Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq to retire from ODIs after World Cup
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has announced that he will retire from limited-overs internationals after the 2015 World Cup to focus on Test cricket. The 40-year-old made his ODI debut in 2002, and has scored 4,669 runs at an average of 42.83 in 153 ODIs. He has captained Pakistan in 78 matches and won 41 of them. He has scored the most runs without scoring a hundred in ODI history.
Misbah becomes Pakistan's second senior player after Shahid Afridi to announce an end to limited overs engagements after this year’s World Cup. Misbah had taken over as ODI captain from Shahid Afridi in May 2011, following a feud between the then-chairman Ejaz Butt and the all-rounder.
“It's my final decision and I have informed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) of my decision,” Misbah told AFP.
“It would be the icing on the cake if I retire with a World Cup win and I will do my best to do that. I've thought about this for a long time.
“The World Cup is an important event and I want to finish on a winning note,” said Misbah, who will be playing in his second World Cup.
Younger players will have to take responsibility: Misbah
With senior batsman Younis Khan also expected to announce his retirement in the near future, Sohaib Maqsood is being seen as one of the contenders to be the future ODI captain of Pakistan.
“I will play Test cricket as long as I am fit. I think young players will have to take responsibility and they are capable of that,” said Misbah, while refusing to name his successor as captain of the one-day team.
“I can't take any names, its up to the PCB to decide. Teams survive when senior players quit.
“Pakistan's one-day win in India and South Africa in the last two years are my greatest achievements in my captaincy and I cherish that."
A PCB spokesman confirmed Misbah's decision."He has taken a graceful step and we want to give him a worthy send-off on January 13 before the start of the short training camp, and he will formally hold a press conference."
Pakistan will fly to New Zealand on January 21 to play two one-day internationals on January 31 and February 3. They will play two warm-up games on February 9 and 11 before taking on India in their first World Cup match in Adelaide on February 15.