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Why Younis Khan refused captaincy

Last updated on: October 06, 2006 13:10 IST

Indifferent attitude of some fellow players and snub by Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan are the two incidents which seem to have prompted Younis Khan to step down from captaincy on Thursday.

After a day of high drama that saw Younis declining to lead the Pakistani team at the forthcoming ICC Champions Trophy and Mohammed Yousuf taking over as the new captain, it is learnt that a string of events over the past few days triggered the crisis.

Sources close to Younis said that he was unhappy with the attitude of some players during the camp and another incident on Thursday morning added fuel to the fire.

"He was unhappy and apprehensive about the attitude of some players including Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq and Shahid Afridi on the first day of the conditioning camp itself yesterday. To make matters worse, Shoaib Akhtar's 'I am superior' attitude also bothered him.

"This morning when he went to see Shaharyar Khan, he was made to wait outside the office and was told that Shaharyar was at a meeting, something which has never happened when Inzamam-ul-Haq was the captain," sources said.

"Younis was not interested in captaincy in the first place, even after Inzamam was banned for four matches by the ICC last week. But strangely, Inzamam, after his disciplinary hearing, himself announced in London that since he was not playing in the Champions Trophy and Younis would be the captain."

The source said that Younis was apprehensive about leading the team as he knew that some players were against him.

"For the last one week Younis had been apprehensive, because he knew the above players were not in his favour of holding the captaincy. It was a case of their attitude in the camp that convinced him to step down from captaincy and just play as a batsman," the source said.

Younis, during his meeting with board officials on Thursday, made it clear that he had made up his mind on this issue as he could not compromise with his self-respect and he did not want to be treated as a dummy captain, the source added.

On the other hand, PCB sources said that after Younis's sudden announcement to quit captaincy, a thought was given to drop the middle-order batsman, but later it was rejected.

Saleem Altaf, PCB director, cricket operations, said during the emergency meeting of the Ad-hoc Committee, it was suggested that Younis be dropped  from the team for the Champions Trophy, but the other members said this would deepen the crisis, the board source said.

It is learnt that some top PCB official had gone to meet Younis and convince him for a change his mind but he didn't relent.

"Inzamam and assistant coach Mushtaq Ahmed also met him and took him to see Shahryar Khan, but that didn't change the situation at all," the source said.

PCB media director Abbas Zaidi said it is unfortunate and regrettable that Younis chose to announce his withdrawal from the captaincy without prior consultations with the Board.

Zaidi said while Younis had told the PCB chairman he did not want to be captain, he expressed regrets over the manner in which he choose to make his decision public.

On the other hand, a close friend of Younis dismissed theories that he had resigned as captain because of the selection of Faisal Iqbal as a replacement for Inzamam.

"That is not true at all although Younis had his apprehensions about the whole composition of the team owing to attitude of some players."

He also ruled out the possibility of Younis withdrawing from the captaincy because the Board has chosen to appoint Inzamam as captain for the upcoming home series against the West Indies starting from November 7.

Younis's close friend and mentor former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif said the PCB must investigate the reasons which led to Younis refusing the captaincy.

"Younis was a special and strong person and had his reasons for taking such a big decision. I don't think he ever had any ambitions to be captain. To him there is nothing greater than honour and respect. He believes in playing with peace of mind. What has happened is a sad day for Pakistan cricket and the board should find out the real causes behind it," Latif said.


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