Aamir Sohail steps down as Pakistan captain (10 December 1998)

10 December 1998

Aamir Sohail steps down as Pakistan captain


LAHORE, Dec 10 (AFP) - Pakistan cricket captain Aamir Sohail stepped down as Pakistan captain before the start of the second Test against Zimbabwe here Thursday, but officials denied suggestions he quit following a row with selectors.

Sohail withdrew after arguing with selector Salahuddin Ahmed over the choice of players after Salim Malik, who has been accused of match-fixing, was recalled for the Test, sources said.

On Wednesday Sohail argued with coach Javed Miandad at practice, witnesses said quoting him as saying: "You should look after the team practice and I do not know anything about it."

But Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Khalid Mahmood and Sohail's mother cited health reasons for the player failing to take the field when the second Test began.

"We took him to the hospital as he vomitted and had severe headache. He is now sleeping," Sohail's mother told AFP.

Sohail's position had been in doubt after Pakistan lost a three-Test home series against Australia and were then beaten by seven wickets in the first Test against Zimbabwe.

But the Pakistan Cricket Board voted 9-3 at a meeting Wednesday to retain him.

Sohail, who did not want Malik back in the side and had pushed for two other players, quit when his demands were not met, a source said.

Sohail was fined and banned for two months in 1997 after a bitter row with the cricket board chief executive Majid Khan.

Later he was banned for two years after he accused his fellow players of being involved in match-fixing and betting. The ban was lifted after he apologised and paid a fine.