x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Younus resigns as Pakistan captain

Younus Khan resigns following match-fixing allegations but PCB chairman Ijaz Butt rejects resignation as an emotional mistake.

ISLAMABAD // A disgruntled Younus Khan resigned as Pakistan cricket captain today despite being cleared by a parliamentary sports committee on charges of match-fixing in the Champions Trophy. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt rejected the resignation as an emotional mistake. The Pakistan National Assembly's committee on sports summoned Younus, the coach Intikhab Alam and Butt to explain the team's defeat in the Champions Trophy held in September and October in South Africa after Jamshed Dasti, a Pakistani lawmaker, made allegations of match-throwing. He referred specifically to the close one-wicket loss to Australia in a group match and a defeat at the hands of New Zealand in the semi-final.

Mr Dasti, chairman of the committee, alleged that Pakistan deliberately lost the match against Australia to throw arch-rivals India out of the Champions Trophy. Younus told the committee that he was upset over the charges, saying: "I cannot take this". Khan then handed a letter of resignation to the PCB chairman Butt, but did not say whether he would continue playing for the team. "I tender my resignation and if captains are summoned like this, no one will be eager to lead the Pakistan team. I set an example and led the team from the front despite having my finger injured," said Younus, who fractured it during a warm-up match and had to miss the Champions Trophy's opener against the West Indies.

He then played in Pakistan's 58-run win against India and also featured against Australia and New Zealand. However Butt remains hopefull that Younus, who has sporadically captained the side on numerous occasions from 2005, will be talked back into the role. "I reject this because it's emotional and we will look at this matter later," said Butt. "I had absolutely no idea that he had the resignation letter in his jacket and I was surprised when he produced it."

The committee cleared the team of any wrongdoing. "It was all propaganda of the Indian media and there is no truth in Pakistan team's involvement in match-fixing or deliberately throwing the games," committee member Iqbal Mohammad Ali said. Ali added that Khan was wrong to be resign because of the hearing. "It's the right of the committee to inquire about sports activities in the country. Younis Khan is a great player and he should not have resigned." Younus was first made captain in 2005 in the absence of regular skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq but resigned before the 2006 Champions Trophy, only to reverse his decision and lead his team to a first-round exit. He was offered the chance to take the job on a full-time basis in 2007 but turned it down to honour his contract with Yorkshire. He did accept the role in 2009, however, following a terrible home series against Sri Lanka. The results were almost immediate with Younus leading the side to the World Twenty20 title in England.

* With Agencies snelmes@thenational.ae