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“When there is international cricket in your country, there is a positive impact on your cricketers.” -Photo by AFP
“When there is international cricket in your country, there is a positive impact on your cricketers.” -Photo by AFP

Misbah-ul-Haq has reiterated calls to address the lack of international cricket in Pakistan to arrest the slide of the game in the country.

The Pakistani captain, who is leading the Faisalabad Wolves in the Champions League T20 in India, was speaking in the aftermath of another loss by the Wolves which saw them knocked out of the tournament. According to Misbah, the difference in the quality of the domestic sides around the world and that of Pakistan was there for all to see.

“When there is international cricket in your country, there is a positive impact on your cricketers,” Misbah said while pointing towards the development of young players in Pakistan.

“Right in front of your eyes, you can see players from all parts of the world come here to play the IPL. There are different leagues in other countries and you can see a tangible difference. You can see that in Indian cricket, young players are mature by the time they come into international cricket. They know how to handle pressure, how to build an innings, how to respond with the ball under pressure,” he added.

Pakistan itself hasn't helped the cause much and since the halt of international fixtures in 2009 there hasn’t been a great deal done to help lift the crippling domestic structure out as Gautam Bhattacharyya of Gulf News puts it: “If lack of international cricket is one factor, the other crippling issue has been an inadequate domestic structure, something which the legendary Imran Khan has demanded attention on for years. There is virtually no better place for a batsman to go through the grind and work on patience than the domestic set-up if you want the batsmen to play long innings.”

Comments (51) Closed

Adnan Alavi Sep 19, 2013 06:34pm

I don't completely agree with Misbad. SA is a prime example... They didn't played any cricket during isolation and when joined the international cricket qualified for the World Cup Semi Final in 92. So the basic structure and merit are important part of any teams development along with compitative cricket. How many domestic matches are played by our international crickets?

Syed Nayyar Uddin Ahmad Sep 19, 2013 07:17pm

Few suggestions to stem the rot in the Pakistani cricket

Considering that now all the Test matches to be played till 31st December, 16 will be ranking Test matches, for selecting best 4 Test teams. These 4 Test teams will only qualify for playing the 1st ever Test Matches Championship to be held in June - July 2017. As such, Pakistani cricket can't afford business as usual (specially keeping in mind that by the year 2017, Misbah ul Haq will definitely be not there, to play the Test championship).

  1. Must find a new captain for the coming ODI and Test matches series against Sri Lanka and South Africa, so that the new captain is well experienced by the time ODI world cup is played in 2015 and Test championship in 2017.

  2. No harm in allowing Misbah ul Haq and Younis Khan to continue playing till they are fit to play.

  3. Keeping in view of the age (35 years), current fitness, batting form and dearth of any potential player to be considered as a leader, may consider Younis Khan as a captain for the Test and ODI formats to lead the Pakistani teams till 2015 ODI World Cup and 2017 Test championship.

  4. However, if senior players are to be altogether discarded for the consideration of captaincy then may be Saeed Ajmal can be considered, as captain to lead the team in the ODI and Test matches, as a prospect for the long term investment.

  5. Must infuse more talented fresh blood like, Ahmad Shahzad, Awais Zia, Umer Amin, Harris Sohail and other such like youngsters in ODI and Test matches. No harm if we lose with these players when we are not winning with the current lot of seniors and semi seniors like M Hafeez etc.

  6. Mohsin Hassan Khan must be brought back as a head coach, because Pakistan has yet to win a Test match series, under the tenure of Dav Whatmore.

  7. Entire PCB, repeat entire PCB needs immediate revamping, without which to expect any improvement in the performance of our players, will be a far fetched dream.

Riz Sep 19, 2013 07:19pm

For heavens sake dude why you keep harping about lack of international cricket in Pakistan and no presence in IPL from Pakistani cricketers. Younis, Hafeez, Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Taufeeq Umar, Faisal Iqbal, yourself etc. have played enough cricket to overcome these issues. Stop making excuses and do your job for what you are being paid. South Africa was isolated from world cricket for so many years but as soon as they came back to the international circuit they became a top rated team. Let me remind you it is not lack of cricket it is lack of nationalism each and every cricketer of Pakistani team is drooling for an IPL contract. This is a known fact grass is on the other side is always green. I can bet you if/when cricketers from Pakistan get contracts in IPL they will start making excuses about other things because they lack nationalism. Misbah you/PCB need to bring out the best of this team with whatever resources you have at your disposal. Since you do not have a lot of cricketing years left in you and PCB being ran on an adhoc basis I highly doubt you or anyone else giving a damn about this team. In the end I can just make a dua that Pakistan team get its house in order sooner than later before it gets too late. God bless!!!

