it.

The PCB was unwilling to make any official comment on the conclusions of either meeting, save to say that a final announcement will be made “in the next couple of days.” That is likely to be on Monday, after Butt meets the PCB governing board and discusses the matter with them as well. “We will make an announcement soon,” Butt told Cricinfo. “I will not comment on either meeting but will say only that today’s meeting was a regular debriefing of the kind we hold after big series and tournaments. We wanted to address issues and concerns arising out of the Champions Trophy. Younis had told me he would not be able to attend so there is nothing in his absence.”

At least one board official, closely monitoring the situation - which arose with Younis’ resignation at a National Assembly hearing looking into match-fixing allegations earlier this week - is privately confident that Younis will return. “The meeting with the chairman went fairly well yesterday from what I know. Younis told him what he would like and they are fairly just requests, so I expect they will be accepted and he will return,” the official told Cricinfo.

Reports in local media yesterday said that Younis had asked for a guarantee of his captaincy tenure till the 2011 World Cup, but both the official and sources close to Younis have denied such a demand was made. “He is realistic enough to know that such a long-term assurance is not possible in Pakistan,” the official said. “But he does want the board to announce him captain for longer than just on a series-by-series basis. Maybe for the next six months or so, but more than a specific time he just wants some stability so he can plan how his team will be and how it should play.”

The other matter supposedly discussed at Younis’ meeting with Butt is possibly more telling. Younis, it is believed, wants to streamline the process of selecting the final XI; during the Champions Trophy, as many as five people were often involved in selection, including the captain, vice-captain, coach, manager and associate manager. Younis wants the panel to be reduced: captain, coach and a member of the selection committee at home and captain and coach on overseas tours.

Friday’s meeting is believed to have discussed these conditions. Additionally, Qasim wants senior players in the team to have a meeting among themselves, to clear the air so to speak, over issues that have been floating around the team since Younis took over. Even though the board has denied it, speculation over the role of a lobby, led by Shoaib Malik, and Afridi’s own desire to be captain, in trying to undermine Younis’ authority is rife.

There are those close to Younis who believe, however, that the situation remains 50-50. “The conditions he has laid down at the meeting are things he has been requesting over the last 6-8 months. Not much has emerged about how the meeting with the chairman went but those two conditions were laid out. If the board doesn’t agree to them, or compromises further on it, I can’t see Younis changing his mind and coming back.”
Source:Cricket News

Image Source:DayLife

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