Pakistan struggle with captaincy issue
PCB’S NEW STRATEGY SEEKS TO IMPOSE STRONG CHECKS ON THE SKIPPER
Pakistan cricket managers are struggling to choose a new captain for the national team after prime candidate Younis Khan set conditions for accepting the job, official sources said yesterday.
Younis, who was deputy to former skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq for nearly two years, is demanding full powers like his powerful predecessor, a condition unacceptable to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), board after the World Cup debacle, sources said.
Following the country’s humiliating first-round exit in Caribbean, the PCB says it wants to put in place a new code for players and the captain.
“The new strategy envisages strong checks and balances on the captain to curtail his role in selecting players and dictating terms to the coach and the management, as has been the practice in the past,” a PCB official said.
“Younis Khan wanted to be an all-powerful captain and is reluctant to accept curbs,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
The PCB wants to curtail “player power”, which it believes has been responsible for the poor showing of the national team in big tournaments. The official said announcement of the captain had been delayed as the board authorities try to resolve the problem.
However, a cricket board spokesman said the delay in choice of men for the two key posts was not due to any differences with Younis. “The board is still discussing various options on who should be appointed as captain and coach for the team,” spokesman Ahsan Malek said.
“We have not reached the stage where we can offer captaincy to any player, we have chalked out a criterion and once that is settled we will announce the name.”
Younis was appointed as Pakistan captain for the Champions Trophy in India in October when Inzamam was banned for bringing the game into disrepute during the Oval Test ball-tampering controversy last year.
However, Younis initially refused the role at the time, saying he did not want to be a “dummy captain”, apparently over differences with some of the senior players and over some selections.
Meanwhile, former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad said yesterday cricket authorities needed to stub out player-power or no lessons could be learnt from their early World Cup exit.
Change of attitude
Miandad, who coached Pakistan for three separate terms, after he retired, said the authorities needed to change their attitude with players.
“Unless steps are taken to curb player-power, nothing will change,” Miandad said.
Miandad said Younis’s refusal to accept captaincy on PCB’s terms signified there were problems in the team.
“Pakistan cricket’s biggest challenge is discouraging groupings and players should be picked according to their performances,” he said.
Miandad said the selectors needed to be given more say in matters related to team selection.