Misbah-ul-Haq is facing plenty of questions on his cricketing career. After suffering six straight losses in Tests, including a fourth consecutive 3-0 whitewash to Australia Down Under, there have been calls for the 42-year-old Misbah to step down from the captaincy and retire.
However, speaking to the Dawn Newspaper, Misbah emphatically stated that criticism has not affected him and he has not contemplated retirement.
“Some people were waiting to criticise me and finally, after six years they got this chance. I will not announce my retirement at this stage. First, I will assess my fitness in the Pakistan Super League and then in domestic matches for Faisalabad which are to be held before the West Indies tour,” Misbah stated.
After leading Pakistan to the top of the table in the ICC Test rankings for the first time in history, the team suffered a slump in which they lost a Test series to New Zealand for the first time in 31 years while they lost their 12th consecutive Test in Australia. After the loss, several Pakistani players called on Misbah to quit captaincy, with Pakistan chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq also calling for one captain across all formats.
To make matters worse, they lost the ODI series 1-4 under Azhar Ali. Although Pakistan registered an ODI win over Australia after 10 games, the series loss meant that chances of securing direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup in England became more difficult
Misbah defended Azhar and said everything in Pakistan needs an overhaul. “With just one change, things will not be corrected as there is a need to change the system,” Misbah stated.
Pakistan’s next international assignment will be against the West Indies in the Caribbean where they will play two T20s, three ODIs and three Tests. The tour will begin on March 31 with a Twenty20 International in Queens Park Oval, Trinidad. Pakistan will be hoping to get some vital points by winning the ODI series and will be aiming to win their first-ever Test series in the West Indies.