Ali Sep 19, 2013 07:24pm

@Misbah-Moin Khan said there are no problems but now you are making us hopeless. Does Moin smoke something that you don't. Bungh (marijuana) does slow down run rate, just wondering.

Kuldeep Sep 19, 2013 07:28pm

Right. I appreciate your concern which must be heeded. :)

G.Khan Sep 19, 2013 08:11pm

Bull! MIsbah & Hafeez are main culprits for shutting the doors for youngsters How can anyone justifies Hafeez..Shoib Malik Wahab Riaz.Sohail Tanweer and many others who have been picked tours after tours


Noor Sep 19, 2013 08:17pm

Excuse ,Excuse ,Excuse ,Excuse ,Excuse ,Excuse , .When comes to money you all want the highest pay .when ime comes to perform nothing Zero ,Zilch ,Nada,Sifir.Stop this foolishness

Afif Naeem Sep 19, 2013 09:03pm

He will keep crying about it every time we loose, which is more often than winning.

ali khan Sep 19, 2013 09:41pm

Dear Mr. Misbah, First, you should select team honesty and integrity. Here is a list of few non-eligible player: 1. Hafeez, 2. Adnan Akmal, 3. Rahat Ali, 4. Sohail Tanveer, 5. Junaid 6. and few others. I am amazed to see, there is no genuine fast bowler in Pak; If team is honestly selected, there can be at least 3/ 4 fast bowlers with over 90 miles/hr speed. Lastly, the way Najam Sethi conducted the general election, the same way he is running the cricket afairs. We need professional people to run the affair not politician.

Salman Sep 19, 2013 09:44pm

Don't understand... when india loses a series or a match - they say it's because too much IPL. When we lose one,,, we have another silly excuse... just admit we did not play that's it. BTW. They should include Abdul Razzaq in the team - he is far better than most of other players in the team,

sami Sep 19, 2013 09:55pm

Disagree. Lack of domestic cricket structure is like this for a Long time. Inzamam, Yousaf, Yonius, Saeed Anwar all came from there. Also, there is no lack of international cricket thanks to UAE. The problem is with PCB to makeup with the changes in cricket today. Board has to spend much more resources on coaching, player selection and development.

Cricket has changed now. T20 is totally different compared to test/odi. Talent is there but how to develop it to professionalism is boards responsibility. For example Umar Akmal, Nasir and Mohammad Rizwan(wkt kp) should be trained for all three formats of cricket. Whereas Hafeez is odi/t20 all rounder. Instead of having one foreign coach, we should have an exemplary desi coach with good professional assist coaches.

Aamir Khan Sep 19, 2013 10:55pm

I am so sorry that there is no international cricket since 2009 but then most of these batsmen have been playing for Pakistan for last 10 years or more.

Don't give excuses for not performing. If PCB had given chances to young players as done with Javed, Hanif etc and groom them we would not be in this situation. You bring them on boad after 22-23 and by then it's hard to change and groom to international standard. Even when you take young players to international events they sit and watch and not given chances. Just look at the recent series with Zim where chances given to Khurram a second or third chance but not the young players. Hafiz & Assad hasn't deliver in test match but still in the team.

Milind Sep 19, 2013 11:44pm

I know my comment never published by team how ever bitter truth is that who dig grave for cricket in your country even after that you are not care to pacify so nobody want to play with you second you are living with narcissism were you think only you are best so don't cry best of luck for your game you should great ful to india to allow you to play in their home ground otherwise your players are not deserve also your board too

Nouman Sep 20, 2013 12:44am

very simple solution yar, there's no rocket science....first thing you need to do is keep aside ego and call merit then you will see the results but but it will not happen in Pakistan. We don't have ability to accept the fact nor tolerance

G m marri Sep 20, 2013 01:22am

i'm disagree with dear misbah. Because pakistan is full of talent but selecti0n is n0t d0ne pr0perly. If PCB gets trail in sindh and bal0chistan then there will n0 0ne panjabi in pakistan's team if selecti0n w0uld be in marit bases.

