Former Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal has revealed that he was part of a group of players who rallied against Younis Khan’s captaincy during the 2009 Champions Trophy.
Ajmal’s comments come after former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi wrote in his autobiography, Game Changer, that Ajmal had been responsible for lobbying against Younis.
However, Ajmal said that Afridi has only written half the truth as the former all-rounder and almost all the other players had a problem with Younis’ captaincy.
“Almost all the players were against Younis Khan. Senior players had a meeting during the 2009 Champions Trophy in South Africa, in which the juniors were forced to sit,” Ajmal told ARY News’ show ‘Har Lamha Purjosh’.
Ajmal claimed that Shahid Afridi along with many other players was not in favor of Younis as the captain of the team.
“Afridi himself was a part of this campaign. I talked to him soon I heard such comments about me in his [Shahid Afridi] book. I told Afridi that he has written wrong and revealed half-truth,” he said.
Ajmal rated Younis as a good captain but said that his extreme aggression barely favors him and this was one of the reasons why players didn’t like him. “Younis Bhai was a good captain but sometimes his aggression put him in trouble,” said Ajmal.
Earlier, Saeed Ajmal warned Afridi and said that tensions would escalate if he goes into the details.
Ajmal said that Shahid Afridi’s book Game Changer contains baseless allegations, adding that he is accused of being involved in a coup against then-captain Younus Khan during the ICC Champions Trophy 2009.
He asked how a junior player could stage a coup against a senior player. Ajmal said the tensions would escalate if he goes into the details, adding that he always respected his seniors.
Former captain and flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi, in his book GAME CHANGER, said that a senior batsman was majorly responsible for the breakdown of stability and goodwill within the team.
Afridi refrained from naming the player. His hints, however, were very clear.
“I won’t name him, but one of the seniors in the team at the time, a great batsman in his own right, was majorly responsible for the breakdown of stability and goodwill within the team. It saddens me because he was one of the finest batsmen of those years,” Afridi wrote in the chapter ‘Strain of Command’.
The former captain further wrote that during the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa, the batsman essentially attempted a coup.
“He called a team meeting of all the major players sans the captain Younis Khan and announced that he was not satisfied and motivated under Younis Khan’s captaincy. That was that—he had declared an all-out rebellion, bang in the middle of a major tournament,” Afridi wrote.
Afridi added that when he was told about the plan of informing then-chairperson Ejaz Butt that no one wants to play under Younis, he tried to convince him otherwise.
“I said that it was unfair of him to lobby other players into feeling as dissatisfied as him, specially the younger players. I advised him to take the matter directly to Younis Khan and tell him, man to man. The dissident refused,” Afridi said.
The all-rounder further adds that Shoaib Malik, Naved ul Hasan, and Saeed Ajmal had also supported the plan.