Monday, October 19, 2009

Younis 'happy' to return as captain

Younis Khan has taken back his resignation, paving the way for his return to the Pakistan captaincy, satisfied that the environment in which he will continue leading the side is now more conducive than before.

Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, said on Monday that the board had rejected the resignation Younis handed in last week. At the same time he offered Younis the stability that he has wanted since becoming captain in February this year, saying that, if fit, he will captain Pakistan till the 2011 World Cup.

Younis said he was overwhelmed with the support he had received in the week after he handed in his papers at a National Assembly committee hearing in Islamabad. "I am very happy right now," Younis told Cricinfo. "The faith that the chairman and the board has placed in me again, it's good to know. The support that I have received from the board and the country through this time has been fantastic."

There were believed to be various reasons behind Younis's resignation, though he never openly stated them. It is believed that as well as the suspicions of match-fixing raised in the aftermath of Pakistan's Champions Trophy semi-final loss to New Zealand, murmurs about factions in the team and management working to undermine Younis spurred the move.

Younis met Butt last week and it is understood that he set down some conditions which would have to be implemented before he could come back. Stability of tenure was one, though those close to Younis insist he didn't want an assurance till the 2011 World Cup. A streamlining of the selection process, as well as changes in the team management were thought to be the other conditions.

Younis refused to go into details, however, maintaining only that, "the environment is good right now and I am very happy with it. All that has happened over the last eight months, all the effort is worthwhile now." Younis said he expects to be fit for Pakistan's next assignment, an ODI and Twenty20 series against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

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