Pakistani Sep 20, 2013 01:26am

NO cricket in Pakistan then no kids have HERO like did when i was young watched Javad , imran W W etc ... and played to try to play like them .... if no cricket sooner or later cricket will die and ICC and its friends can have cricket to them

MZM Sep 20, 2013 01:50am

@ali khan: Are you serious about Junaid Khan? He never disappointed us throughout his career considering he even does not have a decent consistent partner in fast bowling department apart from Irfan who wasn't in Zimabawe tests. Even then Junaid bowled well. His bowling spells against Sri Lanka in tests and against India in ODIs last year were clear evidence of his extraordinary bowling.

Fast bowling is a task of two or three good bowlers who restrict and take wickets in tandem specially in test matches. Junaid does very well to contain the batsman but his partners don't support him. Irfan should play on regular basis but given his body structure it's not feasible to play him often. Aizaz Cheema was quite good but don't know where has he gone even after heroics in Asia Cup final. Umar Gul will be back hopefully but he is not a good new ball bowler. Rahat Ali is not at all a solution for our bowling woes. Ehsan Adil can be given more chances as we just saw a few glimpses of his bowling in South Africa and he impressed.

Anup Sep 20, 2013 03:23am

There was a time when every nation in the world used feel fear to play against Pakistani bowlers. But, that glorious time has gone due to various reasons. Few of them includes lack of democratic structure in a cricket body, lack of education to young cricketers, nepotism, infighting etc. Indian will only dream to produce Wasim, Waqar and Amer but Pakistan can keep producing such great bowlers again and again. Rather than comparing and competing against India why not to look at global level and see how sports bodies are run professionally and create a model/vision for Pakistan.

salman khan Sep 20, 2013 04:48am

@Milind: Dude you need to take some english lessons.

salman khan Sep 20, 2013 04:48am

Dude you need to take some english lessons.

Imran A. Sep 20, 2013 04:52am

Talk about what resources you have and build on them. Don't complain what you don't have.

Ahmer Sep 20, 2013 05:58am

We are interested in results not excuses.

Luqman Sep 20, 2013 06:05am

Misbah is right. Pakistan has suffered enormously without proper domestic cricket. Thanks to Taliban and religious extremism. We should wipe out the seed of religious extremism and open our mind and heart. Imran felt this long time ago and he understand cricket pretty well.

Second most important thing is to take cricketer on the basis of merit. That does not mean merit should only exist in Punjab but to look into all four provinces. Punjab is not the only place where cricketers are born. There are other places too. Stop discrimination on the basis of language and ethnicity. This might be the only solution to save not only cricket but Pakistan itself otherwise Allah Hafiz.

Sambillz Sep 20, 2013 06:22am

Misbah is partially right in saying that lack of International cricket is hampering PK cricket BUT at the same time, that is not the main reason for the current chaos. His defensive captaincy, horrible team selection, biased tour party selection, lack of a master talent in batting, are probably the main factors. He is doing an awesome job as a batsman in both Test and ODI but we need a different individual for the captaincy role. Professor for right now should only be included in T20s and he can remain the captain as well because he justifies his position as an all-rounder. Bring back Umar Akmal only as a batsman and groom him as one-down batter in all three formats. Shahzad and Jamshed should open in T20s and ODIs whereas a new pure test batter should be tried. Younis must remain with the test team only. Seriously i can go on and on but to blame the lack of International cricket in pakistan as the cause of this debacle is too childish. Imran has been saying it for years now about our pathetic domestic structure and no matter what we do, we can never be an unbeatable team with the current PCB and domestic setup. Cheers

Sana-ullah Sep 20, 2013 06:53am

Lack of Internationals ? I believe they have played more internationals, than any average Pakistani, although not in Pakistan.

Vairamuthu Sep 20, 2013 09:19am

I don't agree with Misbah. Though there is no international cricket in Pakistan, they are one of the powerhouses in T20. They are winners once, finalists once and semi finalists twice in 4 editions of it. The reason F Wolves lost is poor batting. You cannot depend on Misbah or Ajmal. In shorter version of the game, Pakistan is one of the best.

