Younis Khan named new Pakistan captain

Published: Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 14:12 [IST]
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Younis accepts Pakistan captaincy

Lahore: Pakistan"s middle order batsman Younis Khan has accepted the captaincy during his meeting with Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt.

According to sources, Younis Khan called on Butt and accepted the offer of captaincy during the meeting.

Shoaib Malik was constantly facing severe criticism after Pakistan"s humiliating defeat in one-day series against Sri Lanka.

Khan has emerged as the front-runner to replace Malik as skipper ahead of the two-Test series against Sri Lanka after they were thrashed badly by the Lankans in the just concluded ODI series.

Malik"s was in the line of fire after being retained as Pakistan captain in December 2008, for an 'indefinite" period, after his team"s performance hit rock bottom against Sri Lanka on home soil, The News reported.

Malik came under fire for failing to unite the team and was also criticized for his inability to lead from the front when it mattered most.

According to sources, the PCB think-tank has reached the conclusion that Malik is unlikely to transform himself into a well-respected and able captain that Pakistan need at the moment, and it is now likely to turn to somebody with better credentials for what is regarded as one of the toughest jobs in world cricket.

That somebody, according to sources, is Younis Khan. The 31-year-old batter rejected offers to lead Pakistan after the 2007 World Cup fiasco, forcing the PCB to turn to a younger and less experienced Malik.

Younis was supposed to be an automatic choice to succeed Inzamam-ul-Haq as Pakistan captain, but he told the PCB that he was not ready to take the pressures of captaincy.

“Younis Khan is the only practice alternative we have in case Malik is sacked as captain," said a PCB source.

“Younis is a well-respected senior player. Unlike Malik, he is an automatic choice for both Tests and one-dayers," the source pointed out.

Sources also said that Pakistan is also planning to carry out sweeping changes in the squad for the Test series against Sri Lanka.


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