Pakistan ignore Younis for Test series against Australia

December 8th, 2009 - 8:00 pm ICT by IANS  

By Omar Khalid
Karachi, Dec 8 (IANS) Pakistan Tuesday overlooked its regular captain Younis Khan for the tough tour of Australia and instead stretched the captaincy tenure of senior batsman Mohammad Yousuf for another series.

Younis, who pulled out of the Test tour of New Zealand and decided against proving his form and fitness in a domestic tournament, did not find a place in the 16-man squad that was named by the national selection committee for the three-match Test series against Australia that start in Melbourne from Dec 26.

Pakistan dropped all-rounder Yasir Arafat and reserved wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed from the tour of Australia. Arafat and Sarfraz are currently part of Pakistan’s Test squad in New Zealand but were not given a chance to play in any of the two Tests.

As expected, the Pakistani selectors decided against adding any player to the Test squad. The only important decision that was supposed to be taken Tuesday was about the inclusion of Younis.

The experienced batsman had indicated last month that he would want to make his comeback on the tour of Australia. However, the selectors wanted Younis to appear in the Qiaid-e-Azam Trophy - Pakistan’s premier first-class tournament - to prove his form and fitness. Younis decided against it and was subsequently ignored for the Test series against Australia.

With Younis still out, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to retain Yousuf as the Test captain as well as the ODI series. Kamran Akmal will be the vice-captain for the Test series while senior allrounder Shahid Afridi will be Yousuf’s deputy for the ODI series and will captain Pakistan in the Twenty20 game against Australia.

“Mohammad Yousuf has been appointed to continue as captain of the team for Tests and ODI series in Australia whereas Kamran Akmal would be his deputy for the Test matches. Shahid Afridi will be the captain for T20 and would also be the vice captain for ODI matches on the Australia series,” a PCB press release said Tuesday.

Pakistan squad: Mohammad Yousuf (captain), Salman Butt, Khurrum Manzoor, Imran Farhat, Misbah ul Haq, Shoaib Malik, Fawad Alam, Faisal Iqbal, Kamran Akmal (vice-captain/wicketkeeper), Danish Kaneria, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Aamir, Abdul Rauf and Umar Akmal

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