KARACHI: The sheen on Misbahul Haq’s retirement announcement may have worn off a bit by a leak of his departure, but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will still go the whole nine yards and formally announce his retirement decision in a press conference.
The press conference is expected to be called in a day or two and will be headed by board chairman Shaharyar Khan and Misbah himself.
The PCB and the 40-year-old ODI and Test captain have come to an agreement that an announcement will be made once Misbah, who had flown to the UK for Saeed Ajmal’s charity function, returns to Pakistan.
The Express Tribune has learnt that Misbah had declared his intentions a week ago to senior PCB officials – including Shaharyar and Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmed – and to the national selection committee during the World Cup squad meeting in Karachi.
“Misbah wanted the PCB to announce his retirement plan instead of doing it himself but before it could be formally done, this was leaked out from within the board,” a senior PCB official told The Express Tribune. “It is regrettable that his plan is already known but the PCB will still go ahead with the formal announcement. The media release has been prepared to be sent out but we are waiting for Misbah’s return.”
Once the news came out on Sunday night, Misbah had to officially give his version to different media outlets to clear the air.
Training camp begins today
Pakistan’s short preparatory camp for the tour of New Zealand and the World Cup will begin today as the squad gathered at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.
It is expected to be a closely-bonded camp where players will train in two sessions.
Apart from the training, the players who were initially exempted — due to the hectic schedule for the series against Australia and New Zealand in the UAE — will appear for a fitness test.
Cheema looking forward to vigilant role
Naveed Akram Cheema is looking to play a vigilant role after being reappointed as manager of the Pakistan team ahead of the World Cup.
Cheema previously served Pakistan as manager when the team was in turmoil and its integrity was under question after episodes of ‘spot-fixing’ and ensured that no further controversies followed.
Now that he is back at the helm, he believes that while there is room to give a little the players more leeway, complacency cannot creep in. “Definitely the situation and our reputation have improved a lot as compared to my previous stint,” he said. “But we can’t be complacent and I’m looking forward to playing a vigilant role where players can enjoy themselves but also maintain discipline as well. Everyone will be given liberty but to a certain extent.”
He hoped that the team combination will remain healthy and the team will do well at the mega event.
“I’m very optimistic that we can stick together through thick and thin in the mega event and the whole team will play as a family,” he said. “My main role is to keep the team in harmony without compromising on the guidelines.”
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