Younis ready to lead Pakistan


Karachi : Pakistan captain Younis Khan Tuesday expressed his delight over the “show of support” extended to him by the country’s cricket chief and said he was ready to lead his team in next month’s limited-overs series against New Zealand.

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Younis, who had resigned as Pakistan skipper last week following match-fixing allegations against his team, said he is currently recovering from a finger injury and would be fit soon to play in the series in UAE.

“I am very happy right now. 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,” Younis told Cricinfo.

He was reacting to the comments made by Ijaz Butt, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, who announced Tuesday that he has rejected the senior batsman’s resignation and wants him to continue as Pakistan captain till the World Cup 2011.

Butt’s announcement came after Younis received strong support from fans, who staged street protests while a parliamentary committee said the match-fixing claims were groundless.

There have been reports that some of the Pakistan team players were not supporting Younis, but the skipper said that everything was fine in the dressing room.

“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,” he said.

There have been reports that around eight or nine Pakistan team players went to Butt last week and told him that they did not want to play under Younis. Sources said that the PCB chief had even made his mind about replacing Younis with vice-captain Shahid Afridi but decided against it on the advice of the higher authorities.