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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Misbah-ul-Haq: Disappointing to lose Test series, want England to visit Pakistan

Misbah-ul-Haq has called on the England team to soon pay a return visit to his country.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: August 26, 2020 8:02:25 pm
Misbah ul haq, Coach Misbah, England vs Pakistan, Southampton Test, Misbah ul haqTest teams have avoided playing in Pakistan since 2009 when terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore. (FILE)

Pakistan’s head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq expressed disappointment over his team’s performance after the men in green played out a three-match Test series in the United Kingdom, with the hosts winning it 1-0.

“While it was disappointing to lose the Test series, the whole experience has been a really positive one for a young, improving team,” Misbah wrote in a column for the PCB.

“It was a really competitive series played in an excellent spirit. Without spectators, it was important to create the right atmosphere and it was great to see how players and staff from both sides applauded performances by their opponents.

On the field, there was no dissent or anything else untoward happened. Players from both teams maintained the spirit of the game and enjoyed the contest – it was so good to see. These situations are about action and reaction: if the players respect each other and the game itself, which they did, then there will be a good atmosphere.

Life in the biosecure bubble was a good experience – it was like a boot camp for Pakistan cricket. You do everything together: playing, training, eating. You could sense it was tougher for the players at times because they couldn’t switch off and go out or visit different places.

But, overall as a group, we stayed together and enjoyed each other’s company. Spending more time together helps the group to bond. Maybe if it was a longer tour or if this becomes the norm, then it will become difficult for players and staff to spend so much time away from their families.

After the game, we talked about all the positives to come out of the series but also the areas where we can improve on whether that is skills, tactics or fitness. We always need to improve. We spoke as a group and then also individually reminded the players of those areas and also gave them programmes to follow in writing.

We need to work hard and come back strong.”

Misbah also called on the England team to soon pay a return visit to his country and assured that there will no compromise on the security of players.

“Looking into the future, we would really appreciate England visiting Pakistan soon.

A number of England players have appeared in the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020, which was played at home. Then, we had Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and MCC in the 2019-20 season and before that, the World XI and the West Indies in 2017-18.

Players from all over the world now know about the levels of security Pakistan can provide and how much they will be welcomed. Pakistan cricket fans want to see the top players in the world performing right in front of them so everybody is waiting for that visit.”

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