Sunday, 26 September 2021

Misbah to lead Pakistan in Windies tour


LAHORE: Pakistan’s ageing Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq on Monday made himself available for next month’s series in the West Indies, ignoring entreaties from ex-players to call time on his illustrious career following a slew of poor results. Misbah, who will turn 43 in May, had asked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for time to decide on his future following series defeats in his last two series against Australia and New Zealand, respectively. Shaharyar Khan, the board’s chairman, told: “Misbah has told me that he is available for the Test series in the West Indies and that will be conveyed to the selection committee that he will be the captain.” Misbah added: “I am committed to the Pakistan Test team and that’s why I’ve made myself available. We as a team will do our best to lift ourselves from the slump which we’ve had by losing six Tests on the trot,” referring to a slide that began when Pakistan lost a Test to the West Indies last November, followed by the Antipodean whitewashes. Pakistan starts its three-match series in Barbados from April 22.

The tour also includes four Twenty20 and three one-day internationals starting from March 26 but Misbah will not be part of those matches having already retired from both the formats. Pakistan selectors are due to announce a limited over squad later this week while a Test team will be announced later. Misbah had hinted his international career was over after Pakistan lost the second of three Tests in Australia but changed his mind before the third in Sydney. After Pakistan were routed 3-0 by Australia — their fourth straight white-wash in Australia since 1999 — former players including Wasim Akram and Rameez Raja said it was time for him to quit. Misbah is Pakistan’s most successful captain, having led the country in 53 of his 72 Tests. Under his captaincy the team have won 24 and lost 18 matches with the remaining 11 drawn. He was speaking from the sidelines of the Pakistan Super League final where Peshawar Zalmi defeated Quetta Gladiators by 58 runs. Misbah’s Islamabad United team won the title last year, and he will now captain Hong Kong Island United (under the same Pakistani ownership) in the forthcoming Hong Kong T20 Blitz which begins Wednesday.

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