Yousuf: 'I want to stay in charge'

Pakistan captain wants to remain in the role despite Australia loss.

    Yousuf believes that any changes to the team will be disruptive [GALLO/GETTY]
    Pakistan's experienced batsman Mohammad Yousuf wants to continue as captain of the national cricket team despite being whitewashed by Australia in both Test and one-day series.

    Yousuf was made captain for the series against New Zealand and Australia late last year after Younis Khan stepped down.

    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.

    "I took up the responsibility (of captaincy) when nobody was willing to take it and will continue for the country in future,'' Yousuf said after arriving back home from Australia.

    Conflicting reports

    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.

    "Every player thought that he will become captain and because of that unity (of the team) suffered,'' he said.

    Pakistan's chief selector Iqbal Qasim resigned soon after the team lost the fifth one-day international at Perth last Sunday.

    The country's parliamentary committee on sports also put pressure on Butt to quit and recommended the accounts of the PCB be frozen.

    "We have highest regard for you, but it's better you should quit so that someone else more suitable for the job (of PCB chairman) be appointed,'' chairman of the national assembly standing committee on sports Jamshed Dasti told Butt on Wednesday.

    The PCB chief later told reporters that he had no intention of resigning.

    "If any charge against me is proved I will not take five seconds to quit,'' Butt said.

    Under threat

    The PCB chief hinted that some senior players might be axed after a poor
    performance in Australia, and ahead of a scheduled tour to England, where they will play the hosts and also a 'home' series against Australia.

    Pakistan can not host international games because of security risks.

    "Not many senior players will be there for the World Cup (in 2011),'' he said.

    "If required, we might even change the whole team.''

    Yousuf said the team needed to lift their performance, but warned against
    wholesale personnel changes.

    "Our performance was not up to the mark in all the three departments. Had we done good fielding we would have won the Test series in New Zealand,'' he said.

    "If you make many changes in the squad, the team will suffer.''

    Yousuf had been criticised for perceived defensive tactics, particularly after Australia came from a seemingly hopeless situation to win the second Test in Sydney.

    "We lost the Sydney Test only because of poor fielding,'' he said.

    "You can't stop people from making comments, but I don't think we were defensive.

    "We attacked where it demanded and defended where it was required.''

    SOURCE: AP


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