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Misbah-ul-Haq to review cricket future during Pakistan Super League T20

Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan cricket’s Test captain, will lead defending champions Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League T20’s second edition in the UAE

cricket Updated: Jan 25, 2017 13:48 IST
Pakistan cricket captain Misbah-ul-Haq has been in poor form in recent times. That has put his future in the nation team in doubt. (AFP)

Veteran Pakistan batsman Misbah ul-Haq has stated that he’ll take a call on his international career within a month and wants to use the platform of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) T20 to assess his hunger for the game. The PSL will be played between February 9-March 5 in the UAE.

The Pakistan Test captain, who will lead defending champions Islamabad United in the tournament’s second edition in the UAE, told ESPNcricinfo: “The idea is to assess myself how badly I want to play cricket. I think in this one month I will make my decision to quit or at least give a certain date. I could easily have quit after England series in UAE (in November 2015) but that wasn’t the right way.”

Misbah (42) has been Pakistan’s batting mainstay for a number of years but his dwindling form off late and the team’s poor run against Australia have accounted for speculations surrounding his retirement.

Pakistan cricket’s Test skipper however clarified, as he often has, that he plays the game from a sense of duty he feels towards the team.

Pakistan's Misbah-ul-Haq, left, and Younis Khan make their war to the presentations after losing to Australian in their Ttest match in Sydney, on Jan. 7, 2017. Australia won match and the series 3-0. (AP)

“You sometime don’t see your own achievements and personal gains. You also have to think about the team you have built, you have to see where it stands at a certain stage. Otherwise it was easy for me to retire after taking Pakistan to number one,” he said.

Pakistan have been whitewashed 3-0 in the Test series against Australia and trail 1-3 in the ongoing five-match ODI series.

Misbah-ul-Haq reflects on the state of play against Australia on the fourth day of the third cricket Test match at the SCG, in Sydney on January 6, 2017. (AFP)

“I don’t really think about my personal gains and I knew I had more to lose from Australia and New Zealand, but I think that wasn’t a right way to think about,” he added.

“I had to stand there and give youngsters a message that you have to face the music in tough situations, face the challenge. That was my thinking behind and I am sure (critics) will come up with another narrative to disagree with me.

“No matter that you lose, but accept the challenge. Don’t run off. And at least give them (youngsters) the encouragement, stand behind them.”

Misbah-ul-Haq has already lead Pakistan in more Tests than any other captain and though he has the maximum number of wins under his belt in that period, he has the maximum number of losses as well.

With the bat, he averages 50.55 as captain and has been one of the most successful captains for the country besides the likes of Javed Miandad and Imran Khan.

“It’s very important to think about how badly you want to play cricket and what your priorities are for cricket. If you are 19 or 20 and you are not doing enough on fitness, your priorities are not right, you are not performing then you should leave. In fact you should be kicked out. It’s very simple,” the veteran added.

“Someone over 35 or 40, if he is physically fit, he can bring much benefit to the team because at this age you are mentally very strong, you have all the experience, temperament and exposure. So it’s all about what your priorities are, what your mindset and passion for the game is.”