LAHORE: Three days before Pakistan embark for their tour of England, the national cricket team has been hit by a surprise departure.

Former captain Younis Khan and the Pakistan Cricket Board parted ways on Tuesday, meaning Pakistan will be without a batting coach when they play three One-day Internationals and three Twenty20s in England.The PCB, however, said that Younis’ replacement will be named by the time the team travels to the West Indies from England to play five T20s and two Tests next month.Younis had been included in the eight-member team management for the twin tours and the legendary batsman was to join the rest of the team management and three cricketers in a hotel on Sunday for a five-day isolation period before leaving for Abu Dhabi to leave for Manchester on Friday along with the rest of the players who are currently featuring in the HBL Pakistan Super League which is in progress in the UAE.

But barring Younis, the rest of the members including head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis had reported to the hotel. There was no explanation for Younis failing to report but it has been learnt that he had been in negotiations with PCB chief executive Wasim Khan.

The PCB said on Tuesday that Younis — appointed on a two-year contract in November last year until the World Twenty20 in Australia next year — was no longer the batting coach and both parties had amicably reached a consensus. “Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan men’s national cricket team batting coach Younis Khan today mutually agreed to part ways,” it said in a statement. “Both PCB and Younis Khan have agreed to not to make any further comment on the reasons for the former captain’s departure.

“Pakistan men’s national cricket team will travel to the United Kingdom without a batting coach, while the decision to appoint Younis Khan’s replacement for the West Indies tour will be made in due course.”

Wasim said it was “sad to lose an expert of the stature and experience of Younis Khan”, without elaborating why Younis was leaving the post.

“Following a series of discussions, we both have reluctantly but mutually and amicably agreed that it was time to move in different directions,” he added in the statement.

“I want to thank Younis Khan for his contributions during his short stint as the Pakistan men’s national cricket team’s batting coach and hope he will remain available to assist the PCB by sharing his vast knowledge with the emerging cricketers.”

Younis had reportedly not been happy with the PCB’s decision of recently appointing a number of coaches, including former batting great Mohammad Yousuf and off-spin legend Saqlain Mushtaq, at the National High Performance Centre (NHPC) in Lahore.Younis had worked with some players during a training camp at the NHPC and stayed at the centre last week before returning to Karachi and cutting his ties with the team.

Published in Dawn, July 23rd, 2021

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