Pakistan’s beleaguered captain Misbahul Haq found a much-needed vote of confidence from Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan during an hour-long meeting held at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Tuesday.
Shaharyar spoke with both Misbah and head coach Waqar Younis separately in a bid to dissect the poor results of the Sri Lanka tour.
The Misbah-led side lost the Test series 2-0 and the three-match ODI series 2-1.
A PCB official told The Express Tribune that the chairman had backed Misbah as captain all the way up to the 2015 World Cup as there was hardly any time left before the mega event.
At the end of the Sri Lanka series, many former Test captains including Mohammad Yousuf and Rashid Latif had asked for Misbah to be replaced with all-rounder Shahid Afridi as captain.
I’ll go back to the basics: Misbah
The under-pressure captain spoke at length to reporters after his meeting with the PCB chief.
“I feel it myself that my inability to contribute with the bat was one of the reasons for our poor performances in Sri Lanka,” said Misbah.
“If you talk about pressure on me, I don’t take pressure because that’s no solution to any problem. I try to remain positive all the time, no matter what is said.
“But when you play in a team as a senior batsman you are expected to contribute tellingly, which I didn’t do in Sri Lanka. I know it myself. I will go back to my basics and try to regain my form, as this is very important for the team.”
Misbah also said that Pakistan’s pool of players for the 2015 World Cup was more or less finalised. He said the squad would be picked from the pool of players given central contracts, with the odd exception.
Shaharyar, Waqar discuss areas of concern
Waqar, who was on his first assignment as head coach, also had an hour-long session with the PCB chairman.
Shaharyar heard the former captain and fast-bowling great’s views on the Sri Lankan tour and earmarked the areas that needed immediate attention leading up to the World Cup. He also took the head coach into confidence on his decision of retaining Misbah for the all-important tournament.
Meanwhile, the PCB is expected to name either opener Ahmed Shehzad or Shahid Afridi as captain for the one-off T20 match against Australia next month. The new captain will replace Mohammad Hafeez, who relinquished the post after Pakistan crashed out of the group stages of the World Twenty20 in April.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2014.