“Ice bath issue involves trainer and player; how does Younis Khan come into the picture?” - Salman Butt

Younis Khan has stepped down as Pakistan's batting coach.
Younis Khan has stepped down as Pakistan's batting coach.

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has expressed amazement at the various conspiracy theories surrounding the sudden exit of Younis Khan as Pakistan’s batting coach.

Younis Khan stepped down as Pakistan’s batting coach on Tuesday, a few days before the team’s departure for the UK tour. According to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), it was a decision agreed upon 'reluctantly but amicably'.

According to the latest media reports emerging from Pakistan, though, Khan was allegedly involved in a verbal spat with fast bowler Hasan Ali during the South Africa tour over the latter’s refusal to take an ice bath. Earlier, a dental treatment and accusations of leaking team information to the media were claimed as some of the reasons behind Younis Khan’s resignation.

Speaking on his official YouTube channel, Butt did not give much credence to the ice bath issue, though. He said that it is too trivial a matter for Younis Khan to put in his papers. Butt further pointed out that asking players to take ice baths is the trainer’s domain and not that of the batting coach. Butt said in this regard:

“I observed Younis Khan during one the interviews he was giving during PSL. It was clear during his interaction that there was some problem, and he was unhappy. It definitely wasn’t like as the PCB informed that the two parties split amicably. It was clear from his body language that there were issues. I don’t know what is the exact reason.”

Salman Butt continued:

“A number of issues have been quoted in the media; one of them is the ice bath theory. If it is an ice bath issue, it is between the trainer and player. If the player is not listening to the trainer or if there is a problem between the two, the case should go to the manager. The head coach can get involved, but it is definitely not in the domain of the batting coach. I really can’t figure out how Younis Khan comes into the picture."

Dental problem also not a big enough reason for Younis Khan to step down: Salman Butt

Another theory doing the rounds is that Younis Khan requested the PCB to allow him to join the bio-bubble for the England tour a few days after the others, as he had to undergo a complex dental treatment in Karachi.

Apparently, a PCB official and Younis Khan had a heated argument after the latter was denied permission. Butt, however, found the controversy absurd, saying:

“Dental problem also isn’t a big enough factor for Younis Khan to step down. Even if he had come in late in the bio-bubble, as per protocol, he would have needed to clear the COVID-19 test. This might have been a small part of the problem but definitely not the real issue. Some claimed he wanted authority in selection; others said there were issues with players. There are many rumours floating around, but none of them seem convincing.”

The Pakistan cricket team has arrived in the UK for their limited-overs series against England. They will play three ODIs and as many T20Is, starting July 8.

Edited by Bhargav
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