khan happy to be back

KARACHI - Pakistan skipper Younus Khan said yesterday he was ready to lead the team again after the country's cricket chief rejected his resignation, saying he had been heartened by shows of support.

KARACHI - Pakistan skipper Younus Khan said yesterday he was ready to lead the team again after the country's cricket chief rejected his resignation, saying he had been heartened by shows of support.

"I am very happy right now. The faith that the chairman and the board has placed in me again, it's good to know. The support that I have received from the board and the country has been fantastic," Khan told the Cricinfo website.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairperson Ijaz Butt rejected Khan's resignation on Monday, saying he should lead the team until the 2011 World Cup as long as he retains form and fitness.

Khan, who replaced Shoaib Malik in January after Pakistan's home defeat in a one-day series against Sri Lanka, tendered his resignation over a lawmaker's allegations of match-fixing in the recent Champions Trophy. He received strong support from fans, who staged protests while a parliamentary committee said the match-fixing claims were groundless.

Khan said he had resigned because he was hurt over allegations in connection with defeats against Australia and New Zealand in the Champions Trophy held in South Africa in September and October.

"The environment is good right now," he said. But his task could be made more difficult by dressing-room unrest, with the Pakistan media reporting that there had been serious differences between Khan and his teammates. - Sapa-AFP

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