“I have always felt proud of being a Pakistani and will do my utmost to serve my country.” -Photo by AP
ISLAMABAD Former Pakistan cricket captain Younis Khan and Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi received presidential performance awards on Tuesday, less than two weeks after the former was handed an indefinite ban from all forms of the game while the latter was fined three million rupees and placed on six months probation after being found guilty of ball-tampering on the recent tour of Australia.

 

Younis, 32, was banned by the Pakistan Cricket Board after a committee ruled that infighting between him and another former captain, Mohammad Yousuf, contributed to a series of embarrassing defeats.

 

But on Tuesday, Younis was handed the presidential pride of performance award for leading Pakistan to victory at the World Twenty20 in England in June.

 

“I feel proud about this award and thank Pakistan's government for bestowing this award on me. I have always felt proud of being a Pakistani and will do my utmost to serve my country,” Younis told AFP.

 

“At this point I don't want to speak about the penalties but I am in consultation and will lodge an appeal,” he added.

 

The PCB imposed a number of penalties against top players on March 10 after an inquiry into the team's dismal performance on the December-February tour of Australia, where they lost all three Tests, five one-day and a Twenty20 match.

 

Although the length and exact conditions of the bans on Younis and Yousuf were not fully explained, the pair were also excluded from the list of central contracts announced last week, further raising questions over their futures.

 

The banned players have 30 days to appeal against the sanctions.

 

The other sportsmen bestowed the award were Zakauddin (Hockey), Lal Saeed (Boxing) and Atta Muhammad Kakar (Sports promotion).

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