Under-fire Pakistan cricket captain Mohammad Yousuf has defended his position as skipper of the national team ahead of a Pakistan Cricket Board inquiry into Pakistan's dismal performance in Australia and New Zealand, but has hinted that one player was responsible for affecting team unity.
|Yousuf has not named the player who he claims disrupted 'team unity' [GALLO/GETTY]
Pakistan were whitewashed in Australia in both Test and one-day series.
Pakistan drew the Test series 1-1 against New Zealand but lost 3-0 to Australia in the Test series and were blanked 5-0 in the limited-overs series.
Yousuf was made captain for the series against New Zealand and Australia at the end of last year after Younis Khan stepped down.
Yousuf pointed the finger at one player of the team who he accused of disturbing team unity.
"There's no doubt that there's only one player who is spoiling the atmosphere of the dressing room,'' said Yousuf, speaking on Pakistan's GEO television network.
"Intikhab Alam (coach), Abdur Raqeeb (manager) and [Shahid] Afridi know who the player is and we discussed it as well several times," Yousuf added.
“During the New Zealand tour and onwards Intikhab was telling me to be wary of him, but I wanted to see for myself.
"I saw in Australia how his body language was and we dropped him from the Tests. We decided in Australia during a meeting that we had to do something about him."
Yousuf said he would reveal the name to Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt.
The player in question will be scrutinised as part of the PCB inquiry, which is being conducted by chief operating officer Wasim Bari and is set to investigate how the team underperformed so badly.
The committee will convene on Friday and will meet with coach Intikhab Alam, manager Abdul Raqeeb and Yousuf.
Pakistan's chief selector Iqbal Qasim resigned soon after the team lost the fifth one-day international at Perth.
"I was made captain for the world's toughest series against Australia,'' Yousuf said.
"I don't have natural leadership qualities in me but I have tried hard to do a good job.
"It is unfair to compare me with (Australia captain) Ricky Ponting as far as captaincy is concerned because he is far more experienced.''
Midway through the one-day series against Australia, PCB chief Ijaz Butt was reported to say that the board will look for a new captain, though he later denied issuing the statement.
Yousuf said the team was disturbed by those media reports and they triggered a race for captaincy and a change in team moral.
"After the initial statement (of Butt) at least six or seven players started to see themselves as captain and suddenly there was a change in players' attitude.''
The PCB chief had earlier hinted that some senior players might be axed after a poor
performance in Australia.
"Not many senior players will be there for the World Cup (in 2011),'' Butt said.
Despite all this, Yousuf expressed a long-term interest in retaining the captaincy.
"There should be a long term captain to overcome difficulties in the team.''
"But if the PCB thinks there's someone else to lead the side, I have no problems in playing under him.''
Pakistan are scheduled to play their 'home' Test series against Australia in England where they will also compete against England in a four-Test series this summer.
Pakistan can not host international games because of security risks.