January 29, 2009

The right choice by default

Younis Khan happens to be Pakistan's sole realistic choice as captain; he's probably the right one as well
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To every cause Younis will bring a good, clean fight © AFP
 

The route has been long, it has been convoluted and it has been difficult, but the Pakistan captaincy has finally found its way to Younis Khan. Two years ago he was the best man for it. Today he is the only one for it. In that difference of detail is found a weighty novel of woe.

Of the many ifs and buts that crowd Pakistan's history, among the most intriguing is what would have happened had Younis done the decent, right and normal thing by accepting the captaincy after the 2007 World Cup. No one really knows why he didn't, but in scuppering Pakistan's first and only properly genuine succession plan, he fathered two years of gloomy stagnancy. Certainly there was less risk attached to making him captain then, but people are pardoned and forgiven worse things in Pakistan.

Beyond that, prospects are bright. Above everything, there is no dispute over his place in ODIs or Tests: even with Mohammad Yousuf in the side, Younis is the most resolute, all-conditions batsman in Pakistan, runs in Australia coming as did runs in England, South Africa and Pakistan. Crucially, his team knows it. He is also the first indigenous Pathan to lead Pakistan: Imran Khan was often romanticised as the fearless Pathan, but he was born and bred in the Punjab, where his family had settled. It is important to know this for Younis is fully hewn from an environment and people his own countrymen have always had difficulty deciphering.

Without quite applying one brush to a whole people, the codes of life Pathans abide by are of a different feel, in place long before the country they now live in came into being. Their views on honour, justice, enmity and loyalty are often views apart. It was written once that if there is an element of lawlessness about them, the flipside is an attractive consciousness of their own dignity. So when Younis walked away from the captaincy before the Champions Trophy in 2006, one of the spurs was the sacking of a peon at the National Cricket Academy. Having to then wait to meet chairman Shaharyar Khan for a meeting subsequently tipped Younis over the edge. Not everyone will understand it, but that is the way it is.

He wanted things his own way when he was first offered the post, as does everyone, but he was less willing to compromise on it than most. There was similar talk this time too, but better sense has prevailed. His basic integrity, his sense of purpose, were never doubted. He is fiercely independent, but just as fiercely committed. To whatever the cause, he will bring the fight, and a good, clean fight. Lord knows Pakistan needs more than anything right now to fight on the field; off it, fight off the danger of mediocrity and obscurity.

Younis is less likely to tolerate the mistakes that Shoaib Malik - thus revealing the limit of his ambitions - was willing to. Thankfully he is also less likely to put up with the passengers Malik carried. But grudges, rest assured, will be held. Altogether, however, he will give himself whole to the job; it was the worst of Malik's faults that it always felt like he didn't, that he was always holding something back, in words and deeds.

 
 
It must work; it must be made to work, for if there isn't Younis what is there beyond him? Can people seriously tout Shahid Afridi as an option?
 

Immediate impacts cannot be guessed. Younis has downplayed how much should be expected of one man, while also stressing the depths of Pakistan's ills. Realism remains preferable to the blandness of most captains stating they want to do well, or some such: the team will still be mostly the same so miracles cannot be expected.

But some fight can and should be, some sense that this is a team, in someone's image. So far have Pakistan fallen, so blah have they become, that even a return to the days when people genuinely believed they could beat anyone on their day, will represent progress. Unpredictability is still more seductive and productive than insipidity.

With Younis as captain the wheel has now turned full again. Much like in the country's politics, the policy and personnel of the last regime have been swept clean. It has given way to a dynamite-laden structure: Younis, Abdul Qadir, Aamir Sohail, Ijaz Butt are some of Pakistan cricket's wildest horses (and that says something). Javed Miandad has already gone, and though Younis wasn't the reason, Miandad was one of the men not happy with Younis' appointment. The decision, it turns out, wasn't so unanimous after all.

The edifice remains fragile, like an eggshell mind, to quote a dead man. If the whole shebang goes off without many casualties, it will be the greatest miracle since Keith Richards lived past his 60th birthday.

But it must work; it must be made to work, for if there isn't Younis what is there beyond him? Can people seriously tout Shahid Afridi as an option, when his own place in the ODI side is so insecure?

