I've never seen a coward captain like Misbah, says Shoaib Akhtar

Published: February 21, 2015
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Former international cricketer Shoaib Akhtar. PHOTO: AFP

Former international cricketer Shoaib Akhtar. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Former paceman Shoaib Akhtar labelled captain Misbahul Haq “a coward” and “a selfish player” after Pakistan were crushed by 150 runs by West Indies in the World Cup on Saturday.

“I have not seen a more coward and selfish captain than Misbah,” the 39-year-old Akhtar told a TV channel.

“He is not willing to bat up the order to protect the other players at a time when he needs to show inspiration.”

“He is happy with his own runs and I don’t know what coach Waqar Younis wants. He has no game plan or direction for the team,” added the man known as the Rawalpindi Express, who won 46 test caps and played in 163 one-day internationals. Misbah, 40, has been a successful test captain since taking charge in 2010 and has also led the one-day squad since 2011.

He batted at number five against West Indies in Christchurch on Saturday but made only seven as Pakistan were bowled out for 160 to slump to their second straight defeat in the competition.

Read: West Indies bounce back with 150-run rout of Pakistan

Former test captain Ramiz Raja also believes it is time for senior batsman Younus Khan to step down after failing in the opening two World Cup matches.

“I beg of Younus. Thank you for your services to Pakistan cricket but please leave this ODI side now,” said Ramiz.

“I think Younus should tell the management he should be rested. Our fielding has also been a joke but we need just one good match to get back on the winning track.”

Read: #PakvWI: Flopped, dropped and mocked

Another former captain Mohammad Yousuf called for wholesale changes to be made after the World Cup.

“The problems ailing our cricket will not go away unless we produce better batsmen and the management is reshuffled,” Yousuf said.

Former test spinner Saqlain Mushtaq was also scathing in his criticism.

“We went to pieces against a West Indies side hit by internal issues so what can we expect from this team in the remaining games?” said Saqlain.

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Reader Comments (48)

  • Karima Alim
    Feb 21, 2015 - 7:46PM

    I dont think a convicted drug cheat like Shoaib Akhter has any business accusing our Captain of anything. Misbah is 10 times the man and 10 times the fighter Akhter was. It is NOT Misbah’s job to “protect” any other batsman. Misbah is not their babysitter. The other batsman are paid and selected to perform and they are not performing so those batsman must be held accountable for their own failures. Yousuf still hasnt forgotten he was dropped from the 2007 T20 in favor of Misbah and Akhter has not forgotten how Misbah did not push for Akhter to be the bowling coach in 2010 when he became Captain – both have axes to grind with Misbah and cannot be taken seriously.Recommend

  • Saad Nazim
    Feb 21, 2015 - 7:53PM

    The word you Mr. Down & Out express are looking for is ONE-MAN-ARMY !!!Recommend

  • AK
    Feb 21, 2015 - 7:55PM

    “I have not seen a more coward and selfish captain than Misbah,” says the man who asked to be taken off the attack after getting thrashed by Tendulkar in 2003 world cup, and who never cared about anything other than speed throughout his career. What do you want Misbah to do? Bat, bowl and field for the entire team?Recommend

  • expat
    Feb 21, 2015 - 8:10PM

    Give the PCB affairs in the hands of man like Najam Sethi and results are obvious. Recommend

  • F Khan
    Feb 21, 2015 - 8:16PM

    First of all let us admit that this is not our best team to play a world cup, both in terms of talent and experience.Also we all knew that reaching to the last 4 will be a miracle and the last 8 a tough call.Now criticizing it like the way Shoaib has done it is not right when we still have to play some more matches. These kind of personal and humiliating criticism in a middle of a tournament is just not correct.It demoralizes and shakes the confidence of the team, specially coming from senior players.This all can wait, at the moment the players need our support.Recommend

  • Ramana
    Feb 21, 2015 - 8:23PM

    This is really sad.

    For what I can say for myself, Misbah is a fighter and a man of respect.

