Younus quits over claims of match-fixing

Pakistan captain stands down after allegations about Champions Trophy displays
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The Independent Online

Younus Khan has resigned as Pakistan captain over match-fixing allegations made against the team by a senior member of parliament.

Younus submitted his resignation to the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, Ejaz Butt, during a hearing of the National Assembly standing committee on sports in Islamabad yesterday.

The hearing was called to discuss the performance of the team in the Champions Trophy last month after the committee chairman, Jamshed Dasti, said on television he had evidence that Pakistan had deliberately underperformed against Australia and New Zealand. Pakistan lost to Australia in the group stage of the tournament and were also beaten by New Zealand in the semi-finals.

"Yes, I have submitted my resignation because I am disgusted by these match-fixing allegations made against me and the team," Younus said. "I have told the chairman to go through my resignation and read my point of view."

Sources close to Younus said his letter indicated he wanted to take a break from cricket and would not be available for the upcoming series against New Zealand and Australia.

Butt told reporters after the hearing that he had asked Younus to withdraw his resignation. "At this stage I can only say if he sticks to his decision then his resignation would be discussed by the governing council of the board at its next meeting on 19 October," Butt said.

The PCB chairman said he had told the members of the NA committee that such serious allegations of match-fixing were enough to demoralise any team and such statements should be avoided without having substantial evidence. Butt added that Dasti had also made it clear that his statement had been misunderstood in the media and he never made any direct match-fixing allegations.

Dasti said the committee never intended to make match-fixing allegations against the players and had only called the hearing to clear the air because of media reports that the team had underperformed deliberately. "We are totally satisfied with the explanation of the team management and board. The committee is satisfied no match-fixing took place," Dasti said.

Younus was appointed captain this year in place of Shoaib Malik following a home one-day series defeat by Sri Lanka in January. He led Pakistan to victory in the Twenty20 World Cup in England in July before announcing his retirement from that form of the game.