Pakistan news March 2, 2017

Misbah to decide on Test future 'soon'

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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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rajeev9986700 on March 6, 2017, 17:09 GMT

    Misbah will play his last series . This is a last chance to bow out of international cricket on a high note .

  • a on March 6, 2017, 0:20 GMT

    I am a huge fan of Misbah. I'll support him at any venue at any time. But I believe that he should gracefully quit playing for Pakistan. He is very smart and can do a lot for cricket and that is why he may become a very vital and integral part of future of Cricket in Pakistan by holding office in Pakistan Cricket Academies (or something similar to it). His characteristic, charisma and calm attitude lacks in PCB but is needed badly. So Misbah bhai, bring your tuk tuk style of logical thinking to cricket offices rather than grounds! Thank you for your service to cricket and nation all these years! salute.

  • system on March 5, 2017, 13:52 GMT

    After numerous failed series what's he waiting for ?

  • P on March 4, 2017, 20:20 GMT

    Misbah should retire NOW. Fawad Alam should be given chance and he will once again prove he is a good test match batsman, beside he is an excellent fielder and utility left arm spinner. If Misbah wouldn't destroyed Fawad's carrier he should have been a permanent middle order batsman in Pakistan's team since last 4 to 5 years. People who wants Younis Khan to get retired, he is 39 years old and 10 times much batter batsman then Misbah who is 43 years old. He is going to be only batsman to score 10 thousand run in test matches for Pakistan, and he has scored highest number of centuries in tests for Pakistan. Besides his consistent good batting performance for years and years,he recently have scored double century in England and 167 runs in second test match in Australia. Make either Younis captain of test team and Sarfraz his vise captain for test matches for at least one year or allow Younis to play for at least one year and make Sarfraz captain of all 3 formats.

  • Nainil on March 4, 2017, 17:44 GMT

    Yeah, probably by the end of year 2100, we should have a decision

  • cool on March 4, 2017, 1:35 GMT

    Misbah is the premium batsman of Pak test cricket let him stay & let him decide when to retire.he still have 3-4 yrs cricket left in him. If test championship happens anytime soon then he will be the man to take Pak to top and win the championship . He's been an incredible performer & great Servant of cricket mad nation. he deserves big applause & gratitude.

  • molab14586992 on March 4, 2017, 0:43 GMT

    Younis is 10 times the batsmen misbah is but there is a limit for everyone. compare him to imran you should be ashamed of yourselves imran was pakistans lion cricketer what is misbah nothing not even a one day hundred the fact is an average player can take his spot the real challange will come when younis leaves my 11 post era 1:Khurram 2:Sami aslam 3:Azhar 4:Babar 5:Shafiq 6:Sarfraz 7:Imad 8:Shadab 9:Amir 10:Wahab 11:yasir (Hassan ali for seamer friendly conditions)

  • sudershan on March 3, 2017, 23:52 GMT

    he cannot prolong his retirement in uncertainty. due to this, Pak NOT played properly in NZ and AUS. for betterment of PAK cricket, he should retire immediately if that was his thinking.

  •   cricfan1041750929 on March 3, 2017, 22:24 GMT

    No need to worry king misbah be relaxed and let the people bark most of them r those people who r influenced. By yahya hussaini & other geo anchors stay calm u have avhieved those records which no one could have achieved from making pakistan no1 in test to defeating africa 2-1 in their home and becoming the only asian team to do this and drawing a series against england in england during era of home dominance where teams like bangladesh and current srilanka become lions against england & australia .under your leadership we draw series 2-2 in conditions where kohli cant bat and averages only 13.4 in 10 innings & u scored a hundred in very first innings of your career and that too at lords i will only say by scoring fastest hundred u proved who the real boss is hats off for your services now its up to u if u want to play or retire but make sure to make another record under your captaincy by ensuring pak defeat west indies in test series for the first time in history

  • Md. Rakibuzzaman on March 3, 2017, 17:59 GMT

    Misbah.. it's time. don't look behind. 72 Test,162 ODIs, 39 T20I is good enough.

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