And Malik's experience confirms what Miandad's and Wasim Akram's first stints showed: in Pakistan, the young, for whatever reasons, cannot lead. In time to come this may change, but for now these are rigid and unbending structures we deal with. For now Younis is the only option. As a bonus, he might just be the right one.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cheersxyz1 on January 31, 2009, 15:06 GMT

    It seems sanity has left us all alone out on a limb.I mean we are digressing from the main theme and pushing ourselves on superficial issues more.The nub of the issue regarding our dismal performance will not be helped out by merely belting the skipper.Infact we have had disastrous results during Inzi's tenure as well.But please fix our grassroots and infrastructure because if captain alone has the key to change the fate of team then Ricky Ponting wouldn't be so proud of his team's ruthless progress when Mcgrath's,Warne's and Gilly's were there and wouldn't be so hapless now without them.Why don't we pin Ponting down now?Simply because captain is finished without forceful resources and beleive me unless Pakistan produces quality batsmen,bowlers and fielders,thes Malik's,Younis and Misbah's would be useless for team's improvement.Younis although is a better choice amongst all the available lads but that wouldn't guarantee you games unless thay have genuine pacemen to unrattle opponents.

  • PerfectTimer on January 30, 2009, 15:34 GMT

    Continuing with the next possible choices of captain ....

    Shoaib Akhtar: He is on verge of decline, he has lost his pace and cannot bowl long spells. So if he cannot lead by example then that may turn bad to the overall bowling.

    Misbah: A good cricketing brain indeed, a good captaincy record in domestic and Pakistan A team circuit but he seems polite. Currently a more versatile and disciplined captain is needed who can create discipline in himself and ask the same from others.

    So in my view, the best choice currently is Younis Khan.

  • PerfectTimer on January 30, 2009, 15:33 GMT

    I agree with Osman, Younis Khan seems to be a wise choice in the current Pakistani team, as he is potentially agressive captain and he always tries to lead the team from the front. And he is an automatic selection to ODI and Test teams and to some extent T20 as well.

    Lets try to see were there any other worthy candidates for captaincy.

    Shahid Afridi: Has been inspirational in leading his teams in the domestic circuit. Always tries to lead from the front whether bowling or batting. But in the international circuit, he has his confidence down in his batting, he is unwilling to open the innings. And no place for him yet in the Test arena. So he is inspirational and agressive, but he is not currently an automatic selection to the Test team, so he seriously needs to take care of his batting by playing same aggressive cricket but controlled down the ground shots.

    To be continued in the next comment ....... ;)

  • Nipun on January 30, 2009, 13:35 GMT

    Younis is the only cricketer in this Pakistan team who is a serious candidate for captaincy,but it's difficult to believe that he can cause some major changes in Pakistan's performances.Truth be told,this Pakistan team is lacklustre & lacks 'THAT SOMETHING'.Younis is a fighter,but he ain't a genius,& the rest of his team mates are even less a fighter than him.Salman,Kamran,Manzoor,Tanvir-all these players are limited.So a change in captaincy might change Pakistan's attitude,but it's uncertain whether there will be any change in Pakistan's results.

  • nasr84 on January 30, 2009, 6:13 GMT

    The only reason i support this change is that Younis will bring an energy back in the team, the boys will atleast look like a team regardless of the result. He will make us all feel proud again.

  • Tashfeen on January 30, 2009, 0:14 GMT

    Completely nonsensical and unrequired decision. Useless hoha over nothing. What was the board expecting? if they were expecting a win, that was a wrong expectation. The team hasn't played in along time against quality opposition. Players and Captains grow by playing matches and not by sitting and playing twenty20 matches. When they play they learn and progress. PCB and the senate should concentrate on getting some games under the players belts first and stop creating a mountain out of a molehill. Completely useless excercise to replace the captain when there are no matches to be played on the horizon and if there are no different result is expected as the team has not been a team because they have not played on the field together.

  • junaidthepathan on January 29, 2009, 23:38 GMT

    Younis Khan is the best batsman at present Pakistan has got(ODI&TESTS) and as a captain,he has the quality and attributes to bring the best out the team. Pakistan has got the talent to challenge the top teams around the world but need a strong leader who is respected and Younis Khan fits in perfect for that role.Hope he might get some good news regarding the ban on ICL (former Pakistan international) players, getting the likes of Mohammad Yousaf,Abdul Razaq,Imran Nazir will get the ball rolling!!!! Finally must say this,he needs query if some of the current players in the squad (Shahid Afridi,Shoaib Akhtar,Kamran Akmal) deserve their places looking at their current performances,if Younis is strong then we hope not to see these guys in the next squad and see some young talent getting their chances which will surley benefit Pakistan Cricket future!!!!!!!