    He does not deserve this.Recommend

  • Tahir
    Feb 21, 2015 - 8:27PM

    Agreed with Shoaib Akhtar. Misbah is the most coward captain. He should take responsibility and bat up in the order (preferably number 3) but instead he choose to bat at number 5. Also I fully agreed with M Yousuf and Ramiz Raja, we need good quality batsmen who can stay on the wickets, score big runs and have good temperament, and its time for Younus to say Goodbye and have mercy on Pakistan.Recommend

  • Sajjad Khan
    Feb 21, 2015 - 8:29PM

    @Karima Alim:

    100% agree with your post. Ahmed Shehzad, Nasir Jamshed, Younis Khan, Afridi, should all be dropped after the WC. They should be replaced by Sami Aslam, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Fawad Alam. Irfan and Sohail Khan should also be dropped and replaced by Junaid Khan and Zia Ul Haq. Must clean the team of the old and mentally weak players if we are to get anywhere. Also, please fire Waqar, Mushtaq etc and bring in a foreign coach like Dean Jones, Tom Moody or Stephen Fleming.Recommend

  • nizamuddin khan
    Feb 21, 2015 - 8:31PM

    Look we all know we have a number of younger players on the team and yes it is humiliating to loose a match at the World Cup level but we will come out stronger emotionally to do better in future. Yes we have some players with egos who will not step down when they have reached a point of not adding any value to the team. However, we cannot have each spot on the team filled with a relatively new comer.

    Misbah and team should remain strong and together and take all the criticism that they have to for their poor showing. However, they have to believe that they can get better with each passing day.

    When the team returns let’s give Yonus and Afridi a warm send-off and ask Misbah to step down as captain, find a better wicket keeper and most of all assemble a better coaching team

    Individuals who do not add value to the game (i.e., Mr. Sethi) should stay home and watch the game.Recommend

  • ali
    Feb 21, 2015 - 8:31PM

    Misbah might be a good batsman but he lacks energy. He doesn’t inspire other players and have never won a single ODI for Pakistan. Yes, he will get his 50 odd runs but as a captain his job is to select players who can win matches. Recommend

  • Rashid
    Feb 21, 2015 - 8:37PM

    How you speak of others reflects on you than the person you are trying to abuse. This type of language fits the profile of Shoaib Akhtar. Why can’t you criticize specific actions instead of calling him a coward? Recommend

  • raider
    Feb 21, 2015 - 8:53PM

    @AK: are you living in fool s’ paradise and just kidding, peoples so many times noted the terror of shoib akhter on batsmen’s legs and very true is for Tendulkar, is there any batsman in world which liked to play shoib akhterRecommend

  • Babar
    Feb 21, 2015 - 9:03PM

    Shoaib Akhtar, the lame of Pakistani team shouldn’t say so. Beside few of his bouncers and outing Indian batsmen, plz show me Akhtar bravery. Misbah is the right captain of the team, he is the backbone. He is the only iron man and Shoaib should point the real brave captain in the current team. If his captain is Afridi, so he can be a captain as he is nor bowler, nor batsman and his fielding was also seen against W.Indies. Recommend

  • ali
    Feb 21, 2015 - 10:03PM

    I thought he said misbah was better captain than imranRecommend

  • saleem
    Feb 21, 2015 - 10:21PM

    Presently pakistan need abdul razak and kamran akmal and there is no place for younis khan and haris sohail as far as misbah is concern he should go on one downRecommend

  • Azim
    Feb 21, 2015 - 10:41PM

    Dear Shoaib.
    You are so wrong. This is the most successful captain with the most weakest team in Pakistan cricket history. He is brave and composed. He has been leading from the front, what more can you ask a Captain. Commentators like you only are looking to get attention by making such irrational remarks. Commentators like you very reason have no global standing, all you stand for is your own self, just like you did in the 2 world cups you played.
    We the Pakistan may respect for your bowling, but would never respect you for who you really are as a person. Recommend

