I~~m a worthy candidate for captaincy: Yousuf

Published: Saturday, April 14, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Mohammad Yousuf said on Saturday that he was willing to succeed Inzamam-ul-Haq as Pakistan skipper, one of the most unforgiving jobs in world cricket.

Though the batsman has not yet been offered the post, he would be one of the leading candidates, along with Shoaib Malik, after current vice-captain Younis Khan turned down the job on Friday.

"The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has not contacted me but I have no problem leading the team," Yousuf told Cricinfo.

"I don't see any kind of pressure in the job. I think I'm a worthy candidate as in the last year I have really proven myself. It has always been an honour to represent Pakistan and it would be a real pleasure to lead the team at this difficult time."

Yousuf has captained Pakistan in three Tests, winning one against South Africa at Lahore and losing the other two to Australia in 2004-05 at Melbourne and Sydney.

Until Younis Khan took over as vice-captain, Yousuf had held the post since the 2003 World Cup.

"I'm a senior player now and I have previous leadership experience," Yousuf said.

"We won that Test against South Africa and in Australia as captain, I made a hundred. And before that, I was vice-captain so I am confident I can do the job justice."

Yousuf said there needs to be a quick decision on the captaincy to help restore confidence to a team which is still suffering from the double shock of Bob Woolmer's murder and their first round World Cup elimination.

"Whoever is selected, it should be done soon. Ideally, a good step would be to appoint an experienced player and allow him to groom a youngster for the role," said Yousuf, one of the Wisden's Cricketers of the Year in 2006.

"In the past, in Pakistan sides, there have always been many ex-captains or players who wanted to lead and that hurt the team. That has to be avoided this time."


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