  • AliB33 on January 29, 2009, 22:02 GMT

    A riveting and splendid article that represents in its very way the hegemony of thoughts and hopes any well wisher, especially the country folk has in their minds. I agree with each comment you have made Mr Samiuddin, as I believe that the troubles we have seen, younis khan seems to be the only option left out of this downward spiralling disaster train that started its journey genuily after the 99 world cup even though after which we had legends playing in the team. Goodluck to Younis Khan and the thoughts we share as the ever eager fans of this game which unties us all...

  • Maestro_bats on January 29, 2009, 22:02 GMT

    Shahid Afridi as a captain. . . . hahaha. Not in this life.

    I think Younis Khan is a perfect fit for this role. But no one can be a good captain without supportive players. So if there is unrest in the team, Younis will find it tough to win matches.

  • Atish_G on January 29, 2009, 20:23 GMT

    I agree with the author. Misbah is the only other viable option, and I am not sure he has enough experience. As a fan of the game, I wish the Pakistan team all the very best. A strong Pakistan team brings to cricket a unique flair which the game just cannot afford to lose. As an Indian national, I wish the people of Pakistan all the very best. It is time for us to clearly learn the difference between the politicians of a country and its people. If we don't understand, who will ?

  • cheersxyz1 on January 31, 2009, 15:06 GMT

    It seems sanity has left us all alone out on a limb.I mean we are digressing from the main theme and pushing ourselves on superficial issues more.The nub of the issue regarding our dismal performance will not be helped out by merely belting the skipper.Infact we have had disastrous results during Inzi's tenure as well.But please fix our grassroots and infrastructure because if captain alone has the key to change the fate of team then Ricky Ponting wouldn't be so proud of his team's ruthless progress when Mcgrath's,Warne's and Gilly's were there and wouldn't be so hapless now without them.Why don't we pin Ponting down now?Simply because captain is finished without forceful resources and beleive me unless Pakistan produces quality batsmen,bowlers and fielders,thes Malik's,Younis and Misbah's would be useless for team's improvement.Younis although is a better choice amongst all the available lads but that wouldn't guarantee you games unless thay have genuine pacemen to unrattle opponents.

  • PerfectTimer on January 30, 2009, 15:34 GMT

    Continuing with the next possible choices of captain ....

    Shoaib Akhtar: He is on verge of decline, he has lost his pace and cannot bowl long spells. So if he cannot lead by example then that may turn bad to the overall bowling.

    Misbah: A good cricketing brain indeed, a good captaincy record in domestic and Pakistan A team circuit but he seems polite. Currently a more versatile and disciplined captain is needed who can create discipline in himself and ask the same from others.

    So in my view, the best choice currently is Younis Khan.

  • PerfectTimer on January 30, 2009, 15:33 GMT

    I agree with Osman, Younis Khan seems to be a wise choice in the current Pakistani team, as he is potentially agressive captain and he always tries to lead the team from the front. And he is an automatic selection to ODI and Test teams and to some extent T20 as well.

    Lets try to see were there any other worthy candidates for captaincy.

    Shahid Afridi: Has been inspirational in leading his teams in the domestic circuit. Always tries to lead from the front whether bowling or batting. But in the international circuit, he has his confidence down in his batting, he is unwilling to open the innings. And no place for him yet in the Test arena. So he is inspirational and agressive, but he is not currently an automatic selection to the Test team, so he seriously needs to take care of his batting by playing same aggressive cricket but controlled down the ground shots.

    To be continued in the next comment ....... ;)

  • Nipun on January 30, 2009, 13:35 GMT

    Younis is the only cricketer in this Pakistan team who is a serious candidate for captaincy,but it's difficult to believe that he can cause some major changes in Pakistan's performances.Truth be told,this Pakistan team is lacklustre & lacks 'THAT SOMETHING'.Younis is a fighter,but he ain't a genius,& the rest of his team mates are even less a fighter than him.Salman,Kamran,Manzoor,Tanvir-all these players are limited.So a change in captaincy might change Pakistan's attitude,but it's uncertain whether there will be any change in Pakistan's results.

