FAISALABAD: Pakistan former Test captain Younus Khan, who was leading the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) side in the ongoing Pakistan Cup in Faisalabad, decided to call it quits on the domestic tournament following a controversy with the umpires yesterday.
Younus was unhappy with the umpires’ decisions in both the matches he played in — against Islamabad and Punjab, and had no qualms in letting the umpires know about his feelings.
Matters took a serious turn when, after the Punjab match which his team won by two runs, Younus threatened reserve umpire Rashid Riaz of dire consequences. “If you keep the same poor standard of umpiring in the next matches, and if I leave, it won’t be good news for you umpires,” Younus was quoted as saying by Riaz.
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Riaz revealed that Younus was unhappy over his run-out and was extremely displeased with the two no-balls not given in the last over against Punjab, while the veteran batsman was also infuriated with a leg-before-wicket decision that went in Islamabad skipper Misbahul Haq’s favour in K-P’s match against Islamabad.
“I told him I was not the third umpire but he did not listen and kept on threatening me,” said Riaz, who then went to match referee Azizur Rehman to report the incident.
Rehman then issued a notice to Younus asking for an explanation but Younus refused to attend the disciplinary meeting and instead decided to not be part of the tournament.
Pakistan opener Ahmad Shahzad will now lead K-P for the remainder of the tournament. Younus, meanwhile, would be penalised 50% of his match fee in addition to a three-match suspension.
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‘Umpires acted according to rules’
Pakistan domestic cricket senior general manager Ali Zia believes that the umpires acted according to the rules and Younus had no right to treat them the way he did.
“The umpires acted according to the laws and the code of conduct,” Zia told The Express Tribune. “Younus cannot blame the umpires and neither can threaten them; if he had problems with the umpiring, he could have reported them to the Pakistan Cricket Board that follows established protocol to deal with such issues.”
Zia further stated that the umpires’ decisions cannot be reviewed mid-tournament and that Younus has disappointed a lot of his fans.
“Leaving in the middle of a tournament being an iconic player doesn’t suit him. He has disappointed the fans who came to see him. I saw the crowd cheering for him in the last match; they must be very disappointed,” he added.
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K-P management left seething by pull-out
The K-P management has been left aggrieved by Younus’ decision to opt out of the Pakistan Cup.
A source close to the team revealed that the veteran batsman left for Karachi yesterday after deciding to quit the event in the morning.
“Younus didn’t take part in the practice session in the morning; in fact almost the entire squad, including the management, learnt about his decision to quit when TV channels aired the story of his decision,” said a source close to the matter.
The feeling in the camp is that the former Pakistan captain ‘massively over-reacted’ and while the umpiring decisions were indeed dicey, there was almost no reason for Younus to leave the tournament mid-way.
K-P head coach outfit Kabir Khan expressed his disappointment at the controversy, terming his captain’s departure a downer.
“Of course we are disappointed; Younus was our captain and had led the team well in the first two games,” Kabir told The Express Tribune. “His departure mid-way in the tournament has disrupted our plans big time. Now we hope to leave the controversy behind and win our last two league games in order to confirm a berth in the final.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2016.
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