Younis Khan 's future as Pakistan captain will be decided without any interference from the government, national sports minister Aftab Shah Jilani said. Younis offered to resign as captain following days of rumour and speculation surrounding Pakistan's exit from the Champions Trophy in South Africa. The Pakistan board is yet to take decision on the offer and Jilani said he hoped merit would be the deciding factor.
"The PCB is free to handle Younis Khan's issue and this I am saying after meeting with the top official here the other day," Jilani said after meeting Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari, who is also patron of the board. "The ministry or no other quarter would intervene in this affair. The issue should be decided on merit and we hope that only merit would be kept at the top while deciding his fate as the future Pakistan captain.
"There is no room for political pressures in sports and that is what I want from the PCB." Jilani said any bad decision due to political manoeuvring would have far-reaching consequences. It is pertinent on the PCB to decide the fate on merit to save the future of Pakistan cricket."
Jilani said the meeting, also attended by head of the parliamentary committee on sports Jamshed Dasti, was to discuss bringing the Pakistan board under the sports ministry. He said Dasti, who claimed that Pakistan's loss was the result of match-fixing, before he took back the allegations, had requested the meeting with Zardari.
"During the meeting, this [Younis' captaincy] issue never came under discussion. Dasti only wanted the PCB to work under the ministry of sports and that was one of the reasons of his request for a meeting with president Zardari.
"The patron was of the opinion that such amendment could be made through consensus. All the stakeholders should be taken into confidence before finalising any such matter. Other political issues were also discussed in the meeting."
The PCB is expected to make a final announcement on the captaincy on Monday.