Pakistan cricket team's head coach Misbah-ul-Haq believes higher-ranked teams should play Tests against lower-ranked nations instead of adopting a selfish approach. According to Misbah, playing against better sides will help weaker teams improve their game.
Former Pakistan player Ramiz Raja had earlier slammed Zimbabwe after their defeat to Pakistan. Rashid Latif also opined the Men in Green should consider playing more games against top sides instead of taking on teams like Zimbabwe.
However, Misbah-ul-Haq defended the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)'s decision to organize a 2-match Test series against Zimbabwe. Speaking to reporters at a virtual press conference, Misbah said:
“You can’t just think about yourself when playing cricket. If we do that I think it is an injustice to the sport and would hamper its development. Whichever teams are strong currently, just like New Zealand is at the top, whoever is not at the top was a starter and a weak team during the initial stage of their development. How will they improve unless they play and gain exposure?”
Ramiz Raja had also said that Zimbabwe should stay away from Tests for a while and concentrate on white-ball matches. Misbah-ul-Haq, however, has a different view on the matter. He felt Zimbabwe has been underperforming in the game's extended format because they aren't playing enough of it.
"I don't think this should be the mindset that we don't allow these teams to compete. The real reason for the absence of that quality is because they are not getting that kind of cricket," Misbah-ul-Haq pointed out.
Both Pakistan and Zimbabwe will not play Test cricket for some time now. Zimbabwe will tour Ireland in August for six white-ball matches, while the Pakistani players will participate in the second phase of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2021.