Misbah to lead Pakistan in West Indies Tests
Misbah-ul-Haq has decided to continue as Pakistan's Test captain, a decision that has been accepted by PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan, who also named Sarfraz Ahmed as the vice-captain in Tests. Misbah's decision to lead in the West Indies put to end questions over his retirement, which have made news over the last few months, at least for the next two months as Pakistan will play three Tests in the Caribbean in April and May.
After returning from Australia, Misbah had said he would take a call on his future after seeing how he would fare in the PSL. During the league, he told ESPNcricinfo that he was "most likely" to go to the West Indies, where they are yet to win a Test series. And once his team Islamabad United was knocked out of the tournament, he said he would meet Shaharyar upon his arrival in Pakistan and inform the chairman about his decision.
"Misbah-ul-Haq has conveyed to the Chairman [of] PCB his desire to continue as captain of the Pakistan Test team," the PCB said in a statement. "Accordingly, the Chairman has approved his appointment for the upcoming West Indies Test series. The Chairman has also approved appointment of Sarfraz Ahmed as vice-captain of the Pakistan Test team."
Misbah, who will turn 43 in May, has been under immense scrutiny having led the team to five successive Test defeats, although it was under him that Pakistan were ranked No. 1 last year. A dip in his batting form and his age added to the drama that reached its peak after the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne last year when Misbah admitted to being unsure about his future as a cricketer.
ESPNcricinfo understands the PCB wants to eventually appoint a single captain for all formats, but such a decision will have to wait until Misbah takes a call on his future. The decision to appoint Sarfraz as vice-captain in Tests came after Azhar Ali stepped down from ODI captaincy and later relinquished his Test vice-captaincy as well. The role was vacant since then. Sarfraz is already leading Pakistan in the Twenty20 format.
Pakistan will start the West Indies tour with four T20s starting March 26, followed by three ODIs in early April and the three Tests starting April 22 in Jamaica. Pakistan's selection committee is due to announce a limited-overs squad later this week while the Test team will be announced later.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent