Captain Younis 'still positive'

Younis Khan, Pakistan captain, is confident his team can perform well at the Champions Trophy without fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif who were recalled after testing positive to the banned substance nandrolone.

    Pakistan captain Younis Khan (L) with PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf

    Pakistan will have just 12 players to choose from for their opening Group B match against Sri Lanka in Jaipur on Tuesday after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) sent Shoaib and Asif home on Monday.


    "It is very tough when you are without two of your important players," Younis told reporters.


    "But I'm still positive," he added, perhaps with a poor choice of words.


    Talat Ali, Pakistan team manager, said the PCB was discussing the issue of replacements for the two pacemen with the International Cricket Council (ICC).


    "We have only one plan," Younis said.


    "Win or lose, we would play good cricket. The way the wickets have played and the general atmosphere, all teams look the same."


    Bob Woolmer, Pakistan coach, reflected on the past few months of turmoil in Pakistan cricketing ranks, saying that it had left him dazed.


    "It is difficult to understand why it is happening, but it is happening," Woolmer said.


    "We have to get on with it.


    "I'm pretty confident the team will take any adversity in its stride and rise to the occasion.


    "Unfortunately the timing is not right," he added.


    "But it happens, it happens."


    Woolmer said that it was he who initiated the internal tests before the Pakistan team travelled to India, to avoid any drug-testing issues during the tournament.


    ICC anti-doping policy states that two players from each team will be randomly tested during seven of the 21 games at the biennial one-day tournament.


    Players that test positive to banned substances could face suspensions of up to two years for a first offence, and a life ban for a second violation.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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