I~~m ready to step in Inzy~~s shoes, says Yousuf

Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf has appealed to angry cricket fans in the country to be patient and accept the team's poor performance in the World Cup as sport.

Yousuf, who was named one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year, is in line to take over as captain after Inzamam-ul-Haq resigned in the wake of the team's early elimination from the World Cup.

"Cricket is a game and will not end with the World Cup. There is more cricket in the future. We realise we performed badly but the fans must be patient with us," Yousuf told a Pakistani television channel on Wednesday.

He said there was a need to sit down and learn from the mistakes of the World Cup and plan for the future.

"Even coach Bob Woolmer after we lost to Ireland told us we must look ahead. I think our former players must also come forward and suggest ways to improve the team's performance," he said.

Yousuf said if he was offered the chance to captain the team by the cricket authorities he would accept the challenge.

"If I think I can do some good for the team and prepare a team for the future I will accept it. It will be a big honour for me," he said.

Yousuf scored a record-breaking 1788 runs with nine hundreds last year, winning him the Wisden award.

Many of the Pakistani players returned home to Karachi and Lahore on Wednesday with the authorities making security arrangements for them to avoid any problems to do with angry fans.

Inzamam and other players chose to avoid the media and left by a cargo terminal gate in Lahore but the team's media manager Pervez Mir said Inzamam planned to address a news conference on Friday.

Television channels showed passengers on the same flight saying the players were scared and kept themselves to themselves on the journey home.

The players have endured a traumatic time ever since Woolmer died a day after Pakistan were eliminated from the World Cup following a shock defeat by Ireland. Jamaican police are investigating Woolmer's murder.


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