The Pakistan Cricket Board and some former Test players are not happy with the recent statements made by skipper Younus Khan that he is willing to play Twenty20 cricket for the national team.
Younus had announced his retirement from T20 cricket after Pakistan won the Twenty20 World Cup in England in July this year insisting he was too old for the shortest format of the sport. But in recent days he has shown interest in coming out of retirement to play T20 cricket once again despite the board appointing Shahid Afridi as the captain of the national T20 side until the World Cup in West Indies next year.
"What is Younus trying to do create more discord in the team, what is the necessity of such statements so soon after a major crisis has been averted in Pakistan cricket," a board official said, declining to be named.
He pointed out that it was a fact that some players still had reservations over Younus's attitude as captain and for him to keep on saying he wanted to play T20 cricket again was tantamount to creating problems in the team.
"It is no secret that Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik and couple of other players had complained about Younus to the PCB Chairman after Champions Trophy but the Chairman pacified them and instead rejected Younus's resignation and asked him to continue as captain till the 2011 50-overs World Cup," one official said.
Younus said in his "captain's corner" show yesterday from Abu Dhabi that he was ready to make a comeback to T20 cricket if the nation, selectors and players wanted this to happen.
"I am ready to do anything for my country for my people after the way they supported me in the recent captaincy crisis. I can continue to play even if I am 60 if my nation wants me to play," he said.
The frequent statements from Younus has prompted the PCB to come out with a statement that even if Younus wants to play T20 cricket again he can't be considered for the forthcoming T20 matches against New Zealand in Dubai as the selectors have already announced the team for these two matches. Younus has said his retirement decision was not a word on stone and it could be changed if conditions were right.
A former Test captain, however, advised Younus to concentrate on his batting against New Zealand.
"It is better for him if he just focuses on his own performances which are important for his tenure as captain," the player said.
A national selector pointed out that it was imperative for the captain to also get runs to retain his place in the side and have the respect of the players he commands. Younus who managed just 53 runs in the Champions Trophy due to a finger injury was out for a duck in the first one-day match against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.