Younis Khan should be appointed Test captain: Asif Iqbal

Karachi: Former Pakistan skipper Asif Iqbal has joined Zaheer Abbas in calling for the appointment of senior batsman, Younis Khan as captain for the Test series against South Africa starting later this month.

Iqbal said in an interview to a radio station that after the suspension of Salman Butt over the spot fixing scandal and given the abrupt manner in which Shahid Afridi stepped down as Test captain in England, Younis was the best possible choice.

“I think Younis is the best man to lead Pakistan in the coming Test series that is going to be a tough one against South Africa,” he said.

Iqbal was echoing comments made by former captain Zaheer Abbas, who had also urged the PCB to bring back Younis as Test captain.

Iqbal pointed out that PCB Chairman, Ijaz Butt had in the last two years changed at least five captains, which was a unique thing even for Pakistan cricket.

Since Butt took charge in October, 2008, the board has changed or appointed Shoaib Malik, Younis Khan, Muhammad Yousuf, Shahid Afridi and Salman Butt as captains for Test and other formats of the sport.

Iqbal said he did not support the appointment of Muhammad Yousuf as captain, pointing out he had been struggling for form as a batsman and also failed to provide the team with a spark during the tour of Australia.

“The wise thing to do now is to bring back Younis as player and captain and give him full backing and confidence,” said the former captain, who represented Pakistan in 58 Tests.

“Keeping in view all that has taken place and the future, it is time Younis is brought back.”

The PCB has refused to give clearance to the national selectors to pick Younis and he has not played for the national team since the one-day series in Australia early this year.

Even though an appellate tribunal removed an indefinite ban on Younis in July, the PCB has said he has to apologise first for his alleged misconduct on the Australian tour and would only then be considered for the team.

Iqbal also said that Afridi should also not be considered for the role of Test captain as he himself has admitted that he is unfit for five-day cricket.

However, former Pakistan leg-spinner Abdul Qadir, urged the PCB to stick with Yousuf as Test captain until the spot-fixing scandal is over and Salman Butt is cleared to play for Pakistan again.

Meanwhile, the PCB chairman held meetings with chief selector, Mohsin Khan in Lahore and the Test squad for the South Africa series was discussed.