Politics October 10, 2006

The heat is on for Younis Khan

The last week has been a bizarre one for Pakistan cricket

Last week was climactic even for Pakistan.

We now have a board chairman (Nasim Ashraf—I'm humble enough to drop the title Dr, why isn't he?) who is a pal of General Musharaf. Anything else going for him?

We have a captain (Younis Khan) who behaved in the most inexplicable manner in resigning unceremoniously one minute and snatching the crown once Shaharyar Khan had gone—and don't be kidded by his supporters who suggest this was some kind of ingenious brinkmanship.

What Younis Khan did was dumb, dumb, dumb.

We have an ex-Asian Bradman and ex-team manager (Zaheer Abbas) blaming Inzamam for the Oval fiasco when I know the PCB hierarchy present did at the very least tacitly support the protest.

And we have a great county cricketer and one-time great international cricketer (Mushtaq Ahmed) dumped from being assistant coach because he is a pal of Inzamam's. The excuse that Mushy wasn't entirely cleared by Justice Qayyum is a red herring: Mushy's done the job before and if Qayyum didn't want him involved in Pakistan cricket he should have banned him like he did Salim Malik.

I can understand Mushy's anger. You don't hire somebody and then fire him before he's had a chance to show his worth. Is everyone that Inzy likes out, and everyone that Younis likes in? That's the kind of nonsense Pakistan cricket needs to get away from. This dramatic decision-making leads me to worry about Nasim Ashraf. I hope I'm wrong.

Younis Khan's ill-judged resignation leads me to worry about him too. And that's where I definitely hope I'm wrong—I've always thought he'd make a great captain. But all that he has achieved so far is put the heat on his captaincy in the Champions Trophy.

The question is will he fly or fry?

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here