DateLine: 13th October 2009
Pakistan cricket captain Younus Khan offered to resign on Tuesday in protest at a meeting called to investigate the team's defeats by Australia and New Zealand in the recent Champions Trophy.
The 31-year-old said he was appalled and disappointed at being summoned by the Pakistan National Assembly's committee on sports.
"I tender my resignation and if captains are summoned like this, no one will be eager to lead the Pakistan team," Younus said at the start of the meeting."
"I have resigned as a captain," he later told reporters. "I won't say a word more."
Younus's initial offer of resignation was rejected by Ijaz Butt, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
"It's an emotional decision and I reject it," Butt said during the meeting, but Younus stuck to his guns.
"I had absolutely no idea that he had the resignation letter in his jacket and I was surprised when he produced it," said Butt. "The matter will be discussed at a governing board meeting on October 19."
Pakistan's close, one-wicket loss to Australia in a group match last month and their defeat by New Zealand in the semi-final earlier this month sparked allegations from a lawmaker that the team threw the matches.
Australia won the tournament, which was held in South Africa.
Jamshed Dasti, chairman of the sports committee, alleged last week that Pakistan deliberately lost the match against Australia, a result which threw arch-rivals India out of the Champions Trophy.
Australia's win sent them and Pakistan into the semi-finals, while India was eliminated in the first round.
Dasti later withdrew his allegations, which the PCB had already rejected, but Younus defended his performance and said he felt disappointed at being summoned for investigation.
"I set an example and led the team from the front despite having my finger injured," said Younus, who suffered the injury during a warm-up match and had to miss the Champions Trophy's opening match against the West Indies.
He then played in Pakistan's 58-run win against India and also featured in the match against Australia and New Zealand.
Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam said Younus's decision to resign was a knee-jerk reaction to the allegations.
"Naturally, Younus got emotional and resigned, but there has been no decision taken by the PCB," Alam told AFP. "The fixing allegations were first raised by Indian media, which were shameful and unacceptable."
Dasti said that no proof had been found of any match fixing.
"The committee analysed the reasons of the defeats and found no proof of any wrongdoing," he told reporters.
"All were mere speculation, but it was the job of the committee to analyse them and as far as Younus's resignation is concerned, the PCB will deal with it," he added.
Former Pakistan captains Ramiz Raja and Rashid Latif also criticised the lawmakers' meeting.
"Politicians have nothing to do with cricket," said Raja. "With this meeting the committee has not only deprived us of a good captain but also damaged the game which is the only entertainment in Pakistan."
Latif was critical of Dasti and the media.
"It's shameful that anyone can come up with allegations without any proof and that the media relay it without authentication -- Younus is an honourable man, so he has resigned," said Latif.
Younus replaced Shoaib Malik as captain after Pakistan lost a one-day series 2-1 against Sri Lanka in January.
Under Younus, Pakistan also lost a one-day series to Australia in the United Arab Emirates in April-May but a month later went on to win the World Twenty20 in England.
Pakistan also lost a Test and one-day series in Sri Lanka in July-August.
(Article: Copyright © 2009 AFP)
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