Younis refuses Pakistan captaincy for Champions Trophy
by AFP

Player:Younis Khan, Inzamam-ul-Haq
Event:ICC Champions Trophy 2006/07

DateLine: 5th October 2006


Younis Khan dramatically refused the cricket captaincy of Pakistan Thursday, just two days before the team were due to fly to India for the Champions Trophy.


The stylish 28-year-old batsman was appointed skipper last week after the International Cricket Council (ICC) slapped a four match ban on regular captain Inzamam-ul-Haq following August's Oval Test fiasco.


"I don't want to be a dummy captain and the reason why I have refused the captaincy will be revealed afterward," Younis told reporters at a press conference in the eastern city of Lahore with coach Bob Woolmer.


"I am leaving the captaincy. Whether I am made captain for four or six matches I am not willing to be captain and no one should ask me any questions," he added before storming out.


The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was still holding an emergency meeting at its headquarters in Lahore between chairman Shaharyar Khan and other officials, to which Inzamam was also summoned.


PCB director operations Salim Altaf and manager designate for the Trophy Talat Ali failed to convince Younis during a 30-minute dialogue.


Altaf earlier told reporters: "Younis has not told us any reason and we are in negotiations with him. As soon as we get any details we will reveal them to the media."


Pakistan are due to leave for Jaipur on Saturday. They open the Trophy with a match against a qualifier team there on October 17 before taking on New Zealand (October 25) and South Africa (October 27) -- both at Mohali.


Inzamam will miss the trophy after he was banned by the ICC a week ago for bringing the game into disrepute after he led his team's refusal to play in the fourth Test against England at The Oval in August.


But he was acquitted of ball-tampering, the allegation which led to Pakistan's protest.


Woolmer said he was saddened by Younis's refusal to captain Pakistan.


"I am saddened by Younis's resignation and having known him for two years and having a good relationship with him I think he would have a number of personal reasons for his decision," the coach told AFP.


Sources said the apparent reason for Younis's refusal was disagreement over the selection of Faisal Iqbal as the 14th player for the Trophy. Iqbal was named Tuesday to replace Inzamam as a player.


But Woolmer refused to confirm this.


"Younis would be in a better position to tell everyone and the PCB is dealing with the affair and we hope to have the matter resolved soon," said Woolmer, who took over as coach in July 2004.


"I will continue to coach Pakistan and this matter is out of my domain."


The PCB also refused to reveal any reasons and sources close to the board said they were assessing Younis's chances of playing in the Trophy at all, whether as a captain or even as a player.


Younis has led Pakistan in two Tests and two one-day internationals, winning and losing one each in both forms of the game.


The latest row to engulf Pakistan's cricketers comes days after Woolmer said his young side would have to learn to live without master batsman Inzamam in future.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)


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