Former Pakistan captain Younis Khan’s return from obscurity became a reality on Wednesday, after he met with Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ijaz Butt and was subsequently included in the national squad for the UAE-base series against South Africa.
Younis has been out of the Pakistan squad since last year, after he was indefinitely banned as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) took disciplinary action against seven players following the team’s disastrous tour of Australia. The ban was later lifted but Younis had not been able to play international cricket due to PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt’s alleged stern stance against the former captain.Butt, however, invited Younis to meet him in a bid to sort out their differences after former cricketers and politicians openly slammed the board chief’s handling of the situation.
The meeting between the two resulted in amicable resolution of difference between the chairman and the former captain.Soon after the meeting, Pakistan cricket team manager Intikhab Alam and chief selector Mohsin Hassan Khan confirmed in seperate press conferences that Younis has indeed been included in the UAE-bound squad in place of Mohammad Yousuf.Yousuf, part of Pakistan’s squad for the nine-match series against South Africa, reportedly pulled out of the on-going training camp in Lahore after sustainign a grade-two muscle injury on the first day.Yousuf will rejoin the national squad for the two-match Test series at the end of the tour, Mohsin confirmed.Meanwhile, Younis said he was delighted to be back in the national squad and will join the training camp with immediate effect.
The World Twenty20-winning captain makes his return to international cricket after a nine-month haitus. He last played for Pakistan in the fifth one-day international against Australia on January 31, 2010. Several former cricketers and parliamentarians had been vocal in support of the former captain and had questioned his exclusion from the squad for a number of tournaments