‘It’s like mental torture’

Published: July 5, 2011
Misbah's comments follow Kaneria's legal challenge against board's decision to overlook him for national selection. PHOTO: REUTERS

Misbah's comments follow Kaneria's legal challenge against board's decision to overlook him for national selection. PHOTO: REUTERS


Pakistan cricket’s endless parade of controversies and scandal has made playing for the national team akin to ‘mental torture’, according to captain Misbahul Haq.

Since being appointed Test captain in October after Salman Butt was banned for a damaging spot-fixing controversy during last year’s Test series against England, Misbah has led a team dogged by corruption allegations and political in-fighting.

Following a minimum of five-year bans imposed by the International Cricket Council  on Salman, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir in February, Pakistan have been rocked by the departure of sacked One-Day International (ODI) captain Shahid Afridi, who retired, in May citing differences with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

“It is a mental torture to go through such things and it affects your performance,” the 37-year-old batsman said in an interview.

“It is bad for Pakistan cricket and people taunt us at home and abroad.”

Players’ association needed

Misbah, who took over the reins of the ODI side after Afridi, said Pakistan’s players needed a union to educate them and improve communications with their coaches and paymasters in the wake of a number of ugly contractual disputes.

“A players’ association can play a positive role in preparing and grooming players for international cricket and in understanding their contractual obligations,” said Misbah.

“Once the contract is signed it is no use for players to complain about it. These matters must not be discussed in the media, it is better for players to directly speak to the board.”

Misbah’s comments follow leg-spinner Danish Kaneria’s legal challenge against the board’s decision to overlook him for national selection.

He added, “A players’ association with the right people in place can do a lot for Pakistan cricket.

“It can improve communication between players, management and board.”

Clear lines of hierarchy, job descriptions

With regards to the Afridi-PCB row – sparked by what the former captain saw as undue interference from coach Waqar Younis in selection matters – Misbah asserted that lines of hierarchy and communication between team management, players and the selection committee needed to be clear and open.

“I think it is important for a captain, coach or manager and players to know their job descriptions and responsibilities very clearly.

“They must know where they stand. They must also be communicating with each other all the time on any issue.

“Even the national selectors must communicate well with the management. Both should know why a certain player is being dropped or why a certain player is being selected in the team,” he added.

‘Age is no barrier for me’

Despite these troubles, Misbah said he remained fit and passionate about the sport.

“I am mentally up for international cricket. As long as I am performing I will carry on,” he said. “Age is no bar for me.

“I feel a cricketer only matures after the age of 30. Fortunately that is what happened to me.”

Misbah added that he appreciated the determination of all the players and was satisfied with their performance in times of peril.

“I must give credit to the players for adjusting to these pressures and still trying to perform on the field. In that way the performances we have given in recent months are very good.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • Dropscene
    Jul 5, 2011 - 9:54AM

    Did he say “Living in Pakistan is like ‘mental torture’:Recommend

  • bulbul
    Jul 5, 2011 - 10:11AM

    Unfortunately Misbah, you didn’t even mature after 37.Recommend

  • Yasir Hasan
    Jul 5, 2011 - 10:22AM

    What is wrong he said? You have to be there to understand the kind of crap going on in the team….Recommend

  • pl/sql
    Jul 5, 2011 - 10:22AM

    Wow! I am Indian but that’s a really disrespectful thing to say when you are supposed to be representing your nation.Recommend

  • MAD
    Jul 5, 2011 - 10:29AM

    Well then stop torturing us and just retire Recommend

  • Amer
    Jul 5, 2011 - 10:39AM

    If Afridi would have said that same things that Misbah has, he would have been fined another 5 million Rupees! Go figure! Recommend

  • Sonya
    Jul 5, 2011 - 10:50AM

    Well, He is right. Only thing he doesn’t know is that the rest of the pakistanis going to work every morning suffer the same kind of mental torture. Though the only difference between him and them is that they get a meagre amount of salary for all that tension.. while misbah gets ?????Recommend