  • nasr84 on January 30, 2009, 6:13 GMT

    The only reason i support this change is that Younis will bring an energy back in the team, the boys will atleast look like a team regardless of the result. He will make us all feel proud again.

  • Tashfeen on January 30, 2009, 0:14 GMT

    Completely nonsensical and unrequired decision. Useless hoha over nothing. What was the board expecting? if they were expecting a win, that was a wrong expectation. The team hasn't played in along time against quality opposition. Players and Captains grow by playing matches and not by sitting and playing twenty20 matches. When they play they learn and progress. PCB and the senate should concentrate on getting some games under the players belts first and stop creating a mountain out of a molehill. Completely useless excercise to replace the captain when there are no matches to be played on the horizon and if there are no different result is expected as the team has not been a team because they have not played on the field together.

  • junaidthepathan on January 29, 2009, 23:38 GMT

    Younis Khan is the best batsman at present Pakistan has got(ODI&TESTS) and as a captain,he has the quality and attributes to bring the best out the team. Pakistan has got the talent to challenge the top teams around the world but need a strong leader who is respected and Younis Khan fits in perfect for that role.Hope he might get some good news regarding the ban on ICL (former Pakistan international) players, getting the likes of Mohammad Yousaf,Abdul Razaq,Imran Nazir will get the ball rolling!!!! Finally must say this,he needs query if some of the current players in the squad (Shahid Afridi,Shoaib Akhtar,Kamran Akmal) deserve their places looking at their current performances,if Younis is strong then we hope not to see these guys in the next squad and see some young talent getting their chances which will surley benefit Pakistan Cricket future!!!!!!!

  • AliB33 on January 29, 2009, 22:02 GMT

    A riveting and splendid article that represents in its very way the hegemony of thoughts and hopes any well wisher, especially the country folk has in their minds. I agree with each comment you have made Mr Samiuddin, as I believe that the troubles we have seen, younis khan seems to be the only option left out of this downward spiralling disaster train that started its journey genuily after the 99 world cup even though after which we had legends playing in the team. Goodluck to Younis Khan and the thoughts we share as the ever eager fans of this game which unties us all...

  • Maestro_bats on January 29, 2009, 22:02 GMT

    Shahid Afridi as a captain. . . . hahaha. Not in this life.

    I think Younis Khan is a perfect fit for this role. But no one can be a good captain without supportive players. So if there is unrest in the team, Younis will find it tough to win matches.

  • Atish_G on January 29, 2009, 20:23 GMT

    I agree with the author. Misbah is the only other viable option, and I am not sure he has enough experience. As a fan of the game, I wish the Pakistan team all the very best. A strong Pakistan team brings to cricket a unique flair which the game just cannot afford to lose. As an Indian national, I wish the people of Pakistan all the very best. It is time for us to clearly learn the difference between the politicians of a country and its people. If we don't understand, who will ?

  • great67 on January 29, 2009, 19:43 GMT

    I think you have lost your marbles,Your articles are plagued with double standards, PCB has rewarded under performance, and have promoted a player who is conniving.I am surprised at your double standards, you didn't mentioned Younis Khans or Afridi's performance in the series against Srilanka and just grilled Malik, In your campaign to promote Younis you failed to mention his record in Champions trophies, The world cup 03 and 06, the Natwest series and CB series. Things will become worse under him, Afridi and Younis should have been dropped from the team for playing dirty politics in the team. I know you will not post this comment like my previous ones.

  • dilchasp on January 29, 2009, 19:24 GMT

    Younis khan was a fighter yesterday and he is the same YK today. I hope under his captaincy, Pakistani team will show the performance which they are lacking for couple of years. He is the man who will be getting the most benefit from the same players which were not performing under Malik's captaincy. It is the push, the courage, the will which a captain puts in his players, and Younis Khan is the guy who will accomplish the job efficiently. From now on I'll see how Jaywardne, Dhoni, Ponting, Vettori, Chris Gayle will do in the heat of Younis Khan. Good luck! to my Hero!

