Warwickshire may be forced to start the search for a new overseas player barely two months before the start of the new season after Younis Khan’s decision to take part in Pakistan’s tour to the West Indies.
Younis initially indicated that he was going to sit out the trip to the Caribbean to commit himself to Warwickshire but he has now had a change of heart.
The former Pakistan captain contacted Warwickshire’s director of cricket Ashley Giles earlier this week with the bombshell, leaving the Bears to rethink their plans.
Giles has already started the search for a locum overseas player for the first seven weeks of the season but it is likely that he will have to widen his search for a full-time replacement unless Younis has another change of heart.
“We are hugely disappointed,” said Giles. “When Younis signed a two-year contract with us it was on the understanding that he would be available to us all the time. To be told that is no longer the case is not a great start to our relationship.”
Giles has asked Younis to reconsider his decision to go the Caribbean but more in hope than expectation. When Younis signed his contract last autumn he was still in international exile having been disciplined by Pakistan for unspecified reasons after last year’s tour to Australia.
Younis successfully appealed against his suspension last summer, and since he signed his Warwickshire contract his international commitments have increased as he has been recalled to Pakistan’s Test, one-day and Twenty20 sides.
Warwickshire still held out the hope that Younis would put county before country and play a full season for them in the first year of his contract but his future with what would have been his fourth county is now in doubt.