Pakistan in Australia 2009-10 January 23, 2010

Former captains criticise Ijaz Butt comments

Cricinfo staff

Former Pakistan captains have criticised the PCB chairman Ijaz Butt for the timing of his announcement that Mohammad Yousuf will be replaced as captain after the ongoing tour of Australia, saying it will leave the struggling team further disjointed and dispirited.

Under Yousuf, Pakistan squared a three-Test series against New Zealand but lost three Tests in a row to Australia before they surrendered the first ODI in Brisbane on Friday. Butt said Yousuf was appointed only for these two tours, but did not guarantee that he would be retained. Aamer Sohail and Inzamam-ul-Haq felt that Butt's announcement came too early.

"Why announce this in the middle of the Australia tour? What's the urgency?" Sohail told PTI, adding that it could affect the team's morale for the remainder of the tour, which includes four more ODIs and a Twenty20.

Inzamam agreed that such an announcement will cause more confusion within the team, after Younis Khan quit the captaincy in a huff. "Even if the board thought that Yousuf is not good enough to captain the team, they should have waited till their return," he said. "Ever since the team had gone to New Zealand and Australia, there is total chaos and lack of communication between the team management, selectors and board. This is another example of that lack of communication, which will only contribute to the team's poor show."

Moin Khan, the former wicketkeeper, said that though Yousuf exposed his own shortcomings as captain during the tour, he did not deserve to be put under so much pressure by the PCB by way of this announcement.

"He accepted the captaincy at a time when no one was willing to do it and he has given his best, but the same is also true that he lacked the aggression required in Australia to win matches," Moin said. "But this does not mean that the board should announce that they will change the captain after the Australian tour. It will leave the team further disjointed and dispirited."

The relationship between Yousuf and the selection committee, headed by Iqbal Qasim, has been tense over the course of the long tour of Australia. He had Misbah-ul-Haq sent over to New Zealand after the player had been dropped from all three formats of the game just a month before. He also requested the committee to fly in Younis during the Tests to arrest the team's batting woes but expressed his disappointment at the former captain's late arrival.