  • DilMeraPakistani on January 29, 2009, 18:55 GMT

    This is wrong to say that we are not getting good quality players. It's just that we are not giving them enough chance. We have many fast bowlers available that if they were in India, they would have been playing since last 2 years. Anwar Ali and Mohammad Talha can walk straight into any playing side and destroy the batting side. Mohammad Amir, a young 16 year old kid, whom Wasim Akram said that he would take him right away in the side as he is a special bowler. In old good days, talents like those used to walk straight in like Akram himself and Waqar Younis. I don't know how long they want to groom these special bowlers. We don't need Akhtar. Sohail Tanvir is okay but has no pace. I still have doubts about his ability. Then we also have Sohail Khan who played the last one day and was the best bowler. He bowls around 90 MPH. In the batting department we have Fawad Alam who scored one tripple century in away tour and just scored 296. Asim Kamal is the prime eg.of Injustice.

  • greenandwhite on January 29, 2009, 17:46 GMT

    I think Shahid Afridi should be made captain of the 20/20 Team. He has been out of touch for a while, maybe giving him some responsibility would make him become the player he once was. As much of a fan of YK that I am, I think Shahid is still a part of Pakistan's team, so this is a risk worth taking.

  • 1ozy on January 29, 2009, 16:58 GMT

    I agree Younis Khan was the right choice, but...I also feel given the captancy Afridi with the responsability on his shoulders would blossom as a player/captain! Afridi reminds me of Imran Khan, playing without any fear, maybe Paistan could do with a dose of that! Cornered Tigers???

  • SOHAILYOONAS on January 29, 2009, 16:38 GMT

    I really hope & wish Younis is the right choice... However, I am very emotionally distracted with the fact of Afridi's selection in the team. Can we stop living in a dream & get rid of him. I think Afridi is what an average pakistani is... A talent so abundant...yet brainlessly wasteful. GET RID OF HIM. Give Fawad Alam a chance, give Nasir Jamshed a chance. These boys will be the match winners of an other wise bleak future. Nasir has the Aamir Sohail kind of batting attitude...Salman butt can carress with his Saeed Anwar like finesse. And I really think Fawad Alam is going to be the next Miandad... He just has that attitude... given so little chances, he shows up to perform everyday pretty much... Shoaib Malik had a hard time fitting him in the team because Fawad would be Maliks' true replacement...Anyways GIVE MY YOUNG BROTHERS A CHANCE...PLEASEE.

  • ajetti on January 29, 2009, 16:25 GMT

    Well, good luck to Younis Khan. I still believe this is only a small step in Pakistan's recovery. Maybe he is a better choice as a captain compared to the ultra-laidback, unimaginative Shoaib Malik but there are a lot of issues with the rest of the team and management. I do hope these issues are also dealt with so Pakistan can once again compete against the cricket elite. Inzamam was the last of the giants and in a way it is not surprising that Pakistan cricket has experienced a mighty fall in the last 2 years. No offence to my Pakistani friends but the political situation also impacts on sport in Pakistan. It is sad to see a once mighty team comprising some of the most talented and colourful men reduced to also rans now. I am an Indian and a fan of the Indian team but I have always admired (openly) Pakistani heroes (Imran, Javed, Wasim, Waqar, Inzamam). Playing against such a team was the ultimate challenge. Now I am not so sure. i'd rather watch India play Australia/South Africa.

  • Percy_Fender on January 29, 2009, 16:23 GMT

    Younis Khan is a very fine batsman who is gutsy and has the ability to score big. But I am not too sure how successful he will be as captain for Pakistan. That is not because he does'nt have the cricketing acumen or the instinct to succeed. The problem is the memebers of the team, who seem so easily swayed by their regional pulls. And since many of them have been in good money recenty, they seem even more reluctant to conform.Imran Khan was successful because he belonged to the privileged class even before he turned professional. He had the charisma and the cricketting skills which allowed him his autocratic style of leading Pakistan. Because he was articulate and was seen as a visionary, he was accepted without demur by even those in the team who had been given the short shrift by the great man. Younis, I am sorry to say is not cast in the same mould and may find it difficult unless the PCB backs him to the exclusion of everything else.

  • Kazam on January 29, 2009, 16:16 GMT

    Well I have read all the comments and all saying including usmna sahab that it is a right choice.First of all I ask what was fault in Malik?I am not a great supporter of Pakistani Cricket but I have a close eye on it.After 2 years Mr.Usman will be ariting this same thing about Malik perhapes that he has got his time now.Well like govt.of Pakistan no captain can complete a good erra as a leader to lead the team.Now Malik has started to learn about cricket and he has been removed.Why are we so? Why? Why we change our captain after 2 years .Are teams never defeated ? Is Australia not defeated?These days Australia has a bad patch in cricket but no one from CA has asked ricky to go?When SA were defeated in World cup 2007 semi final so cheaply Cricket south Africa did not sack Graeme Smith.Why we are so mean?If Shoaib Akhtar or Umer Gul does not take a wicket or Salman Butt is not making runs , Akmal is dropping catches then why only one man (Malik) is given punishment. I donot think that ch

  • Ahmer on January 29, 2009, 14:33 GMT

    He can be a captain of Pakistan side for 10 years...because he is byfar the most fit and best player of Pakistan..and the way the team is playing and talent is coming in Pakistan team..he will for sure be in team for 10 years..

