September 30, 2010

Zaheer considers Younis best option for national captaincy


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

Former Pakistan captain, Zaheer Abbas, also known as the Asian Bradman, feels that Younis Khan is the best choice to lead Pakistan. The legendary stroke-maker who enthralled the full houses with his enchanting drives and cuts firmly believes that Younis has the potential to deliver.

"With the future of Salman Butt as captain and player now uncertain because of the spot-fixing scandal, the best choice to lead Pakistan is Younis Khan. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should not waste any more time in appointing Younis as the Test team captain because he is the ideal man to lead the team after the controversial tour to England," Zaheer observed in a recent interview.

"Whatever problem there is between Younis and the board it needs to be sorted out quickly, Younis must meet with the board Chairman and also make himself available for Pakistan again. The forthcoming series against South Africa in UAE is going to be a tough task and the board must have the best man leading the Test team," he advised.

"Pakistan will require his experience in the World Cup. The tournament is not far away and I don't think we now have time or room for experimenting with new players," Zaheer reckoned.

He was of the opinion that the PCB should reappoint Younis as captain without further delay to lead the turnaround.

Well not many people would agree with the observations of Zaheer because Younis had remained a reluctant leader even at the best of his times and it could be a bigger risk handing over the captaincy to him once more.

Pakistan’s cricket team has been in the limelight for the wrong reasons for quite some time now and the spot-fixing controversy near the end of the recent Test series against England created more problems for them.

With the International Cricket Council (ICC) having provisionally banned the trio of Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif, the post of a Test captain has become vacant once more.

Salman had been drafted as the Test captain during the English summer when Shahid Afridi announced his sudden retirement after a heavy defeat at the hands of Australia in the first Test.

Many people had felt that Shahid was not the right choice to be asked to lead the country in every format of the game because he hardly fitted in Pakistan’s Test playing eleven and it needed just one game to expose his shortcomings.

Now there are rumours that Ijaz Butt and his cronies are in the process of negotiating another ‘deal’ with the enigmatic all-rounder and he might be made the Test captain again for the series against South Africa.

Ijaz Butt and his trusted lieutenant, Yawar Saeed, seem to be having a personal grudge against Younis in any case and they were not going to reappoint him until, of course, someone from the office of the President or the Prime Minister intervenes.

The temperamental Younis has had an exceptionally record as a batsman but he didn’t impress with his leadership skills. In fact his batting had deteriorated during his own tenure as captain.


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