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November 13, 2009

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Pakistan debates beleaguered Younis' leadership

PAKISTAN team manager Yawar Saeed joined current and retired players in voicing concern over the captaincy in the leadup to Younis Khan's decision to stand down for the test series in New Zealand.

The Pakistan Cricket Board appointed middle-order batsman Mohammad Yousuf as captain for the three-test series against New Zealand on Wednesday after Younis asked for a break from international cricket.

"Younis needed serious leadership counseling," Saeed wrote in his manager's report following the Champions Trophy in South Africa last month, according to local reports yesterday. Without consistently instilling captaincy qualities into Younis, daily The News quoted Saeed as saying, "he cannot prove a good captain altogether."

The team manager blamed a lack of coordination between Younis and coach Intikhab Alam during the Champions Trophy in which Pakistan lost its last group match in the last over to eventual champion Australia and then went down in the semifinals to New Zealand.

"Younis was not willing to take up the cricketing issues with coach and manager and wanted to do everything on his own," the report said, adding that at no stage during the semifinal against New Zealand did the captain and coach consult over strategies.

Cracks begin to appear within the Pakistan team soon after players returned from South Africa.

Eight players expressed their dissatisfaction over Younis' leadership and lodged a complaint to PCB chairman Ijaz Butt and to the team's vice-captain Shahid Afridi.

Last month, after rejecting Younis' resignation letter, the PCB re-appointed the 31-year-old batsman as captain through the 2011 World Cup provided he remained fit and in form.

That tenure lasted just 24 days before Younis needed "break" from international cricket and Yousuf was selected as Pakistan's third captain this year.


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