Regarding ODI and tests, Pakistan has serious worries. Their bowling is great, but fielding and batting are not up to the mark. I dont know why after Inzi bhai's retirement, Pakistan has not produced better batsmen except a few.

Nomi Sep 20, 2013 09:46am

The words of Misbah "They Know how to handle pressure, how to build an innings, how to respond with the ball under pressure,

Javed Sep 20, 2013 10:13am

PCB and Terror politics should be blamed for current state. PCB should take the responsibility for lax security during Sri Lanka team attack. We will reap what we have sown.

Nomi Sep 20, 2013 10:35am

@Milind: PLYERS DO NOT DESERVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mr. Milind, Many of the Pakistani players proved themselves to be the best, Imran khan, Waseem akram, Waqar Younas and the threatning speed star Shoaib Akhtar are few examples.....the fact is that the people like you are biased and don't want to see the other side of coin, the absence of international cricket in Pakistan is surely not forever.......every one has good and bad times, we admit that we are in our bad time

Kamran Sep 20, 2013 11:41am

In my humble opinion Misbah is causing more harm then good. I do see and realise his contribution, however his mentality and defensive attitude is affecting the entire team for past few years. We all realise the importance of domestic and International cricket being played in Pakistan, however we have lost our edge and killer instinct under his captaincy. I don't mind losing, but Pakistani cricket team historically have been known to be unpredictable yet dangerous.. I am quite upset and disappointed to say that we are not dangerous any more, we look flat, weak, and subdued.. He is not a leader, he can say whatever he likes, but silly scores in losing cause does not mean anything.. I can go on and on.. Bottom line is this.. We mad Zim look like Australia of old.. And that's due to lack of leadership and defensive attitude. He will only cause more pain and suffering for few more years, honestly he has made Pak cricket .. boring. Just being honest. God bless all! Overachiever yet lacks the champion attitude. The truth hurts.. Bye bye pak cric until he leaves.

Imtiaz Hydari Sep 20, 2013 12:12pm

There is one fundamental problem - a defensive mindset. Our natural game is attacking stroke play instead every player is trying to keep his place in the team - and thinks that by grinding out he is likely to get runs. Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq are examples of this defensive mindset. When Khurram Manzoor played his natural game he got fifty in each innings of the second test. It is not just Misbah but the coach as well who have to encourage positive thinking. Our bowling, supposedly our strength is not disciplined. As far as the Faisalabad Wolves are concerned- other than Misbah there was not a single batsman who seemed capable of scoring runs. Not sure how they won the domestic championship. Too much criticism is also not good but it is only right that the PCB should build separate teams for the three different formats and blood in promising youngsters. Najam Sethi and Moines Khan made pathetic statements instead of owning responsibility and offering solutions

nasim khan Sep 20, 2013 02:25pm

Hey Mr. Missssbah do not make hue & cry about the lack of international cricket in pakistan, it is some thing no one can help pakistan team, Mr. Missbah thinking in pessimism way is not going to help the team but u do not have that good sense (not the common sense) to understand all these things, your Faisalabad Wolves is not a team, but a bunch of old, tried, tested and rejected players in your team, whose most of the players age is over 30 yrs. What r u trying to achieve with this players, and i am afraid if you are not removed from the Captainship of the Pakistan team then you are going to bring the team at the same level as Faisalabad Wolves. Mr. Boom Boom (infact 90% flop) afridi is once again dreaming to become captain of the team, how selfish he is, it is a very hard time for the pakistani cricket team. God bless them

Youth Sep 20, 2013 02:51pm

Spineless excuse. Misbah as a captain you are a total flop. If you have nothing good to say don't issue stupid statements. You have exhausted your share of excuses.Team Pakistan is having enough international cricket exposure, to say that your failure is due to non playing of international matches in your home ground is rubbish. Have courage & save your skin by retiring. To keep yourself fit at your age play indoor games.

Iqbal Sep 20, 2013 03:53pm

That's because you pre-select the team and then try to develop it. If a player is talented, he picks up quickly. But if you choose bunch of idiot sifarishies, you will never be able to train them. Please feel free to add yourself Misbah dear.

AJ Sep 20, 2013 04:22pm

The chairman PCB and the likes of Miandad and others who have been drawing millions in salaries don't understand our words so I think they should just look at the scorecards of Faisalabads matches in India and ask themselves, if these are batsmen of firstclass status. And are these the batsmen who won the cup in Pakistan to be eligible to take part in indian Champions Trophy. It tells a lot about the standard of our first class.

