Pakistan’s under-fire head coach, Mickey Arthur wants long-serving Test captain, Misbah ul Haq to continue his career amidst speculations over the future plans of the 42-year-old batsman.
Arthur, who himself is facing criticism after Pakistan’s drubbing in six successive tests in Sharjah, New Zealand and Australia, said that he was hoping Misbah tours and plays for a while for Pakistan.
Misbah, who could manage just 76 runs in six innings in Australia, is expected to make a decision on his future in the coming weeks.
Arthur expected the 42-year-old to keep playing Test cricket regardless of what happened Down Under.
“I am hoping that Misbah tours and plays for Pakistan for a while yet but that is a choice that only Misbah can make. He needs time to assess for himself and I am sure when the time comes he will make the correct decision for himself,” he said in an interview to the “Dawn” newspaper today.
“His [Misbah’s] career is obviously a very good one and when he does decide to retire he will go down as one of Pakistan’s finest captains and batsmen.”
Arthur also revealed that the time has perhaps come for Pakistan to make tough decisions to build the team across all three formats.
“I think we’ve got to be realistic in making the (tough) decisions. We will always access what are the right decisions for this team going forward and I certainly will not shy away from making tough calls if in my opinion they are in the best interest of Pakistan cricket,” he vowed.
“I am dedicated to making Pakistan the best team in all cricket and nothing will stand in my way. We have implemented very tough standards and challenging the players all the time to get the best out of them.”
Arthur also said that despite the defeats, the resilience of his charges can’t be questioned, while insisting that the experience of playing in Australia will hold them in good stead.
Arthur said he was disappointed at the outcome of the series but that it is becoming increasingly difficult for teams to dominate away from home.
“Albeit we are all extremely disappointed with the way the series panned out, I really felt that we were competitive (at various stages) in this series and the players’ resilience can never be questioned,” he said.
“It has been very depressing for all of us losing these Test matches but I can tell you for certain that the work rate of the players and staff has been outstanding and no stone has been left unturned in terms of preparation.”
He conceded in modern-day cricket, a majority of teams enjoy home advantage, something Pakistan have been missing since 2009 after the terror attack on Sri Lankan deprived them of hosting international fixtures.
“I believe that it is now very evident that almost all [major] teams dominate at home and it’s getting harder to win away from home for every international team.
“This is a challenge for us going forward and I believe the players will be better for the experience of playing out here in very trying conditions,” Arthur stressed.