  • zara
    Feb 21, 2015 - 10:46PM

    Yea because misbah doesnt have attitude problem and tantrumy so he is a coward. But they guy needs to grow bit of an imposing personality for his incumbencyRecommend

  • joseph
    Feb 21, 2015 - 11:02PM

    I am a fan of Pakistani, Sri Lankan and West Indian cricket. I was very disappointed by the Pak’s performance of yesterday. However, I would not blame Misbah for the loss, his poor batting score notwithstanding. If we are fair, we’d give credit to Pakistan for rebuilding the team spirit in the past few years. And Yes, Ajmal and Hafeez are missed. It is important to note that Pakistan can still qualify for the next round. For that to happen, lessons must be learned from this defeat. Fast bowlers must pitch in the right area, Catches must be held and Batsmen must settle down before going into extravagant stroke play. It is time Sarfaraz replaces Younis and Yasir finds a place in the team. Again, sending Afridi in at number 5 would encourage him to settle down before he boom booms as needed. That is too much pressure on this lion heart of a cricketer. Soon, Hafeez will be fit and Mohd Amir will be able to play. Finally, while lessons are learned, mid-tournament is when a team needs maximum support, not abuse. BTW: I hope the knowledge and expertise of Wasim Akram and Inzamaam are tapped and appropriately compensated for. . Recommend

  • Anon
    Feb 21, 2015 - 11:03PM

    I used to be a big Misbah fan, defending him against everyone who called him ‘tuk-tuk’, but I’m afraid I have to question his captaincy now.

    If your batting consistently keeps failing the captain has to take some of the flak! He needs to take responsibility. If you Younis isnt working, he needs to drop him, he needs to select a professional keeper rather than persisting with that clown behind the wicket, he needed to bring in Fawad Alam, he needs to fix the temperament of his batsmen… he’s had enough time to do all this. Of course above everything else, he needed to have a plan! When they go out there, it looks like Misbah is just waiting for the innings to end.

    If he is unable to achieve this, he shouldnt be captaining. He’s been the captain for several years now, and things havent changed.

    He cant just show up, score his runs and be on his merry way. The management and the team are also to blame, but Misbah needs to make strong decisions, not hide behind the incompetence of others. Those things are a given!Recommend

  • abcd
    Feb 21, 2015 - 11:52PM

    We need to do 15 people from the team, 20 people from the top management and next time announce the “parchee” writers names and not the player names when announcing the team….this way we will know whose “parchee” not to select next time the team does not perform!!!Recommend

  • abcd
    Feb 21, 2015 - 11:53PM

    We need to drop 15 people from the team, 20 people from the top management and next time announce the “parchee” writers names and not the player names when announcing the team….this way we will know whose “parchee” not to select next time the team does not perform!!!Recommend

  • Dr AH / Germany
    Feb 22, 2015 - 12:02AM

    Think before you make statements. Your past is so controversial that nobody should take you seriously. As a matter of fact, your statement did not deserve publication.Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Feb 22, 2015 - 12:16AM

    Misbah can be all fallibility personified but I would still take him for all his deficiencies because he is a man of honor and integrity as compared to this gasbag Rawalpinda Kachra Express who is only remembered by his suspect action, suspect fitness, disciplinary issues, consuming banned substances, physically fighting with his own team mates, genial warts and retiring from cricket right in the middle of world cup 2011. He is nothing but a lousy troll.Recommend

  • Ali
    Feb 22, 2015 - 12:52AM

    Shoaib Akhtars comments are nonsensical, profoundly immature and wreak of unfounded bias. It is these sort of remarks that demoralize teams and nations. I had a lot of respect for Shoaib as a bowler but have no respect for him as a person. You should learn to provide constructive criticism sir. rather than attempting to get self attention.Recommend

  • Ih
    Feb 22, 2015 - 12:54AM

    I donot know if Misbah is selfish or not,but one needs raise some questions about team selection. India is quite good in playing spin Yasir was selected to play. Jamshed has good record against India he was not selected. West Indies is not great against spin Yasir didn’t play.Younus does not have good record in 50 overs so he is playing. Fawad, Ajmal and Hafeez are not there. Raises interesting question. At least judgement can be questionedRecommend

