Younis appointed Pakistan cricket captain

January 27th, 2009 - 9:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Jan 27 (IANS) Younis Khan was Tuesday installed as the new Pakistan captain as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided to dump Shoaib Malik following his team’s pathetic performance in last week’s one-day series against Sri Lanka.PCB chairman Ijaz Butt announced that Younis has been appointed for an indefinite period, and said the decision was taken after Malik agreed to step down as Pakistan captain.

“Shoaib Malik has agreed to step down today and we have decided to appoint Younis Khan as the new captain,” Butt told reporters at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore following an emergency meeting of the PCB top brass and the national team management.

Butt summoned Younis from a Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match for Habib Bank at the Gaddafi Stadium for an emergency meeting in which the offer was made. Younis had turned down similar offers in 2006 and again in 2007.

Shoaib Malik, who was appointed Pakistan captain after the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies where they fell at the first hurdle, lost his job after leading Pakistan to back-to-back defeats against Sri Lanka in Karachi and Lahore.

Pakistan won the series opener comfortably by eight wickets but then lost the next two games by 129 runs and 234 runs which was its heaviest defeat in one-day history.

Butt said that Younis has been given the team’s command in the hope that he would bring an improvement in its performance.

“Younis was the obvious choice to become the captain after Malik agreed to step down,” he said. “Younis is a senior player and his performance is better than most of his team-mates.”

Younis is one of the most experienced cricketers in Pakistan, having scored 4816 runs from 58 Tests at 49.14 with 15 hundreds. He has also played 181 One-day Internationals, scoring 5306 runs. He flopped in the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka but his track record in recent seasons in both formats of the game is impressive.

Before the Sri Lanka series, Younis had scored three centuries and an equal number of 50s in eight ODI outings.

In the five Tests Pakistan played in 2007 - against South Africa and India - Younis scored three centuries. Pakistan did not feature in a single Test in 2008.

His first assignment will be a two-match Test series against Sri Lanka next month.

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