DateLine: 27th October 2009
Pakistan captain Younus Khan said Monday he was ready to shoulder more responsibility after withdrawing his resignation over match-fixing allegations.
In his first public appearance since resuming the captaincy last month following overwhelming support from the public and former players, Younus said he would reward their faith in him.
"It has put more responsibility on me," he said. "And if I used to play a hundred percent, now I have to play 200 percent.
"I have played eight, nine years now... but yes, this time around the support from the public, media and former players has put more responsibility on me and I am ready to take it."
The 31-year-old offered to resign over match-fixing allegations after Pakistan lost against Australia and New Zealand in the Champions Trophy held in South Africa in September-October.
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt rejected his resignation saying that, provided he was fit and selected, he could continue until the 2011 World Cup to be jointly hosted by Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.
Pakistan plays New Zealand in a three-match one-day series on November 3, 6 and 9 in Abu Dhabi and in two Twenty20 matches on November 12 and 13 in Dubai, a series relocated to neutral venues over security fears in Pakistan.
Younus and his deputy Shahid Afridi spoke to the media on the sidelines of a charity event to raise funds for Pakistanis who were displaced by a military operation against Taliban militants in the northwest Malakand region.
Younus said New Zealand presented a "big challenge" to Pakistan.
"New Zealand is like Sri Lanka and Australia as they also play as a unit, so when we play such a team we have to play as a unit to beat them. I hope that it will be a good series," said Younus.
Afridi will lead the team in the two Twenty20 matches.
Younus will return to lead the side in the three-match Test series in New Zealand starting late November. The Test series was also scheduled to be played in Pakistan but moved over security fears.
"We need to win the one-day series first, so that we have more confidence in the Twenty20 series," said Afridi, appointed captain after Younus resigned from T20 cricket after Pakistan won the World Twenty20 title in England in June.
"We need to iron out any differences in the team which usually surfaced because of lack of communication. If someone has any complaints he must come forward," said Afridi.
Pakistani media reported last week that some senior players have developed differences with Younus.
(Article: Copyright © 2009 AFP)