'I was banned without being given a chance' - Younis
Younis Khan, the former Pakistan captain who has been banned indefinitely by the PCB, denied having created any problems within the team and hoped to make a comeback to the national fold.
"I was banned without being given a chance to clarify my position and I want justice because I want to play for my country again," Younis told the parliamentary committee investigating Pakistan's performance during the disastrous tour of Australia.
Younis stepped down as captain and player ahead of the tour to New Zealand, which preceded the Australia series, over differences with his team-mates. He missed the Australia Tests, and did not make an impact during the ODIs under Mohammad Yousuf's leadership. Following the tour, PCB came down strongly on seven national players, including Younis who was banned for creating infighting within the team - an accusation he staunchly refused.
"I pointed out problems within the team to the PCB and they banned me. [Shoaib] Malik thought that I contrived to replace him as captain, which wasn't true. My career has been derailed because of this ban and although I am getting offers to play in England and South Africa, I want to play for my country, for my people," Younis said.
Six of the seven punished cricketers, barring Yousuf who has since announced his retirement, have lodged formal appeals against PCB's punishment. The appeals are now being evaluated by an independent arbitrator, Irfan Qadir, a retired high court judge. Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, assured the committee that the PCB would review their sanctions based on the findings of the arbitrator.
Butt also came out in support of Younis, appreciating his commitment to the national side. "Younis is a patriot and has always played for the country and I am sad that his career was derailed by same baseless allegations of match-fixing by a parliamentary committee member," Butt said. Younis' appeal is set to be heard on May 29.