Kolkata: A disciplined and dependable cricketer throughout his career – that is what Pakistan’s Test skipper Misbah-Ul- Haq is. While his age and some unfavorable performances of late, have led many to believe that he is in the twilight of his career, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shahryar Khan has confirmed the fact that the veteran batsman would hang up his boots once Pakistan’s ongoing series against West Indies comes to an end.
Earlier this year, amidst talks of his retirement, Misbah had said that his age shouldn’t be a cause of worry and he would only be able to take a call on his future after an assessment of his fitness was done during the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
And according to recent developments Khan was quoted by PTI as saying, “I have spoken to Misbah and discussed his future. I told him he needs to decide his future. He said he will come back to me after reviewing his form and performance in the PSL. He contacted me last week and told me he was available so I have retained him as captain.”
And he also declared the fact that the 42-year-old might cease to be a part of the national Test team after the tour to the Caribbean ends. “But at the same time it is a fact that during the tour, he will turn 43 and I don’t see him continuing to play on after the tour,” said Khan.
Talks of retirement for Misbah sprung up not quite long ago after Pakistan’s disastrous tours to Australia and New Zealand, where it was whitewashed on both the occasions. And such speculations gained fuel when, chief selector and former Pakistani batsman Inzamam-Ul-Haq indirectly hinted that Misbah should step down and had told that the latter was in the ‘best position’ to decide upon his future.
Thus, Misbah’s retirement from the game would mean that it is the end of an era of one of Pakistan’s most successful Test captains. His absence would definitely leave a void in the Test team even though it was announced in January that Azhar Ali would succeed Misbah as the country’s next Test skipper.
A veteran of 72 Tests and with 10 centuries to his name, Misbah is undoubtedly one of the best ever batsmen to come from Pakistan. A solid middle-order batsman, he always stood up to the task when his team required him to and hasn’t disappointed.
Among his many accolades and credentials, a memorable part of his captaincy career was when the Pakistan team under his leadership scripted a remarkable 3-0 whitewash over England in 2012. Also, it was the Test team under him which drew the four-match Test series against the same opposition last year and became the recipient of the ICC Test mace for being the Number One Test team then. Also, a player who thrived under pressure, Misbah’s greatest contribution to Pakistan cricket was his role in the resurrection of the national team after it was hit by the spot-fixing scandal in 2010.
No Indian or Pakistani cricket lover would ever forget that adventurous paddle scoop which cost Pakistan the inaugural T20 World Cup against India. Nonetheless, he has created many memorable moments on the field for which cricket fans would always remember him.
We hope that in his last series, against the West Indies, he gives Pakistani fans some reasons to cheer once again. And cricket would always remain indebted to one of its most disciplined and classy ambassadors.
(With inputs from PTI)