  • Younus
    Feb 22, 2015 - 12:56AM

    Just shut up Shoib!!Recommend

  • Younus
    Feb 22, 2015 - 12:58AM

    Just shut up Shoib !!!Recommend

  • rehan
    Feb 22, 2015 - 1:12AM

    no need to say that our batsman are capable to chase 310 or even to score 230+ runs when they are batting first because to many flaws in batting technique,have any one noticed that our batsmen don,t move feet when ball pitched on good length,play short away from the body 1cm seam movement will be enough for our batsman because they don’t want to come forward and reduce the seam movement, totally agreed with the statement with muhammad yousuf that all six batsman have lack of quality in their batting technique and that’s why they are struggling in aus , s.africa,new zeland etc…they can only bat in cement pitch/dead wicket.we had a quality batsman in late 90 to 20th century like saeed anwar,muhammed yousuf,inzamam,salman butt…. Recommend

  • Asif
    Feb 22, 2015 - 3:28AM

    For all you still favoring Misbah ….. you deserve what you got and hope you get the same until you realize your stupidityRecommend

  • Adil
    Feb 22, 2015 - 3:35AM

    Dear Pakistani team. Kindly go for a swim in heavily shark infested waters of Australia and do Pakistan a favor.Recommend

  • Motiwala
    Feb 22, 2015 - 4:04AM

    Where are the Bharati trolls??Recommend

  • Jim
    Feb 22, 2015 - 4:15AM

    The only people worse than the Pakistani cricket team, which is made up of the best players in form and for the job, are Pakistan cricket fans. Rabid, semi-literate, and emotional, they represent the worst of the country with their single-minded obsession of defeating India (which in this case put unnecessary pressure on the team and probably sapped them for the next game too). The regionalism, chauvinism, and provincialism they display is worse than anything you see in cricket playing nations, some of which, like West Indies, are many nations. Get a life people. It is just a game. Yes, the team lost badly twice, but they have been there before (remember the 50+ scores in each innings in a test match against South Africa?). They have also won a few laurels for the country and they will do so at some point in the future. The truth is this team is mediocre and deteriorating, in keeping with the general trend in the country. But it is the best you have. Compounding it, stricter ICC supervision of ball doctoring and bowlign action had robbed the team of the ‘edge’ it used to have. Chew, or bite, on that. Recommend

  • Shahrukh Fatah
    Feb 22, 2015 - 5:46AM

    Shoaib Akhtar has lost his mind! How can he say anything against Misbah? He is the only steady cricketer on the team! Keep your opinions to yourself, Shoaib Akhter! You do not have the capability to criticise anybody!Recommend

  • Indian
    Feb 22, 2015 - 7:11AM

    Misbah is the best player in Pakistani squad, he is a fighter, unlike you Mr Controversy.

    He is a world class player, and he reminds me of Pakistani Great Saeed Anwar.

    Inspite being Indian, I appreciate great players, wtr they belong to any such team, like Imran, Waseem or Misbah.Recommend

  • F Khan
    Feb 22, 2015 - 7:24AM

    It is so much easier to criticize. Nothing to offer via constructive criticism, therefore, lets hog the some press time like this. What a pity!Recommend

  • Asad
    Feb 22, 2015 - 8:59AM

    Nothing new, we are hearing this for years now. The fact is Shoaib himself was part of problem, his bad discipline has also hurt cricket in Pakistan badly.
    Any ways all the best team Pakistan, its just a game and you are not that important to feel sad about your loss. Recommend

  • raisani
    Feb 22, 2015 - 9:37AM

    @zara:
    Well said :-)Recommend

  • Mohammad
    Feb 22, 2015 - 9:41AM

    This is harsh!! that’s all I can say. Recommend

  • Bharat
    Feb 22, 2015 - 11:15AM

    Nasty man
    At such times, no matter what fault Nisbah has, he should be standing shoulder to shoulder with himRecommend

