Former Pakistan captain Younis Khan has dramatically withdrawn himself from the Pakistan Cup, the country’s premier domestic one-day competition, as a protest against what he has deemed poor umpiring.
Younis, who was captaining Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), one of the five teams in the tournament, was fined 50 per cent of his match fees by match referee Aziz-ur-Rehman after he raised concerns against the standard of umpiring in the tournament.
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On Wednesday, the 38-year old batsman was reportedly unhappy with umpire Shozab Raza after he turned down an lbw appeal against Islamabad captain Misbah-ul-Haq at Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad.
Misbah, Pakistan's Test skipper, went on to score a crucial 82 off 104 balls in Islamabad’s two-wicket win against KPK.
But the decisions that prompted Younis to lash out against perceived umpiring flaws happened in KPK’s second match against Punjab on Friday; first, he was adjudged run-out by the third umpire (Shozab Raza), before, in the same innings, a standing umpire opted not to call Aamer Yamin’s waist-high full toss a no-ball.
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Although KPK won the match by two runs the decisions clearly irked Younis, who spoke out against the umpiring standards in the tournament and called for the implementation of the Decision Review System in Pakistan’s domestic matches.
"Younis Khan was unhappy with the run-out and the no-ball decisions during KPK innings," KPK team manager Mukhtar Hussain told cricket.com.au. "He was fined by the match referee for criticising the umpiring decisions.
"He has decided to quit the tournament as he feels he cannot play in such an environment. Ahmad Shahzad will lead KPK in rest of the tournament."
Aziz-ur-Rehman charged Younis for breaching the level 2 offence in the PCB's code of conduct and proposed a fine of 50 per cent of the match fees but Younis did not respond to the notice and the referee was instead informed that he had left the tournament.
The match referee charged Younis Khan for breaching the level 2 offence and proposed a fine of 50% of match fees. pic.twitter.com/AVlqWKtbIa
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) April 23, 2016
Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf condemned the decision by the umpires and referee to impose the fine.
"I was watching the match when the (Misbah) incident happened," Yousuf told a Pakistan television network. "There is no doubt that Misbah was out and the ball was hitting middle.
"Younis being a captain had the right to ask the umpire that why he felt it was not out.
"The officials should have taken it lightly, (and the) referee should have not fined him. Umpires themselves make so many blunders in Pakistan's domestic cricket.
"If the umpire didn't give it out just because the batsman was Misbah then the PCB should ban the umpire instead."
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It is not the first time that Younis Khan, the most prolific Pakistan batsman in Tests, has found himself at loggerheads with the Pakistan Cricket Board.
Last year, a month after announcing retirement from ODIs, he opted out of the Pakistan Super League, citing that he would play only if he was picked from the top category in the draft.
In 2014, before Australia's tour of the UAE, he publicly rebuked the PCB for not giving what he felt was a proper chance in ODI cricket and threatened to quit from Tests.
In 2006, he was named Pakistan's captain for the ICC Champions Trophy in India, but withdrew from the role citing differences with the PCB before agreeing to lead the team again.