Glad to see Misbah ending career on high: Zaheer Abbas

Batting great hails timing of Test captain’s decision to bow out

Nabil Tahir April 07, 2017
IMPRESSIVE RECORD: Misbah, since taking over as captain in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal in 2010, has led Pakistan in 53 Tests, winning 24 out of those and losing 18, while drawing 11. Photo: AFP

KARACHI: Following Pakistan Test captain Misbahul Haq's announcement that he would retire after the West Indies series, former cricketers lauded the 42-year-old’s decision to say goodbye while at his peak.

Former International Cricket Council (ICC) president Zaheer Abbas said that Misbah has achieved what every captain dreams of doing: leave a legacy.

“Misbah is a great captain and the most successful Test captain too which is a great achievement,” Zaheer told The Express Tribune. “A captain of a national team of any format always wants to be better than his predecessors and Misbah has been successful in doing that.”

isbahul Haq announces retirement from international cricket

“He is also the captain to play the most Test matches which has made him the most successful captain too,” he added.

Misbah, since taking over as captain in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal in 2010, has led Pakistan in 53 Tests, winning 24, losing 18 and drawing 11.

The captain, who at 42 is the oldest current international cricketer, also briefly led his team to world number one Test rankings last year despite playing no matches at home due to the prevailing security situation in Pakistan.

Swansong for Misbah

The feat earned him widespread acclaim throughout the cricketing world and is the only Pakistani captain to receive the Test mace which remains among the greatest achievements of his career.

Zaheer added that a decision to retire doesn’t come up that easily and it takes a lot of planning and some tough decisions. “A decision of retiring is a player’s own but it takes lot of thinking before that. But for Misbah, it was the best time as he will bow out on a high,” he said.

In the beginning of this year, pundits and former players alike had asked Misbah to end his career and also blamed him for the 3-0 whitewash against Australia.

The legacy of Misbah — records he set

And Zaheer believes that tends to happen at the end of anyone’s career and therefore it was best that Misbah ended his on a positive note because it wouldn’t have been fair on him to end it any other way.

Misbah called it quits at the best moment: Sallu

Meanwhile, former chief selector Sallahuddin Sallu echoed Zaheer’s words and said that other captains were able to read Misbah’s tactics leading to the team’s poor results.

“He has played his innings to become the most successful captain and now it’s the right time to leave the position,” he said. “People were beginning to read his game and that was leading to the team’s poor performance. He called it quits at the best moment.”

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Salahuddin also said that Misbah should be given a proper farewell in West Indies. “We have to make sure that the most successful captain of our history should get deserving farewell as he has won many matches for Pakistan and lifted Pakistan to the top,” he said.

Talking about Misbah’s replacement, Sallu said that it would be hard to find a person who is able to fill Misbah’s shoes. “A replacement of the greatest captain would be a difficult task for the board but whoever is given the responsibility would have to keep the level of captaincy, at least up to the level of Misbah,” he added.



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