Karachi:As if Pakistan cricket did not have enough crises, a pro-Shoaib Malik lobby has launched a campaign against Younus Khan to get him ousted from the captain's post.
Even though Pakistan won the World Twenty20 and reached the semifinals of the recent Champions Trophy, the lobby which wants Malik back as the captain, is giving the impression that teammates are not happy with Younus' leadership and attitude.
A recent meeting between vice captain Shahid Afridi and Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ejaz Butt has also led to reports that Butt has told Afridi to be prepared to lead the side in the coming one-day series against New Zealand.
PCB COO Wasim Bari, however, said on Sunday that the meeting was a routine one to review the Champions Trophy performance and captaincy was not discussed in it.
"No such thing took place that Butt offered Afridi the captaincy. That is a wrong impression," Bari said.
He also made it clear that Younus would be meeting the Chairman this week and would give an update on his finger injury that he sustained during the Champions Trophy.
To add fuel to fire, Malik himself gave a statement on his return that he was not happy with the captain and coach's decision to shuffle around the batting order regularly and claimed his performance was affected because he was not sure of his batting position in the team.
The lobby which is gunning for Younus has also made a big issue of the fact that whether he should have played in the tournament with his finger injury and over his struggling form.
Sources close to Younus said that he was disgusted with the campaign against him but was waiting to meet with the PCB Chairman to have a clear talk with him about the captaincy.
"Younus is going to ask the Chairman to spell out clearly his captaincy term and will insist that the board announce him captain until the 2011 World Cup to remove all doubts over this issue," one source said.
The source said what had also upset Younus was that his biggest supporter, former captain Imran Khan, had also criticised his captaincy and form in the Champions Trophy.
"He is a great admirer of Imran who has also told him directly that unless he performs as a player he should forget about leading the team because the players only look up to a captain who is performing himself," the source added.