Pakistan’s most successful Test skipper, Misbah Ul Haq opened up about why he did not announce retirement after England’s series that Pakistan levelled 2-2. As a result, Pakistan held the 1st position in ICC Test Ranking for a brief period of time.
According to the 42-year old, it would have been a selfish decision if he had quit international cricket just before the tough tours of New Zealand and Australia.
“It would have been extremely easy for me at the end of a successful Test series [against England] to have announced the end of my career,” Misbah Ul Haq told Sky Sports in an interview.
“But that would have been a selfish thing to do, to avoid the stress of very difficult international tours to New Zealand and Australia,” he added.
“However, what was needed for the Pakistan team at that point in time was for me to take on the challenge of these tough tours despite us being crowned the top Test team in September,” he further said.
Pakistan had a disastrous run after England’s series. They lost the third Test of the series against a much weaker West Indies. Afterwards, New Zealand defeated Pakistan 2-0 in the series and then Australia whitewashed them yet again in Test series in their home ground.
These six consecutive defeats cost Pakistan resulted in huge dip in their ranking, they moved from top position to 6th spot.
Cricket pundits and fans have criticised Misbah Ul Haq heavily after this recent debacle in the longest format of the game and asked him to retire now.
However, Misbah has not made any decision about his future yet.
“To be honest, I haven’t made any decision yet,” he said. “I am still thinking about it as there is still some time to make that call.”
“To me, it is important that first you have to get ready mentally to make a commitment that you will go ahead with your plans and then you can work on the physical side of things to back those intentions,” he added.
Misbah Ul Haq brushed off the claims that he is responsible for Pakistan’s defeat, in fact the captain put blame on their busy schedule.
“We played a series against West Indies in UAE and at its conclusion, we pretty much jumped on to a flight and flew off to New Zealand,” said Misbah.
“Unfortunately, we did not have the time for preparations for this tour in the same way we had for the England tour. You cannot blame anyone for this, but the fact is that we had a busy schedule.”
“The only warm-up game we had in New Zealand was washed out and then we went in to play Tests where we immediately came under pressure,” said the skipper. “The same scenario played out in Australia where we simply lacked the time to prepare for the Test series.”
“It was completely different for our England tour where we had two side games and ample time to prepare ourselves,” he added.