  • KrikFreak on January 29, 2009, 13:57 GMT

    YK is definately the best choice.There is no one beyond him since we all know his skills and good cricketing mind. He has proved it many a times in the field as a standin Captain. Many of the Pakistani players are usually not educated beyond hight school and so they don't really develop a leadership personality. Once fame comes along with the seniority, all of a sudden we have the likes of Shoaib Akhtar, Shoaib Malik and so on. There has to be some serious thought given to grooming future players with good communicationa nd leadership qualities. For now, prayers are with YK to revive the team's stature.

  • veeezel on January 29, 2009, 13:41 GMT

    Mr osman i agree that younis is the only choice we have.Pathan or not pathan we are all Pakistani first.Come to the cricket i dont think that will bring Pakistan more success as our team is niether mentaly or techinacaly sound.our bench is not looking good either.young players i have seen so far are not looking upto the top level, or the real talent is not coming through for one reason or another.Domestic structure has collapsed.They are playing meaningless cricket without or hardly any coverage.ther is not much money to attract the yougsters.Pitches and facelities are sub standard,list is countless,fighting among themself team OR managment ete etc.GOOD LUCK YOUNIS AND BELIEVE ME YOU WILL NEED IT!!!

  • jokerbala on January 29, 2009, 13:16 GMT

    Mr.Osman you are saying that, Younis Khan is a fiercely competitive,uptight and no nonsense guy.I've always got the picture of a laid back,happy-go-lucky guy from what I have seen of him.To me he is a cheerful guy,with a perennial smile giving opposition the credit when it is due.But you seem to say he is Graeme Smith-2, which he is not. I am sorry to say this,but what lacks in Pakistan cricket is discipline.Everybody is suggesting,the captain has to be the best player in the team to command respect from team mates,which is true.But sometimes the Best player is not the best leader.Look at Johan Botha ,he is the present captain of SA,with the Injury of Smith.Botha is hardly the best batsman or bowler in the team but has done a commendable job.I just hope now that the present Pakistan players support Younis without resorting to giving open statements to the media against him at the first chance.

  • Jzee on January 29, 2009, 12:50 GMT

    Osman, this statement coming from YOU, has really surprised me. "had Younis done the decent, right and normal thing by accepting the captaincy after the 2007 World Cup"... There is obviously an abundance of incompetent administrators, viewers, and critics when it comes to cricket in Pakistan. Why would you and people with your insight be remotely surprised at Y. Khan's decision to turn down the captaincy? Why would you blame an upstanding honorable man for turning down a post which involves compromising the very essence and the philosophy of the sport, why has not any journalist tried to analyze, the semiotics of the viewer ship of cricket in Pakistan?

  • chooha1 on January 29, 2009, 12:05 GMT

    The only reason I can think of for Afridi being the captain is that he has more years than Younis(depending on fitness). Afridi had more time to plan things but I think Younis is the right decision as he's the eldest and most experienced in the team.

  • backyardchamp on January 29, 2009, 11:43 GMT

    First of all Younus is a great choice. He is enthusiastic, spirited and eager to combat when the chips are down. That is what Pakistan needs right now, a captain with unwavering convictions and the ability to lead by example. He will coax out the best from his players. Shoaib Malik lacked all these qualities. He was from the Inzamam school of captaincy, expecting team members to perform according to expectations. But where Inzamam had the record and ability to command his players respect, Shoaib doesn't. In a way Pakistan's post Imran captains are unfortunate because they are expected to emulate him. But Imran was a unique individual who just was a natural leader and despite his percieved aloofness and arrogance, was able to spot players with talent and was able to get them to perform to the best of their abilities. I doubt there will be another captain like him in the near future.

  • Cricket_Ka_Khuwar on January 29, 2009, 10:32 GMT

    Agree with Osman, Younus was the only choice we have for some years before Salman Butt is ready for it.