Jai Sep 20, 2013 06:40pm

lesson learnt is never dig hole for other, cause sometime even you can fall into it. Someone created a beast for other now beast is eating the creator..

Salman Sep 20, 2013 08:33pm

Also, why they don't include Mohammed Yousaf? a Veteran batsman, experienced and ideal for test matches. its a pity - politics is ruining sports too much.

Rogers Evans Sep 20, 2013 08:50pm

Misbah must retire now instead of talking rubbish. He has played enough cricket and should take Hafeez with him also. The team needs a dashing leader. Bye, bye, Misbah ??????

Milind Sep 20, 2013 08:46pm

@Nomi: i am talking about Shahid Afradi after world cup match he spoke lots of about Indian people that they are not big heart etc and after not included in IPL i watch your program me here and i see what your ex cricketer were telling and also your TV host too

RK Sep 20, 2013 11:48pm

What happened to the was launched with such fan fare

Riaz Khan Sep 21, 2013 06:03am

Why should Pakistan ape India for everything? If they apply their minds, our cricketers can learn without international exposure.

desi Sep 21, 2013 06:12am

@Salman: Razzaq cant play forever. Invest in cricket at home. Attempt to reduce corruption/nepotism in PCB. This was you can find more razzaqs.

saqlain jaffri Sep 21, 2013 10:15am

Only lame excues, we know that our team dont have any skill or power to beat now. Its only the group of kittens. All the should be SACKED and KICKED from international competition.

Bhasker Sep 21, 2013 01:54pm

@Nomi: You seem to be living in a time warp. Imran & Co. are histrory and as far as the current times are concerned, Milind is absolutely right in dubbing your players substandard. I mean, who loses a Test to Zim? A captain is as good as him team, so no point in blaming Misbah when the entire crop is rotten. And yes, as long as you breed terrorism in your background, no cricket team is safe on Pakistani soil and consequently, your optimism of "good times" returning shall remain a pipe-dream.

Mani Kant Sep 21, 2013 02:36pm

I agree with him. Leaders of Pakistan should look beyond petty issues and allow and create opportunities for the Pakistani players to participate in the international events. There is no fault of the players and the world should not be deprived of the majestic games by the Pakistani players. When we can see another Imran, Jaheer Abbas, Akram, Javed Mianadad???

Javed Sep 21, 2013 03:03pm

@Milind: Oh yeah we should be thankful to india to allow us to play in their home ground and humiliate them by winning the odi series infront of their home crowd!

Bong Sep 21, 2013 05:44pm

I agree with Misbah. Guys who are comparing with the South African model in the apartheid days need to remember that the local cricketing scene was being manged very well, unlike that of Paksitan. Also, a lot of South African cricketers were playing competitive cricket in local leagues in England and Australia.

BISWAJIT ROY Sep 21, 2013 06:42pm

India punishing pakistan cricket for 26/11 mumbai attack...if you dont have friendly relation with the neighboring countries then the side effects will take place in various manifestations

sekar Sep 21, 2013 07:03pm

Cricket can not be looked at in isolation. As a nation flourishes every aspect and activity including sports shine partly boosted by the confidence of people. Economy, stability, peace are requesites. Example is China which is now an olympic powerhouse threatening individual sports as well. As the economy improved the sporting achivements soared. India is also an example though not in the scale of China. Indias exploits in Cricket (pretty much holding every world cup in several formats), chess, tennis are a reflection of economic strength. So I pity the plight of the Pakistani cricketers as the major issues are not in their hands. They are doing their best in a terrible situation.

Aaron Sep 22, 2013 04:29am

@Javed: Also you should be thankful for not shooting your players en route to stadium.

Hyder Sep 22, 2013 10:50am


Due to apartheid South Africa remained in isolation for over 25 years but with core professionalism they roared back in 1992.

Inconsistent captaincy, selection of mediocre batsmen, poor coaching and lack of planning to bring in new players are the root cause of existing chaos in Pakistani cricket.

Misbah has killed the attacking instinct of pakistani batsmen with his tuk tuk approach and does not allow chances to young batsmen just to prolong his career.