Misbah-ul-Haq still undecided on Test retirement
Deferring the announcement regarding his Test future, Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq said that his only focus, for now, is to lead his side well on their tour to England. However, according to a source of NDTV Sports, the skipper has held discussions with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) regarding the issue and is expected to make a final after returning from the tour.
"He has informed the PCB he will decide on whether he will continue to play Test cricket after the series in England," the source said.
Reports had emerged recently that Misbah was going to make a major announcement regarding his future before leaving with the Pakistan squad for England, leading to speculation from many quarters that the 42-year-old was finally going to call it quits from the longest format of the game. The pre-departure press conference though failed to produce any concrete answers with Misbah shifting focus from his personal future.
"Right now, I am just focusing on the four Tests in England because if we want to show everyone our top three ranking in Test cricket is not based around our wins in the UAE we need to put up a good show against England," he said in an interview before the team's departure.
Pakistan’s most successful in Test cricket, Misbah is surprisingly heading to his first and possibly final tour of England and his detractors have made no shortage in their efforts to attribute his success to Pakistan playing their home matches in the UAE on flat pitches. Despite the criticism, Misbah expects his young side to adapt well to the conditions in England.
"We have prepared hard for this series on similar pitches and I am banking on the fact that all our batsmen are now hardened Test campaigners," he said. “Conditions do vary a lot in England and one session turns everything upside down so we are going to take it session by session. What we have achieved against England in the UAE in 2012 and 2015 does not matter now for us."
The tour has special significance considering the fact that left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir marks his return to Test cricket with a tour to the very same country where he was found guilty of indulging in spot-fixing, along with Mohammad Asif under the instructions of then skipper Salman Butt. Misbah, who has remained in office after being appointed skipper following that tour, will be hoping that Pakistan cricket fans will have better things to remember this time around as he aims to sign off on a high.