    @ Martin Hook, ever got the chance to visit Pakistan or you have only seen it through the eyes of western media. Be my guest dear, i will show you the real progressive pakistan which might be difficult for you to accept.

  • sramesh_74 on January 29, 2009, 10:27 GMT

    Finally!! Some good news for Pak cricket. Goodbye Shoib Mallik. He was the worst possible choice for captain. Can Younus guide Pakistan cricket to a position of strength? Time will tell. Will he be strong enough to get rid of excess baggage like Akhtar and Afridi?? Good luck to him..The crown of thorns is his now.

  • IAHMADK on January 29, 2009, 6:58 GMT

    To Martin Hooks...ever heard of how Afghanistan's team has progressed in the past two years?Afhanistan's socio-economic conditions are far worse as compared to Pakistan.I have Iraq as an example in football. I don't quite agree with your views on this.

    To V Swami...a)Aamir Sohail is the director of the National Cricket Academy and, therefore, has no link whatsoever with the Pakistan Cricket Team directly. His job is to create a base of youngsters. b)The fundamental problem in Pakistan cricket is not the inability of two people to disagree. I bet you'll find people who are unable to listen to those who dont agree with them, all over the world. This is a problem with humanity in general...not just Pakistan!!

  • AsifMalik on January 29, 2009, 6:25 GMT

    A successful captain has to be a good performer himself like MS Dhoni. Younis has the capabilities and character to be a good captain. To Mr. VS WAMI I don't know why but I have observed that many Indians don't leave any chance to defame Pakistan or its society. These people are suffering from "Pakistanphobia". I am a Pakistani and my roots are from India. I never try to defame India or try to criticise what is going on there because I have been taught not to blame others for my own problems.

  • mohsenali on January 29, 2009, 6:22 GMT

    LillianThomson

    i agree with most of your thing but wasim akram had more power than any other pakistani cricket ever and maybe more than anyone ever had in cricket as a captain also he had an very good eye for talent just like imran khan

  • mohsenali on January 29, 2009, 6:19 GMT

    to whoever who thinks this is a bad choice yeh right lol. you think malik is better at what how can you have a captain who dont't take the blame and rats out his players in the media. india should be punished pcb take a stand we won't play india unless they come play a full series in pakistan we as pakistanis will support you 100 percent. now to the main issue with pakistan

    ICL

    make it legal and get your good players and young back to heck with what bcci thinks of that pakistan lost more talent to icl than anyone

  • beaman on January 29, 2009, 5:34 GMT

    I am totally agree with Osman, Younus is a fighter, he surely bring spirit of win in Pak team. Younus has the same nature like MS Dhoni, calm and aggressive, and lead the team from the front. I trust on Younus, he will bring golden era of Pakistan Cricket back.

  • LillianThomson on January 29, 2009, 5:26 GMT

    I don't agree that it is a bad thing that Younis is coming to the job two years too late. Now that there is no alternative he will actually have the standing and power that an international captain needs whereas with the exception of Imran Khan all his predecessors have been subordinate to PCB fools.

    The Pietersen debacle should have shown that the captain has to be the big boss. Malik never was and so his career stagnated because he never secured his place in the eleven. Ideally the captain should be strong enough to dictate who is selected, and in the case of Younis he needs to make clear that Mohammad Yousuf is coming straight back into the team regardless of what the BCCI might want.

  • ManasMishra on January 29, 2009, 5:16 GMT

    Right choice by default? Lets revisit that notion in few months after Younis again walks out from the post; most likely just before a major series. I dont understand this obsession of PCB with folks who have ditched them again & again (Miandad being the other example).To be a good leader one has to put one's ego in the back burner, not sure Younis is ready to do that. A better option would have been to appoint Misbah as captain and groom some youngster like Butt for future.

  • kashmd on January 29, 2009, 5:13 GMT

    Just wait for his resign pretty soon, it will be a shocker if doesnt happen. thats how pakistan cricket works..full of silly and pretty predictable surprises!! the person who puts himself before his country, psuhed us in the dark age of shoaib malik due to his personal rifts and angers gets the highest reward!! GOD help pakistan cricket.

  • 114_in_final_Six_overs on January 29, 2009, 4:54 GMT

    Bad choice Osman. Like true supporter of a failed team, you have come to worship at the altar of personality and cult. The problem with Pakistani cricket is socio-economic condition of Pakistan itself. A society in decline may not sustain a vibrant team.

