Younis Khan has been rewarded for a stellar year with the confirmation of his vice-captaincy of the Pakistan team until the Asia Cup, to be held in Pakistan early next year
It means Younis, who was first appointed vice-captain earlier this year before the tour to India, will remain Inzamam-ul-Haq's deputy through the England and India series. In five Tests since, Younis has established himself as one of Pakistan's batting mainstays, scoring nearly 700 runs with three hundreds at a touch above 76.
Additionally, he has also impressed many observers when called upon to take over from Inzamam as leader, to the extent, that he is now widely regarded in the Pakistan set-up as the natural successor to Inzamam.
The decision was taken at a recent meeting of the Pakistan board's ad-hoc committee. It was also decided, at the meeting, to retain the current national selection committee until paid selectors are eventually appointed. The board has been keen, in recent months, to appoint full-time paid selectors in order to professionalise the selection process.
Currently, Wasim Bari, chairman of selectors, Iqbal Qasim and Ehteshamuddin are employed in full-time jobs outside their roles as selectors. The board has argued that their professional employment has ensured that they can't pay as much attention to their selection commitments, insisting that full-time selectors would have more time to watch players in action domestically around the country.
The committee also decided, in principle, to appoint a full-time manager for the team till the World Cup in 2007, provided a suitable candidate is found. The position has been held in the recent past by Haroon Rasheed, but Saleem Altaf, PCB director, has filled in on the two tours to India and the West Indies this year. Zaheer Abbas is rumoured to be among the leading candidates for any such position.