Pakistan cricket plunged into another crisis with senior player Younis Khan spurning captaincy and planning retirement from one-day cricket after the team's nightmarish World Cup campaign.
Younis was aghast at the way the players were treated after their return from the West Indies where Ireland knocked them out of the event. Younis confirmed that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Dr Naseem Ashraf had offered him the captaincy with full powers.
“But I told them thank you for the offer but I am not interested, specially after the way the team has been treated after the World Cup,” Younis said.
Visibly upset and angry, Younis said he had still not recovered from the shame and stress of seeing people burning effigies of the players and staging mock burials. “Losing and winning are part of the game but when your family is not spared and gets threatening calls, then the captaincy is not worth it,” he said.
Younis also said that he was thinking about quitting ODIs and concentrating on Tests, which he considered the real cricket and challenge. “I love Test cricket, it is the real sport. In the next few months, I will inform the board about what I have decided.”
Younis said he was very unhappy at the way the people, former players and media had reacted to the team's poor performance in the World Cup.
“I can understand the disappointment of people. As a Pakistan player, I have always given 200 per cent but unfortunately I failed in the World Cup like others did. That does not justify the frenzy and misbehaviour we have had to encounter since returning home.”
“It was humiliating to see musicians and actors making fun of us on TV. I don't want to end up having to go tearfully.”
He also rubbished reports claiming he had demanded axing of a few players as a pre-condition to take up the captaincy.
He was also very critical of the way the team had been treated in the West Indies after the murder of Bob Woolmer.
“We were treated as criminals, as if we had murdered him. People can't understand the shock we were in after realising that our coach had died. It was one of the worst weeks for us in Kingston after Woolmer's death,” he said.