Younis Khan may replace Malik as captainJanuary 27th, 2009 - 1:58 pm ICT by ANI
Karachi, Jan 27 (ANI): Pakistan batsman Younis Khan has emerged as the front-runner to replace Shoaib Malik as skipper ahead of the two-Test series against Sri Lanka after they were thrashed badly by the Lankans in the just concluded ODI series.
Shoaib Maliks is in the line of fire after being retained as Pakistan captain in December 2008, for an indefinite period, after his teams performance hit rock bottom against Sri Lanka on home soil, The News reported.
Malik came under fire for failing to unite the team and was also criticized for his inability to lead from the front when it mattered most.
According to sources, the PCB think-tank has reached the conclusion that Malik is unlikely to transform himself into a well-respected and able captain that Pakistan need at the moment, and it is now likely to turn to somebody with better credentials for what is regarded as one of the toughest jobs in world cricket.
That somebody, according to sources, is Younis Khan. The 31-year-old batter rejected offers to lead Pakistan after the 2007 World Cup fiasco, forcing the PCB to turn to a younger and less experienced Malik.
Younis was supposed to be an automatic choice to succeed Inzamam-ul-Haq as Pakistan captain, but he told the PCB that he was not ready to take the pressures of captaincy.
Younis Khan is the only practice alternative we have in case Malik is sacked as captain, said a PCB source.
Younis is a well-respected senior player. Unlike Malik, he is an automatic choice for both Tests and one-dayers, the source pointed out.
Younis is one of the most experienced cricketers in Pakistan, having scored 4816 runs from 58 Tests at 49.14 with 15 tons. He has also played 181 One-day Internationals, scoring 5306 runs.
Sources also said that Pakistan is also planning to carry out sweeping changes in the squad for the Test series against Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt has refused to sack Malik as captain in spite of mounting criticism after Pakistans humiliating 234-run defeat in the ODI series decider against Sri Lanka last week.
Butt was quoted as saying in an interview on Monday that the board cannot take action against Malik on the basis of one or two results and will decide about its course of action after receiving a report from the team management. (ANI)
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