  • Haris
    Feb 22, 2015 - 11:22AM

    @ali:
    You are wrong. It is not misbah’s job to select players. That’s the job of selectorsRecommend

  • TooTrue
    Feb 22, 2015 - 1:22PM

    “I have not seen a more coward and selfish captain than Misbah,”
    And I have never seen such abuse of the English language.Recommend

  • paki
    Feb 22, 2015 - 2:10PM

    that’s why I don’t watch geo tv. it supports those people who like to blame others and create controversies like shoaib akhtar, yousaf etcRecommend

  • Sampath
    Feb 22, 2015 - 3:53PM

    As an Indian let me say Misbah is a wonderful cricketer who is respected by people here. In fact in the inaugural year of IPL Misbah was playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore and I remember that surreal night when the crowds were chanting “Misbah! Misbah!” as he went out to bat and I was pinching myself wondering if this is really happening – a pakistani cricketer being given such a reception! Well Misbah is a gentleman who has done his bit and it is unfortunate that people go after him.
    Also give shoaib a break he may have got excited on TV and used the wrong word. On Indian channels shoaib is marketed as a star who just speaks his mind.Recommend

  • Pops
    Feb 22, 2015 - 6:55PM

    Shoaib should be fired for insubordination.Recommend

  • kksr
    Feb 23, 2015 - 9:38AM

    @Pops:
    Fired from where? Oven ?Recommend

  • malik
    Feb 23, 2015 - 5:15PM

    @Motiwala:
    Your guys have already referred to Akhtar as follows:
    1.) Convicted Drug cheat.
    2.) A bowler with suspect action
    3) Stupid guy
    4) Capable of bowling bouncers only at Indians
    5) A guy who does not deserve respect as a person

    And you want Indian trolls ?Recommend

  • azmat
    Feb 23, 2015 - 5:21PM

    I am not at all in favour of shredding the team to pieces by over criticising them during the world cup Not good for the morale of the team. But the point he is making is very genuine. Misbah is a very defensive captain and that attitude needs to change if Pak team has to reach anywhere close to the knockouts. A very clear example is when he introduced part timers in to the attack (Sohaib maqsood and Haris Sohail) when he got the wickets just to get through their overs quickly but it gave the WI a chance to re-build the momentum. packing the team with batsmen at the cost of a specialist WC and specialist bowlers – if this is not defensive or cowardice, then what else is? Comparing him with the great IK may not be appropriate but Imran, being an all-rounder promoted himself to Nos 3 during the SF and Final of the 1992 WC to protect the in-experience youngsters from the two new balls, even ahead of the great Miandad as far as I remember. So its not a matter of who has been paid for what job, its the matter of leading from the front and giving confidence to your players. IK was no God. Even his decision of promoting himself up the order could have backfired but he was brave at heart, innovative at brain. Misbah lacks the grit and Shoaib Akhtar is not the only one criticising him although I think his choice of words could have been a lot better but then Shoaib will be Shoaib:))Recommend

  • Zakiullah
    Mar 24, 2015 - 10:48PM

    Sir shoaib Akhtar his claim are really true. I really accept his comment. what did PCB do”nonsense “. who select the players. I never think pak batman was not more practice. what did they do in field. world cup new format is only for batting. mini countries were taken more run in wc . look performance of Zimbabwe, Ireland, Bangladesh and west Indies. Their batting performance are more better than park’s batman. They broke my heart. PCB powerless “nonsense”.Why you couldn’t defence your brilliant players. What about the Ajamal and Hafeez. Many years they bowl in different countries and different fields. at that time what did ICC do. Why they couldn’t detect such mistake. what is their plan on pak players. nearing world cup they pulled out brilliant players. so they have not chance to play. If icc detect such mistake in the early they have chance to change their performance. powerless PCB couldn’t defence their players. It is time pass for you. It is like joker.Recommend

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