SHARJAH: Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq Wednesday said focus is the key for him and his team as they try to avert distraction caused by the court verdict against three former team-mates in a corruption case.
Although Haq shied away from commenting on the verdict which found former Test captain Salman Butt and paceman Mohammad Asif guilty of conspiracy to cheat and accepting corrupt payments, he discussed Pakistan's progress in the wake of the scandal.
(Read: “Spot-fixing trial: Distraught followers hope for a lesson learnt”)
"The key for us is to control what we can control - the effort we are putting in and we are only focusing on that," said Haq when asked about the difficulties of leading Pakistan in the post spot-fixing scandal.
"We have a good bunch of boys and everybody is doing their work and everyone is focusing on their own performance. The team is doing well and everybody is performing and we don't think about anything else," said Haq.
Since replacing Butt after the England tour last year, Haq has led the team, on and off the field, admirably well as they have not lost a Test series against opponents like South Africa, New Zealand and the West Indies.
Haq said players communicated well to avoid problems.
"There's been good communication with players. There's good spirit. We know each other well and that's the key," said Haq, who was made captain for all three formats of the game in September after Shahid Afridi was sacked.
(Read: “PCB removes Shahid Afridi as ODI team captain”)
The 37-year-old Haq was sidelined for three years between 2003-2007 after making his debut in 2002 and was again out of favour for the England tour, marred by the spot-fixing scandal.
But that did not diminish his passion for playing, and he returned as Test captain for the South Africa series in UAE last year.
Haq said he was lucky to have a bunch of wise players.
"The guys are really good and they focus well and that's the key for us and that makes my job easier," said Haq. "Everybody is doing hard work and everybody is responding well and that's helping me as captain and there's no problem whatsoever.
Misbah said his coordination with players is also excellent.
"There's a good relationship between players, the management and the captain. Everyone is relaxing and there's no tension in the team," said Haq.
Haq is one of the five captains Pakistan team has had in the last three years. But even the frequent changes in Pakistan captaincy do not bother him, as he sets his goal to restore Pakistan's image in international cricket.
"Country's name comes first, people come and go, and every player needs to remember that."
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