October 14, 2009

Younis Khan resigns once more


By Syed Khalid Mahmood

Resignation is nothing new to Younis Khan who has had this habit of treating the national captaincy as yet another assignment. Although he has been around in international cricket for nearly a decade now, he's yet to learn the basics of conducting oneself after having reached the status of a celebrity.

His latest resignation came on October 13 even after being cleared by a parliamentary sports committee on charges of match-fixing in the ICC Champions Trophy. He told the committee that he was upset over the charges and he was not prepared to continue leading the national cricket team.

Younis has been found vulnerable whenever coping with the pressure. He has become so predictable with his acts. He is just not able to put his acts together when he is confronted with a situation that demands one to be sensible and smart.

He talks big but he has been found wanting more often than not when it comes to delivering. He succumbs to the pressure far too easily and his opponents know it very well how to test him.

Be it the members of the National Assembly or the media corps, Younis probably treats everyone as his enemy who doesn't subscribe to his theories. He has repeatedly passed the impression of losing his temper far too quickly and thus committing mistakes that could easily have been avoided.

Younis possibly thought that his job was done when he handed his resignation letter to Ijaz Butt, the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), who was also present in the hearing.

Not for the first time Younis ran away as quickly as he could, not even caring to explain to the waiting media if he was bidding farewell to the game for good. "I have resigned as a captain. I won't say a word more." That was all he said.

The PCB Chairman said he was stunned by the decision. "I had absolutely no idea that he had the resignation letter in his jacket and I was surprised when he produced it," Ijaz Butt was quoted as saying.

But the stories are doing the rounds that some elements in the PCB are conspiring against Younis and they desire Shahid Afridi to take up the national captaincy for the upcoming series against New Zealand.

"Younis Khan was mystified as to why vice-captain Shahid Afridi was called up to discuss the New Zealand and Australia series when the captain himself was available in the country and recovering from what was only a hairline fracture. He could not understand the reason for being left out of the loop for two very important tours," one of the unnamed PCB officials confided to a leading national daily.

Younis has been under fire even after his team had made it to the Champions Trophy against all odds. Even some members of the PCB have openly criticized his leadership qualities and they are believed to be lobbying for his ouster.

The PCB Chairman has refrained from accepting the resignation of Younis promptly but that doesn't necessarily mean that he's not a part of the conspiracy hatched against the short-tempered skipper.

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