After rejecting the captaincy twice in his career, Pakistan batsman Younis Khan has accepted the responsibility of taking over as the vice-captain for the tour of India, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced today.Younis takes over from opener Salman Butt, who held the post through the two-Test series against South Africa.
Younis had served as the vice-captain of the side for nearly two years under Inzamam-ul-Haq, and was appointed captain during the Champions Trophy in India last year in Inzamam's absence. However, he announced in a press conference that he refused to be a 'dummy captain' and walked off, only to be reinstated under a new board administration two days later.
He was widely expected to take over following Inzamam's resignation after a disasterous World Cup in the West Indies but turned it down again, citing mental strain after the trauma of coach Bob Woolmer's death. What upset him the most was the hostile reception the team got on returning to Pakistan, and the fact that the Jamaican authorities viewed the players as suspects in Woolmer's death, which was treated as a murder investigation.
"I am still hurt and upset at the sort of hostile reception we have got since returning from the World Cup," Younis said back in April. "I have always given 100% for my country. But when your family gets threatening calls and our effigies are burnt and our pictures put on donkeys, then I can't lead the team in such circumstances."
The board eventually opted for a young captain, Shoaib Malik, and after an impressive start was handed a one-year extension. Younis had another shot at leading the side, albeit briefly, when Malik went off the field during the second one-dayer against South Africa. With Butt, the official vice-captain, not in the playing XI, Younis took over and reportedly showed a lot of enthusiasm.
One of the probable reasons for the PCB not persisting with Butt is that he isn't able to hold his place in the one-day team, on account of his poor batting form. Though he was the official vice-captain, he sat on the bench through all five one-dayers against South Africa.