Pakistan’s under-fire captain, Misbah-ul-Haq was given a lifeline by the new PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan, who said that the veteran batsman would continue as captain until the World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand.
“I am not going to press any panic button. I believe in continuity in cricket matters and a few bad results doesn’t mean we start talking about removing Misbah as captain,” the PCB chief who took charge after being elected told the media at the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore.
Shaharyar, a former career diplomat, was peppered with questions about Misbah’s future after strong reports that an influential lobby was out to have him removed as Test and ODI captain and bring in Younis Khan and Shahid Afridi to replace him in the two formats.
The speculations gathered strength after Pakistan was whitewashed in the two Test series in Sri Lanka on Monday. The divide over Misbah’s captaincy credentials became clear in Pakistan cricket after the Greenshirts also surrendered the second Test to the Lankans with Rangana Herath again their main tormentor with five wickets in the second innings to give him a match tally of 14.
But Shaharyar said he would stick with Misbah. Asked pointedly by reporters whether he would stick to the decision taken by his predecessor, Najam Sethi to appoint Misbah as captain until the World Cup, Shaharyar said “Yes”.
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“We can’t talk about removing someone as captain on basis of one or two bad results. I believe in continuity and Misbah has served the Pakistan team well. I will talk to the players and I am going to tell them to put the test series loss behind them and try harder in the coming one-day series,” the new PCB chief said.
He pointed out that at present Pakistan didn’t have too many options in the captaincy field.
“We don’t have many options for the future and what we are going to do is start grooming someone to be ready when the times comes for Misbah to step down,” he said.