Pakistan Test skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, on Thursday (March 6) announced his retirement from the longest format of the game. The veteran batsman will hang his boots after the conclusion of the upcoming three-match Test series against the West Indies.
The 42-year old batsman had taken the captaincy of Pakistan team when it was going through one of its darkest phases. The team could not play cricket at home due to security concern and the fixing -scandal during the 2010 tour of England only plummeted Pakistan cricket to further darkness. They were ranked sixth in the world and were looking like moving in only one downward direction. However, Misbah was not willing to sit idly and see the team move in the wrong direction.
Misbah led the team to a remarkable turnaround and even led them to the number one in the longest format of the game. Under his captaincy, Pakistan registered series victories against the likes of Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka in UAE but his finest moment came last year when Pakistan drew 2-2 in England and reached the pinnacle of Test cricket for the first time since the ranking was introduced. But since then, Misbah has been enduring a tough time both as a batsman as well as captain. After losing a Test match against the West Indies in UAE, his team was whitewashed in New Zealand (2-0) and Australia (3-0). He has been under immense scrutiny since the whitewash in Australia and speculations were rife that his days as the captain of the team were numbered. Well, the talismanic skipper has ended all the speculations by announcing his retirement.
“I am announcing my retirement from international cricket,” said Misbah at a press conference at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.. “The upcoming series against West Indies will be my last.”
Misbah further said that he will continue to play cricket at domestic level.
“I will continue to play cricket at the domestic level,” he added. “Regarding when I will leave domestic cricket, I will decide it later.”
Speaking about his career, he said:“I’ve seen many ups and downs during my career.I was dropped from the team played poorly as well at times. But then I had some great moments too where we became the number one Test team in the world. So overall, I am satisfied with my performance.”
He also said that he had a dream of winning the World Cup for Pakistan.
“I had some unfinished business, but that’s how life is,” he said. “I had a dream of winning the World Cup for Pakistan, but then I also had a dream of captain the team in Pakistan. However, that is how life is. You don’t get everything you ask for.”
Misbah led the Test team in 53 matches, winning 24 and losing 18 games. The veteran batsman has scored 4951 runs at an average of 45.84 in Test cricket so far. He also led Pakistan in 87 ODIs before retiring from the 50-over format after his team were eliminated from the 2015 World Cup following the loss to Australia in the quarterfinal.