Karachi: Pakistan's batting stalwarts Younis Khan and Misbah-u-Haq are unhappy at being left out of the list of icon players for the impending Pakistan Super League Twenty20 tournament.
Younis Khan. Pic/AFP
The iconic players were decided yesterday by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and current Test captain Misbah and former Test skipper Younis were both omitted from the list while at same time two foreigners who no longer play for their countries were given icon status.
Interestingly, Younis led Pakistan to their only World T20 title in 2009 while Misbah has also captained the national T20 team and both the players are still active in this format.
"They are not happy and indications are that they will convey to the board that if they are not given leadership positions in the PSL franchise teams they might skip it," one well-informed source told PTI.
Younis has already publicly expressed his interest in playing a leading role in the PSL. "I would like to have a leadership position in the PSL like say being captain or mentor besides being a player," Younis had told the media here.
The PCB ignored another former national T20 captain Muhammad Hafeez from the list of icon players in the PSL. Nadeem Omar, who has brought the Quetta team, said that each of the five franchises have to take one icon player from the list of Chris Gayle, Kevin Pietersen, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik and Shane Watson.
"After taking one icon player each the franchises then can choose players from the platinum, gold, silver and emerging categories," he said. The source said that Younis and Misbah were said to be upset after they were ignored and the PCB choose to pick Gayle, Watson and Pietersen as icon players.
"Pietersen is someone who has not been given this status in any other cricket league and is someone who has been sidelined by England for more than a year now," the source said.
"On other hand, Watson has retired from Australian team duty in comparison both Younis and Misbah remain active players at the Test level," he added. Former Pakistan Test pacer Sikander Bakht has also started a new controversy over the selection of coaches for the PSL when he claimed on a news channel that former Australian Test batsman Dean Jones was suspected of match-fixing.
Sikander said that Jones, who has been appointed head coach of the Islamabad team, was dropped from the Australian team and forced to retire because the Cricket Australia suspected him of being involved in match-fixing.