Pakistan news October 19, 2009

PCB rejects Younis resignation

Cricinfo staff

Ijaz Butt, the Pakistan board chairman, has given Younis Khan the backing he wanted, insisting he will remain ODI captain until the 2011 World Cup. Butt ended days of speculation over the future of the Pakistan captaincy, reiterating once again that he had not accepted Younis' resignation.

Younis handed in his papers last week after attending a National Assembly committee meeting, in which allegations of match-fixing during Pakistan's semi-final loss to New Zealand were investigated. Those charges - as well as persistent politicking in the team by a group of players to undermine his leadership - were reasons believed to be behind his move.

Butt, however, rejected the resignation and opted to meet Younis privately instead, in a bid to change his mind. It is believed that at the meeting Younis laid down conditions which had to be accepted before he could return: he wanted to streamline the selection process, an assurance of a lengthier tenure than just on a series-by-series basis, and also changes in the team management. The PCB held meetings to discuss the matter though the meeting with the governing board today is said not to have raised the subject.

Though Butt did not speak of any such conditions, he was unequivocal in his support for Younis. "When I first appointed him in January 2009, there was no tenure for his captaincy but obviously sometimes security is needed. He is definitely our captain till the 2011 World Cup provided he remains fit. His performance has been excellent, he is fit, he has won a World Cup and as long as the selectors keep picking him, he is our choice as captain," Butt told Cricinfo.

Earlier, Butt had rejected Younis' resignation during an eagerly-awaited press conference at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, saying he understood why Younis handed in his papers. "I have not accepted Younis Khan's resignation. There is no justification in removing him as captain. I realise and understand his reaction. Had I been in his place I would've done the same."