Yousuf takes over from ‘rested’ Younus

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PCB deny media reports Younus has quit captaincy

THE Pakistan Cricket Board have appointed Mohammad Yousuf as captain for the upcoming tour of New Zealand after Younus Khan asked to be rested.

Younus had requested a break from the game following a poor show in the recently completed one-day series against the Black Caps in Abu Dhabi.

Pakistan lost that series 2-1 with media reports afterwards suggesting Younus, who only last month offered his resignation from the post, had lost the confidence of his players.

The 31-year-old’s request to sit out the three-match tour is likely to intensify that speculation, although PCB chairman Ijaz Butt denied anything should be read into his decision.

“Younus asked to be excused for the tour of New Zealand,” Butt confirmed ahead of the team’s departure with the first Test against New Zealand starting on November 24 in Dunedin.

“He said he wanted a break, so we have appointed Mohammad Yousuf as captain for the Test series. He has accepted the captaincy. Kamran Akmal will be his deputy.

“This has nothing to do with the one-day series defeat against New Zealand.”

Pakistan had won the first match against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi, but then crashed to consecutive defeats.

Younus was blamed for the losses and his poor form – 22 runs in three innings – was derided by former players and the media in Pakistan.

Asked why he should not take responsibility for the defeats, Younus said: “If I answer that question then a lot of things will have to be said.”

Younus had offered to quit the captaincy following Pakistan’s defeat to New Zealand in the ICC Champions Trophy semi-final in South Africa.

The PCB, however, rejected his resignation and instead retained him as captain until the 2011 World Cup in the sub-continent.

Yousuf, one of Pakistan’s most prolific middle-order batsmen, returned to mainstream cricket in June following a stint with the unauthorised Indian Cricket League. He has since been in and out of the one-day team.

 

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