Misbah to decide on Test future 'soon'
The Pakistan Super League (PSL) has come and gone - for Misbah-ul-Haq at least - but no decision has emerged on the Pakistan Test captain's future in the game, or at least a decision he is willing to share publicly.
On Wednesday night in Sharjah, after the defending champions Islamabad United were knocked out by Karachi Kings, Misbah said he was planning to meet the board chairman Shaharyar Khan upon his return to Pakistan to let him know about his future plans.
Questions about his future have become a permanent feature at Misbah's press events these days, though they have increased since the Test series defeat in Australia. He was even asked about it by Ramiz Raja in Sharjah at the post-match ceremony following his side's exit.
He has been resolutely non-committal in his responses: before the PSL, he told ESPNcricinfo he would take a call after seeing how he fares in the tournament; during it, he told ESPNcricinfo he was likely to go on Pakistan's next assignment, a tour of the Caribbean, where they are yet to win a Test series.
After Islamabad's defeat, he chuckled when the first question on the subject came up. He was asked about comments he had made in which he suggested he could go to the Caribbean as a player and not as captain.
"I don't understand what you want to hear from me," he said. "I was asked whether I would go as a player or as a captain and this decision is for the cricket board. I have to decide whether I want to play or not, but, obviously, the final authority is always the cricket board on who will or won't be captain."
Part of what will no doubt form any decision is his form. He began the PSL well, with an unbeaten 61 against Lahore in Dubai, but has since trailed off with a series of low scores with low strike rates.
On Wednesday, he was bowled by an Imad Wasim delivery that skidded through his defence. And he admitted afterwards that his lack of runs had "made a difference" to Islamabad's campaign. "It is important to perform in such pressure situations. When, as a senior player you don't contribute, you have pressure on you, on the team."
The words more or less echo those he had been saying while on duty for Pakistan over the last few months: he averaged 15 in four Tests across New Zealand and Australia, and just over 26 if you include the three Tests against West Indies in the UAE just before that.
Given his mode of operation, it is unlikely Shaharyar will make the first move. He has left it to Misbah to inform him of the decision. "I want to decide soon," Misbah said. "I am very happy that the chairman has given me this honour that he has left it to me to decide. I am honoured by that. Obviously, I will tell him sooner rather than later because there's not much time now [to the West Indies tour].
"I will now go to Pakistan and speak to the chairman and tell him whatever my final decision is."
Osman Samiuddin is a senior editor at ESPNcricinfo