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    Default PCB yet to consider team's request to rush Younis Down Under

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    It seems like the PCB was least bothered about the outcome of the ongoing Test series between Pakistan and Australia, with the Board and selectors yet to consider the team management's request to rush senior batsman Younis Khan Down Under.

    ''Since PCB chairman Ijaz Butt is in Larkana, the request has been kept pending till his return to the office which is scheduled for Thursday,'' national daily 'The Dawn' quoted sources as saying.

    It has also been learnt that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has still not referred the team management's request to the selectors and was unlikely to consider it till Younis' return to form.

    The 31-year-old Younis, who himself chose to take a break from international cricket before Pakistan's New Zealnd tour, is known to be asked to play the Pentangular Cup.

    Younis failed to shine with the bat in the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy final for HBL and managed just 11 runs in the two innings. Now the HBL is set to face SNGPL in the Pentangular Cup's opening fixture.

    ''Selectors believed Younis didn't have to prove anything to anyone, he needed to get into some sort of rhythm to make his case stronger for a return to the national side,'' sources further said.

    Also, the selectors do not want to disturb the middle-order where all three - Umar Akmal, Misbah-ul-Haq and Faisal Iqbal - have performed well in the first Test.

    Skipper Yousuf is learnt to be insisting Younis to join the squad and bat at the crucial number three in the remaining two Tests. However, due to logistic problems, its seems impossible for Younis to join the visiting side before the start of third Test at Hobart on January 14.

    Pakistan, who lost the first Test against Australia by 170 runs today, will play the second of the three-match series from January 3.

    Meanwhile, reacting to the SOS calls by the Pakistan team, Younis yesterday said he will be joining the squad in Australia for the Test series but expressed his reluctance to captain the side again.

    The Pakistan team management on Monday had requested Younis to join the team to bolster the batting line-up, and sources confirmed that chief selector Iqbal Qasim had a word with the senior batsman about it, following which he agreed to fly to Australia.

    ''Younis made it clear to him that he was willing to fly out immediately but only as an ordinary member of the team,'' one source said.

    ''Younis told the chief selector that he is no longer interested in captaining the team ever again in future but has no issues about playing under the captaincy of Mohammad Yousuf in Australia or in future series,'' he added.

    Iqbal said he would discuss the matter with the PCB chairman to decide when Younis should fly to Australia.

    ''He is a senior player and there is no doubt about his ability or experience. He has a batting average of 50 plus in Tests and I am sure he is capable of even regaining his form in Australia,'' the chief selector said.


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