Pakistan Test captain Misbahul Haq said that he did not announce retirement from international cricket after the England tour since he believed it would have been “a selfish thing to do”.
In an interview with Sky Sports, the 42-year-old said that he doesn’t believe in taking the easy way out because for him the national team has always been the first priority.
“It would have been extremely easy for me at the end of a successful Test series [against England] to have announced the end of my career,” he said. “But that would have been a selfish thing to do, to avoid the stress of very difficult international tours to New Zealand and Australia.”
He added: “However, what was needed for the Pakistan team at that point in time was for me to take on the challenge of these tough tours despite us being crowned the top Test team in September.”
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Pakistan went on to lose the two-match Test series against New Zealand 2-0, followed by a 3-0 whitewash against Australia earlier this month. The consecutive defeats saw the national team to drop to number six in International Cricket Council’s Test rankings.
Since then, many fans and pundits have questioned Misbah’s role in the team, calling for his retirement. However, the middle-order batsman said that he hasn’t made up his mind yet and there is ample time for him to make the call given Pakistan’s next Test series will start in April against the West Indies.
“To be honest, I haven’t made any decision yet,” he said. “I am still thinking about it as there is still some time to make that call.”
He added: “To me, it is important that first you have to get ready mentally to make a commitment that you will go ahead with your plans and then you can work on the physical side of things to back those intentions.”
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Misbah further said that the reason behind Pakistan’s poor performance in New Zealand and Australia was a lack of preparation. Prior to the England tour, the Pakistan Cricket Board arranged for a two-week boot camp for squad members in Abbottabad under military trainers followed by an early send-off to the United Kingdom for the players to acclimatise themselves of the new conditions.
“We played a series against West Indies in UAE and at its conclusion, we pretty much jumped on to a flight and flew off to New Zealand,” said Misbah. “Unfortunately, we did not have the time for preparations for this tour in the same way we had for the England tour. You cannot blame anyone for this, but the fact is that we had a busy schedule.”
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Pakistan were also unable to play their tour match against New Zealand due to inclement weather which turned the first Test of the two-match series into the tourists’ first game of the tour.
“The only warm-up game we had in New Zealand was washed out and then we went in to play Tests where we immediately came under pressure,” said Misbah. “The same scenario played out in Australia where we simply lacked the time to prepare for the Test series.”
“It was completely different for our England tour where we had two side games and ample time to prepare ourselves,” he added.