x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Misbah is not stepping down despite Pakistan’s poor form

Zimbabwe Test loss in September and the Proteas setbacks in Abu Dhabi have ignited criticism against the Pakistan captain.

Misbah-ul-Haq says he will remain with Pakistan despite the team's recent slump. Richard Heathcote / Getty Images
Misbah-ul-Haq says he will remain with Pakistan despite the team's recent slump. Richard Heathcote / Getty Images

A defiant Misbah-ul-Haq has ruled out stepping down as Pakistan’s cricket captain despite the team’s poor performance in recent times and strong criticism of his leadership.

Under him, Pakistan lost a Test in Zimbabwe in September and were thumped 4-1 in the recently one-day series in the UAE.

Misbah salvaged some personal reputation by emerging as the leading scorer in one-day internationals this year with 1,119 runs from 26 matches but many, including the former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, felt his batting lacked aggression and that he was uninspiring as a leader.

“I have no intentions of quitting,” said Misbah, 39. “I am doing well and as long as I am in form, I will continue to play for my country.

“As far as captaincy is concerned, it is an honour to lead your country and, in the end, the board takes a decision … I have no issues with what they decide,” he said.

The right-hand batsman has a 73.39 strike rate in one-day internationals but some critics believe his skill with the bat is not enough. “All those people who say I am too slow and not aggressive should first check their stats … I have been the most consistent scorer for the team in both formats,” Misbah said.

A senior member of the Pakistan cricket board recently said the team should not be expected to win when a pack of lions was led by a “jackal”.

“If standing firm under pressure out in the middle and scoring runs makes you a jackal then I am a jackal,” said Misbah said.

Pakistan are due to tour South Africa this month to play three one-dayers and two Twenty20 matches.

First, they play the last of two T20 internationals in Dubai tonight. Misbah is not in the T20 squad.

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