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  • 114_in_final_Six_overs on January 29, 2009, 4:54 GMT

    Bad choice Osman. Like true supporter of a failed team, you have come to worship at the altar of personality and cult. The problem with Pakistani cricket is socio-economic condition of Pakistan itself. A society in decline may not sustain a vibrant team.

  • kashmd on January 29, 2009, 5:13 GMT

    Just wait for his resign pretty soon, it will be a shocker if doesnt happen. thats how pakistan cricket works..full of silly and pretty predictable surprises!! the person who puts himself before his country, psuhed us in the dark age of shoaib malik due to his personal rifts and angers gets the highest reward!! GOD help pakistan cricket.

  • ManasMishra on January 29, 2009, 5:16 GMT

    Right choice by default? Lets revisit that notion in few months after Younis again walks out from the post; most likely just before a major series. I dont understand this obsession of PCB with folks who have ditched them again & again (Miandad being the other example).To be a good leader one has to put one's ego in the back burner, not sure Younis is ready to do that. A better option would have been to appoint Misbah as captain and groom some youngster like Butt for future.

  • LillianThomson on January 29, 2009, 5:26 GMT

    I don't agree that it is a bad thing that Younis is coming to the job two years too late. Now that there is no alternative he will actually have the standing and power that an international captain needs whereas with the exception of Imran Khan all his predecessors have been subordinate to PCB fools.

    The Pietersen debacle should have shown that the captain has to be the big boss. Malik never was and so his career stagnated because he never secured his place in the eleven. Ideally the captain should be strong enough to dictate who is selected, and in the case of Younis he needs to make clear that Mohammad Yousuf is coming straight back into the team regardless of what the BCCI might want.

  • beaman on January 29, 2009, 5:34 GMT

    I am totally agree with Osman, Younus is a fighter, he surely bring spirit of win in Pak team. Younus has the same nature like MS Dhoni, calm and aggressive, and lead the team from the front. I trust on Younus, he will bring golden era of Pakistan Cricket back.

  • mohsenali on January 29, 2009, 6:19 GMT

    to whoever who thinks this is a bad choice yeh right lol. you think malik is better at what how can you have a captain who dont't take the blame and rats out his players in the media. india should be punished pcb take a stand we won't play india unless they come play a full series in pakistan we as pakistanis will support you 100 percent. now to the main issue with pakistan

    ICL

    make it legal and get your good players and young back to heck with what bcci thinks of that pakistan lost more talent to icl than anyone

  • mohsenali on January 29, 2009, 6:22 GMT

    LillianThomson

    i agree with most of your thing but wasim akram had more power than any other pakistani cricket ever and maybe more than anyone ever had in cricket as a captain also he had an very good eye for talent just like imran khan

  • AsifMalik on January 29, 2009, 6:25 GMT

    A successful captain has to be a good performer himself like MS Dhoni. Younis has the capabilities and character to be a good captain. To Mr. VS WAMI I don't know why but I have observed that many Indians don't leave any chance to defame Pakistan or its society. These people are suffering from "Pakistanphobia". I am a Pakistani and my roots are from India. I never try to defame India or try to criticise what is going on there because I have been taught not to blame others for my own problems.

  • IAHMADK on January 29, 2009, 6:58 GMT

    To Martin Hooks...ever heard of how Afghanistan's team has progressed in the past two years?Afhanistan's socio-economic conditions are far worse as compared to Pakistan.I have Iraq as an example in football. I don't quite agree with your views on this.

    To V Swami...a)Aamir Sohail is the director of the National Cricket Academy and, therefore, has no link whatsoever with the Pakistan Cricket Team directly. His job is to create a base of youngsters. b)The fundamental problem in Pakistan cricket is not the inability of two people to disagree. I bet you'll find people who are unable to listen to those who dont agree with them, all over the world. This is a problem with humanity in general...not just Pakistan!!

  • sramesh_74 on January 29, 2009, 10:27 GMT

    Finally!! Some good news for Pak cricket. Goodbye Shoib Mallik. He was the worst possible choice for captain. Can Younus guide Pakistan cricket to a position of strength? Time will tell. Will he be strong enough to get rid of excess baggage like Akhtar and Afridi?? Good luck to him..The crown of thorns is his now.