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Misbah-ul-Haq announces Test retirement, West Indies series last assignment

Misbah-ul-Haq, who has been Pakistan’s Test skipper since 2010, has announced his retirement from Tests. The upcoming series against the West Indies will be his final assignment.

cricket Updated: Apr 06, 2017 15:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Misbah-ul-Haq,Pakistan national cricket team,West Indies cricket team
Misbah-ul-Haq has said that the upcoming three-Test series against the West Indies will be his last assignment as Pakistan skipper.(AFP)

Misbah-ul-Haq has announced his retirement from Test cricket. The 43-year-old, who has been captain of the Pakistan Test team since 2010, has said that the upcoming three-Test series against the West Indies will be his final assignment.

Speaking at a press conference, Misbah said that the series against West Indies will be his last and that he would continue to play domestic cricket. He added that he will take a decision on when to quit playing cricket at the domestic level.

Sarfraz Ahmed, who is the captain of the Twenty20 and ODI side, is widely tipped to take over as captain in all three formats. Misbah said the team must support him. “We should not put pressure on Sarfraz. I also believe that there should be only one captain,” the Pakistan Test skipper said.

There were indications that the series against West Indies will be Misbah’s last. Shahryar Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, had told the Dawn Newspaper, “No discussions have been held with Misbah regarding his retirement. However, a consensus has been reached that the test matches against West Indies will be his last series.”

Under Misbah-ul-Haq’s leadership, Pakistan climbed to No.1 in the Test rankings for a couple of months. (AFP/Getty Images)

Misbah main reason behind Pakistan resurgence

Misbah took over the reins of the Pakistan team during a turbulent period in 2010. The team was rocked by the spot-fixing scandal during the series against England. The loss of players like Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir to the scandal meant that the team was in crisis.

His first assignment was the series against South Africa but he revived the team by registering a 1-0 win over New Zealand. The crowning glory for Misbah and Pakistan was their 3-0 whitewash of England in the 2012 series, which was their first win against England in seven years. In 2014, Misbah smashed a century in both innings as he led Pakistan to their first series win against Australia in 20 years.

Pakistan continued to surge in Tests and in 2016, they secured a 2-2 draw against England and they were crowned the new World No.1 in Tests. However, Misbah’s form and the team’s fortunes took a beating in the series against New Zealand and Australia. Pakistan suffered their first series loss against New Zealand in 31 years while they were whitewashed 3-0 in Australia for the fourth consecutive time.

Misbah has captained the team 53 times and registered 24 wins. This is the best record by a Pakistan captain ever and he will be aiming to help Pakistan secure their first-ever win against the West Indies in the Caribbean.

The first of the three-Test series begins in Jamaica April 21, followed by a Test in Barbados on April 30. The series ends with the third and final Test in Dominica starting on May 10.

First Published: Apr 06, 2017 15:00 IST