Former Pakistan batsman Zaheer Abbas has urged the PCB to reappoint Younis Khan as captain to lead the side out of its current crisis. Pakistan’s recent tour of England was riven by controversy, with a News of the World expose alleging that seamers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, and Test captain Salman Butt, had conspired to bowl no-balls on demand. The ICC has provisionally suspended the trio, leaving Pakistan without a Test captain.
“With the future of Salman Butt as captain and player now uncertain because of the spot-fixing scandal, the best choice to lead Pakistan is Younis Khan,” Abbas told PTI. “The board should not waste any more time in appointing Younis as the Test team captain because he is the ideal man to lead the team after the controversial tour to England.”
Younis has led Pakistan before, most notably to victory in the 2009 World Twenty20 and the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy the same year. However, he stepped down before the tours of New Zealand and Australia, over differences with team-mates. He was later banned as a part of the massive disciplinary action undertaken by the PCB in March 2010, following the side’s disastrous, winless tour of Australia.Though his ban was overturned on appeal, the PCB did not give him clearance for selection, on grounds of having made “inappropriate comments” following the penalty.
“Whatever problem there is between Younis and the board it needs to be sorted out quickly,” Abbas said. “Younis must meet with the board Chairman and also make himself available for Pakistan again … The forthcoming series [against South Africa in UAE] is going to be a tough task and the board must have the best man leading the Test team.”
“Pakistan will require his experience in the World Cup. The tournament is not far away and I don’t think we now have time or room for experimenting with new players,” Abbas said.