Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq, who been under fire following the team's lackadaisical showing, blamed the absence of injured captain Babar Azam and the extended quarantine periods in New Zealand for Pakistan's disappointing show against the Kiwis.
Pakistan were hammered in both the Tests in New Zealand and also lost the T20I series 1-2. Earlier, the team suffered defeats in Australia and England as well. Speaking at a press conference in Lahore, Misbah-ul-Haq said:
"Babar's absence due to injury made a huge difference to us and then the 18-19 days we spent in quarantine in New Zealand affected our performances, as the players couldn't get to train and prepare properly. Not having Babar was like New Zealand not having Kane Williamson.”
The former player added that the reasons may seem like excuses for poor performances but explained that if the players don’t train for 18-19 days, it does make a significant difference.
Misbah-ul-Haq further said in this regard:
“I tell the players to fight, and I also encourage them. I alone am not responsible for the team's performances."
Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq as well as bowling coach Waqar Younis will appear before the PCB's Cricket Committee on Tuesday to discuss their tenure and team performances.
According to Misbah-ul-Haq, he doesn't see any credible reason for the board to remove him but admitted that he has no control over what the Cricket Committee decides. The former captain said in this regard:
"I don't compare myself with any other coac,h but I am trying to do what I feel is best for the Pakistan team. I may have made some mistakes, but generally I am satisfied with the selections we have made.
“Don't know why Amir said such things about me and Waqar” - Misbah-ul-Haq
Misbah-ul-Haq also opened up about the controversy surrounding pacer Mohammad Amir, who recently retired from international cricket.
Expressing surprise at Amir’s extraordinary outburst against the PCB, Misbah-ul-Haq stated that he would welcome the bowler back in case he was willing to make a comeback. Misbah-ul-Haq said in this regard:
"I don't know why he said such things about me and Waqar. I have always given respect to him and other players. When he came back in 2016, I welcomed and encouraged him back in the side as captain and senior player. I and Waqar had spoken to Amir about his form and fitness, and we told him he needed to work on his pace, as it was getting slower, and this was a worrying factor.”
Misbah-ul-Haq reiterated that Mohammad Amir was dropped for the New Zealand tour only because of form and fitness reasons, and that Waqar has nothing to do with the selection of teams.Published 12 Jan 2021, 09:22 IST