  • Naveed Javed
    Jul 5, 2011 - 11:08AM

    At this age, what could we expect from him!Recommend

  • Ovais Khan
    Jul 5, 2011 - 11:53AM

    And he took his frustration out on the day when Pakistan lost to India in the semi final hahah whatta test match he played ohoRecommend

  • Jul 5, 2011 - 12:38PM

    Cut him some slack will ya people… he was talking of the condition that a player has to face playing in cricket team amidst all controversies.Recommend

  • Talha
    Jul 5, 2011 - 1:28PM

    PCB is a mental institution after all.

    What an odd thing to say?Recommend

  • guest-worker
    Jul 5, 2011 - 2:33PM

    Moral of the story of Pakistan: If you are on to something good don’t advertise. Recommend

  • Analyzer
    Jul 5, 2011 - 4:14PM

    If he doesn’t enjoy playing then he should quit, God knows we will welcome that decision considering the torture he put us through at the WC semi-final.Recommend

  • ScoobyDoo
    Jul 5, 2011 - 4:32PM

    What made Misbah to say this should not be neglected.Recommend

  • Imran
    Jul 5, 2011 - 5:08PM

    “It is a mental torture to go through such things and it affects your performance,” the 37-year-old batsman Misbah told Geo Super sports channel in an interview.

    U all are getting it wrong. The headlines is twisted for publicity. He means its mental torture when so much negative happens around you. Strange his own countrymen reading this didnt see it Really StrangeRecommend

  • Arslan
    Jul 5, 2011 - 5:35PM

    lol @ Express Tribune… he NEVER said that ‘playing for Pakistan is like mental torture’, but that the recent controversies (match-fixing) mentally affected the players (people talking about them badly, reputation going down, etc)
    Sometimes I really wonder what’s the point of ET. You just give liberty to Indians to say what Dropscene has said.Recommend

  • God Father
    Jul 5, 2011 - 5:50PM

    unfortuantely ET loves to twists news to bring up more spice


    Controversies have been ‘mental torture’ – Misbah
    ESPNcricinfo staff

    July 5, 2011Recommend

  • patriotic
    Jul 5, 2011 - 5:56PM

    we can never forget his mature innings against the Indians in the semifinal!.. really gave us a mental torture!Recommend

  • Abbas
    Jul 5, 2011 - 6:27PM

    If you read the whole article, Mishba did not say playing for Pakistan is mental torture. He said the scandles and the management team has made playing mental torture. This is a bad heading for an article. Was the review done before selecting the head line? Newspapers should be more responsible in posting these kinds of article. They are also involved giving a bad name to Pakistan and its people. Shame of you who ever selcted teh heading.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Jul 5, 2011 - 8:31PM

    These comments are from a person who is responsible for Pakistan’s defeat in semi-final. Selfish players like him do not deserve to represent country.

    If some wants to represent country than team’s goals should be priority…..Recommend

  • syed
    Jul 5, 2011 - 11:37PM

    for God sake you are representing your country here, you moron. he should be charged with treason and sentenced to 100 lashes for this disrespect.Recommend

  • A.J. - Shahid's Angel
    Jul 5, 2011 - 11:55PM

    I am sure it is extremely stressful for any player to be a captain and to deal with everyone’s different personalities and everyone’s attitude. It is not easy trying to make everyone satisfied, feel like a contributing team member, and focus on winning.

    This is the one main reason Shahid Afridi was so successful when he united the Pakistan team and he made everyone focus as one unit while dealing with all the stress that comes with being a captain. Recommend

  • Amer
    Jul 6, 2011 - 11:42AM

    ET has not only twisted the words of Misbah, it has made his statement totally criminalized. It’s a shame how ET chooses to hype up the headlines, total shame! Recommend

  • Asad
    Jul 6, 2011 - 1:07PM

    ET Pakistan’s very own tabloid.Recommend

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