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HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

Cricket

Misbah-ul-Haq not worried about losing captaincy
PTI
Karachi, September 23, 2013
First Published: 11:34 IST(23/9/2013)
Last Updated: 02:41 IST(25/9/2013)

Pakistan's under-fire captain Misbah-ul-Haq has made it clear that he was not worried about losing the captaincy and was ready to serve the national cricket team in any capacity.

Misbah, whose captaincy and batting has come under severe criticism for its apparent defensive mode, insisted he was under no pressure because of the reaction that had come after Pakistan lost the second Test to lowly ranked Zimbabwe in Harare and levelled the two-match series 1-1.

"I have never asked for the captaincy or demanded it. Even now it is for the Pakistan Cricket Board to decide on the captaincy issue. Whatever they decide is acceptable to me," Misbah told reporters after arriving in Lahore from India where he led the Pakistan domestic T20 champions, Faisalabad Wolves in a disappointing Champions League campaign.

"I was asked to captain the national team and it was an honour for me and I have done my best. So I am not taking any pressure. Whatever decision the board takes, I will accept it," he added.

The senior batsman brushed aside questions on his future plans and the 2015 World Cup.

"It is irrelevant to talk about the World Cup now because one doesn't know what is going to happen the next minute, so I don't want to make any comments," he said.

Misbah also came under fire for lashing out at some former players and critics after Pakistan had won the first Test against Zimbabwe.

He described some of them as "dirty" people and the words came back to haunt him after the second Test defeat.

"It was disappointing we couldn't win the Test series in Zimbabwe but our batting has been a problem for a while now and that is because our new players are not getting enough exposure at the top level like other countries," he insisted.

Misbah said this was also apparent in the Champions League Twenty20.

Although Faisalabad Wolves didn't move beyond the qualifying rounds, the event was a personal triumph for Misbah, who scored in all three matches including a brilliant 93 in the last game.

He had also scored an unbeaten 79 in the second Test's second innings in a failed run-chase against Zimbabwe.

"I am satisfied with my own form but the other batsmen also need to get runs consistently and that is a worrying aspect for us before the series against South Africa." Misbah said there was no doubt that Pakistan team has suffered because of no international cricket in the country and no regular tours.

"Our players have also not played in the Indian Premier League also," he said.

He pointed out that Pakistan had played just eight Tests since mid last year.

Misbah is also due to meet with the PCB caretaker chairman Najam Sethi and national selectors this week, and some crucial decisions are expected to be taken about the team management for the tour to South Africa, starting on October 14.


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