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Page last updated at 14:43 GMT, Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Younus named new Pakistan skipper

Younus Khan in action for Pakistan
Younus Khan was in temporary charge of the team in 2006

Younus Khan has replaced Shoaib Malik as the captain of the Pakistan team following their record defeat in a one-day international.

Malik was appointed captain after the 2007 World Cup campaign and was told in early January that he would remain as skipper for an indefinite period.

But Pakistan lost to Sri Lanka by 234 runs on Sunday, losing the series 2-1.

"We have not sacked him but relieved him from the captaincy," said Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt.

"We lost badly against Sri Lanka and some changes has to be made."

The decision follows a meeting between Butt, coach Intikhab Alam and manager Yawar Saeed in Lahore on Tuesday.

Younus, 31, is the most experienced cricketer in the current Pakistan team, having scored 4,816 runs in 58 Tests and 5,306 runs in 181 ODIs.

He previously led the Pakistan side at the 2006 Champions Trophy in India when then-captain Inzamam-ul-Haq was under a suspension from the International Cricket Council.

But nearly two years ago, Younus turned down the chance to skipper the side after Pakistan's first-round exit at the World Cup in the West Indies.

His appointment now has been welcomed by former captain Zaheer Abbas.

"The change in the captaincy was very much expected. The team's performance was not quite up to the mark, especially in the last match, and the cricket board has made the right decision by giving the reins of captaincy to Younus Khan," Zaheer commented.

Younus said he "didn't need to think twice" before accepting the captaincy but said the players must pull together in order to improve results.

"I want support from all the players to take the team forward because I do not have a magic wand," he told reporters.

"Pakistan is the only team which staggers one minute and recovers in the next. There is no reason why we can get into the top teams again."

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see also
Clinical Sri Lanka secure series
24 Jan 09 |  Cricket
Pakistan collapse aids Sri Lanka
21 Jan 09 |  Cricket
Shoaib awarded Pakistan contract
06 Jan 09 |  Cricket
Malik captaincy good for Pakistan
08 May 07 |  Pakistan

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