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Yousuf Replaces Younus As Pakistan Captain

Controversial Younus Khan was on Wednesday replaced as captain of Pakistan's cricket team amid intense speculation that he was sacked in the wake of a players' revolt though the PCB insisted that the change was
yousuf replaces younus as pakistan captain -...
PTI November 11, 2009 19:42 IST

Controversial Younus Khan was on Wednesday replaced as captain of Pakistan's cricket team amid intense speculation that he was sacked in the wake of a players' revolt though the PCB insisted that the change was done only because the veteran batsman wanted to take rest.

Two days after Pakistan's ODI series defeat against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi, the Pakistan Cricket Board appointed seasoned batsman Mohammad Yousuf as captain for the three-match Test tour of New Zealand.

"Younus has asked for rest and that is why Mohammad Yousuf has been named captain," PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt said.

But despite Butt's explanation rumours were strong that the whole drama to change the captain was taken by him after several senior players flatly refused to play under

Younus during a meeting in Dubai where Pakistan play two Twenty20 internationals against New Zealand on Thursday and Friday.

Younus had come under growing criticism after Pakistan lost the semifinal of the Champions Trophy to New Zealand in which he played with a broken finger.

His own batting form came under fire after he failed to perform in the Champions Trophy and the recent one-day series defeat to New Zealand in Abu Dhabi.

Former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq had led a strong campaign to pressurise the board to change the captain as he insisted that Younus had failed to unite the players and was damaging the team with his stubbornness.

Sources said after Butt offered the captaincy to Yousuf he asked for sometime and first spoke to Inzamam before giving his acceptance.

"There is no doubt that Inzamam has played a major role behind the scenes in prompting this change. Even if Younus has himself decided to take a break from international cricket it was because of the growing pressure on him as batsman and captain," the source told PTI.

Butt, however, made it clear that the change was only for the Test series in New Zealand that starts from November 24.

"We will see the situation after the series and whether Younis makes himself available. No decision has been taken on the captaincy for the test tour of Australia," Butt insisted.

Reminded that the board had appointed Younus as captain until the 2011 World Cup after rejecting his resignation following the Champions Trophy, Butt said he had also made it clear that his captaincy stint depended on his form and fitness.

Butt said that the decision to appoint Yousuf as captain was taken in the interest of Pakistan cricket.

"I think Younus has also taken a good decision to take a break from international cricket as he needs a break to recoup himself. He remains a valuable player for us," Butt added. PTI

 
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