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September 16, 2009
Pakistan captain Younis Khan has said he wants to win the Champions Trophy in honour of Bob Woolmer, the team's former coach who died during the 2007 World Cup. "I'll go to Bob's home [in South Africa] and celebrate the Champions Trophy win with his family," Younis told reporters ahead of the team's departure for the tournament in South Africa.
Woolmer was present during the last edition in 2006, in India, when Pakistan were plagued by off-the-field problems. Younis, standing in for the banned Inzamam-ul-Haq, had resigned in protest at being made a "dummy captain". Middle-order batsman Mohammad Yousuf was appointed in his place, before Younis was handed back responsibilities a day later after a change in the PCB setup.
The problems continued into the day before their opening match against Sri Lanka, when Pakistan had to withdraw fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif after both failed dope tests conducted before the team's departure for India.
"Those were testing times and Bob was very disappointed, when after winning the first match, we lost the next two, because he wanted to win the Champions Trophy," Younis said. A year later, Pakistan unceremoniously exited the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies after losing to unheralded Ireland in the first round.
The next day, Woolmer was found dead in his hotel room in Jamaica, and after being initially treated as murder by the Jamaican police, the death was declared to be due to natural causes.
"Bob is the missing part of our cricket and we feel his absence," Younis said. "I have been in regular touch with his wife and when we won the World Twenty20 in England in June we dedicated the trophy to Bob. This time too we will dedicate the trophy to him, because he lived in South Africa."
Pakistan, who have never won the Champions Trophy, are placed in Group A along side defending champions Australia, India and the West Indies. They start their campaign against West Indies on September 23.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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