No intention to apply for any post of national team: Misbah

Published November 26, 2021
Pakistan cricket team head coach Misbahul Haq addresses a press conference in this file photo. — AFP
Pakistan cricket team head coach Misbahul Haq addresses a press conference in this file photo. — AFP

LAHORE: Former Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq on Thursday said he has no intention to apply for any position when the Pak­istan Cricket Board (PCB) in the near future seeks to fill the vacant posts of national team management.

“I have no intention to apply for any post [of the national team management] to be advertised soon as the current ad hoc set-up of the team management is going to be changed,” Misbah said during an interaction with media on the occasion of the annual match of Muslim Gymkhana here at the Bagh-i-Jinnah.

Misbah, 47, in a surprising decision quit as the national team’s head coach in September this year soon after returning home from Pakistan’s tour to the West Indies, citing last 24 months in managing affairs under bio-secure bubble environment forced him to take this decision.

Bowling coach Waqar, though not for the same reason, also resigned at the same time.

However, it was the widely speculated that both Misbah and Waqar resigned in the backdrop of Ramiz Raja coming as PCB chairman. These speculations gained momentum when Ramiz — instead of holding any meeting with Misbah and Waqar to ask them to review their decisions — on the day of his election as PCB chief appointed former Australian opener Matthew Hayden and ex-South Africa pace bowler Vernon Philander as batting and bowling consultants, respectively for the ICC T20 World Cup held in the UAE in October-November.

Interestingly, both Misbah and Waqar as experts featured in a private TV channel programme during the World Cup. Misbah did not agree with a questioner that he escaped as head coach.

“I have already answered these questions; no one can escape after performing [his duty] for two years. It was a mutual decision of both sides and everyone knows both sides’ understanding,” Misbah said while avoiding a detailed response.

To a query, Misbah negated the impression that Pakis­tan’s performance in the 2021 T20 World Cup was better if compared with his two-year tenure as head coach.

“It is a wrong impression,” he said. “We defeated South Africa in South Africa, our performance in England was not bad. Yes, good and bad matches are part of every tenure.”

He continued, “If anyone reckons Pakistan’s performance in the [2021] World Cup was better as Ramiz made some changes in the team, it is good for Pakistan cricket; it is everyone’s aim.”

Misbah said Pakistan played well in the T20 World Cup in the UAE but unfortunately lost the semi-final to Australia in a close fight.

“Credit for this good show goes to [interim head coach] Saqlain Mushtaq and captain Babar Azam as the team played with unity,” he remarked

Meanwhile, former Pakistan cricketers Kamran Akmal, Imran Farhat and Taufiq Umar were also present on the occasion to watch the annual match which is a regular event of Muslim Gymkhana, a decades old cricket centre of Lahore, which has produced players like Inzamam-ul-Haq, Taufiq and Ahmed Shehzad for Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2021

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