Younis willing to take over captaincy

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Lahore, Dec 15 (UNI) Former Pakistan vice-captain Younis Khan has expressed his willingness to take over the mantle of Test captain.

''If the PCB wants me to lead the team, I can do it. But first we (himself and the officials) need to sit down, discuss and finalise some things,'' the middle-order batsman was quoted as saying by The Dawn.

The 58-Test veteran acted as a stand-in leader during the India tour after Shoaib Malik's ankle injury ruled him out of the last two Tests.

Younis has been a reluctant leader in the past. He had quit the captaincy before the Champions Trophy last year, only to return the next day. He then declined to take over after the Caribbean World Cup earlier this year despite being the favourite for the post.

''I only agreed to be vice-captain for the Indian tour because of the importance of the series. If the matches had been against any other team I might not have accepted this responsibility,'' Younis said.

''But now if the board feels I can be a good Test captain, I am willing to do it but after talking to them. If the team can do well under my captaincy I would be very happy but I am not asking anyone for the job. This is the board's prerogative whatever they want to do.'' But according to the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board Nasim Ashraf, the senior batsman has taken too long in making up his mind over captaincy.

''Younis was our first choice as captain but he refused the responsibility,'' he said.

''Now we have appointed Shoaib Malik as our captain till December, 2008 and have complete faith in him which is why there is no need to change the captain.'' Nasim said that Younis is yet to talk to him about his change of heart.

''I'm not aware about Younis's comments that he is willing to take up captaincy but even if he is, we already have a captain.'' Shoaib Malik, who led the Pakistan team during the recently concluded India tour, has been under fire recently after a disastrous performance which saw them losing both the one-dayers and Test series.

UNI

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