Malik sacked as captain; Younis succeeds

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Beleaguered Shoaib Malik was sacked as Pakistan's captain and replaced by Younis Khan in the wake of the team's worst-ever one-day defeat to Sri Lanka.

Updated: January 27, 2009 14:36 IST
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Beleaguered Shoaib Malik was on Monday sacked as Pakistan's captain and replaced by senior batsman Younis Khan in the wake of the team's worst-ever one-day defeat to Sri Lanka.

But Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ejaz Butt told reporters in Lahore after meetings with Younis Khan, Coach Intikhab Alam and Chief Selector Abdul Qadir that Malik himself decided to step down.

"Malik himself kindly said he wanted to step down as captain after the series loss to Sri Lanka. The Board collectively decided that Younis should be the captain and he has agreed to lead the side," Butt said.

"We also felt that Malik's body language was not very positive as captain and we think Younis is the best choice now," he added.

The decision comes just two days after Pakistan suffered its heaviest one-day defeat by 234 runs when it was bowled out for its lowest one-day total of 75 runs against Sri Lanka in the third one-day international at Lahore.

Butt, who had retained Malik captain for an indefinite period just three weeks back, said he had not made any U-turn.

"No one is changed without a reason. I had a discussion with him (Shoaib). I have asked him that this is the situation, we would like some change if he is willing to step down," Butt said.

"We haven't sacked him. We made a request to him and he has stepped down. After his stepping down, we have made Younis Khan the captain," he added.

Butt said he did not believe in having separate captain for two formats of the game so Younis will lead the team in both the versions.

"I don't believe in having separate captains. He will be captain till further advice."

A decision will be made later on the vice-captain. "At the current moment, Misbah-ul Haq will remain. But we will see and get an opinion from our other players and other people also and see what we can do," he said.

Asked if team would start winning due to change of captain, Butt said "My end result is not winning only, it is a good performance. We did not just lose, our performance was very bad."

Younis had earlier turned down an offer to captain the side after Pakistan's humiliating first-round exit from the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies. Malik was then made captain until last December after which his contract was extended for an indefinite period.

Younis led Pakistan in the 2006 Champions Trophy in India as then captain Inzamam-ul-Haq was under a suspension from the International Cricket Council. Pakistan could not progress beyond the first round.

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