Friday 13 April 2007 

Younis Khan Turns Down Captaincy Offer

Experienced Pakistan batsman Younis Khan turned down the chance to captain the national team after Inzamam-ul-Haq quit following their dismal World Cup performance.

Younis told national daily "Express" that he had informed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) that he was still under considerable mental strain.

"They offered me the captaincy with full powers. The PCB said they would also be appointing a strong selection committee to back me up. But I refused after thanking them for their offer," Younis said.

Younis has been vice-captain to Inzamam since 2005.

"I am still hurt and upset at the sort of hostile reception we have got since returning from the World Cup," he said.

"I have always given 100 percent for my country. But when your family gets threatening calls and our effigies are burnt and our pictures put on donkeys. Than I can't lead the team in such circumstances," he added.

Younis said respect for his family was far more important than the Pakistan captaincy, also denying that he had asked the board for additional powers and called for certain players to be dropped.

"I made no such demand," he said, adding that he would decide soon whether to quit one-day internationals.

"I think test matches are real cricket and I will decide soon if I should continue to play one-day internationals," he said.

He advised the PCB against taking any hasty decisions to ensure Pakistan cricket recovered from the World Cup debacle.

BAD TREATMENT

Younis also criticised the Jamaican authorities and police for treating the players like criminals following the death of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer.

He said the players had spent one of the worst week's of their life after Woolmer's death.

Woolmer was found unconscious in his hotel room and died later in hospital on March 18, one day after Pakistan were beaten by Ireland and eliminated from the World Cup.

Jamaican authorities are treating his death as a murder.

"At one stage I got so angry with the way we were being treated I told the Jamaican authorities we are international cricketers not criminals," Younis said.

"I told them why are you suspecting us of murdering Woolmer. In him we have lost a father figure."

Younis also said that on the day of their departure, the hotel management made the team vacate their rooms in Montego Bay at 6.00 in the morning.

"They said this is our check-out time," Younis said.

© Reuters 2007