Pakistani Test cricket captain Misbah-ul-Haq speaks to media at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on April 6, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ARIF ALI
Pakistani Test cricket captain Misbah-ul-Haq speaks to media at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on April 6, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ARIF ALI

Lahore: Pakistan’s Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq today announced his retirement from international cricket, saying the upcoming series in the West Indies will be his last assignment.

The 42-year-old has been leading the Test side since 2010, taking over the reins in the aftermath of the spot-fixing scandal in England.

The first of the three-Test series against the West Indies begins in Jamaica on April 21, followed by a Test in Barbados on April 30. The series concludes with the third and final Test in Dominica, starting on May 10.

Speaking at a press conference at the Gaddafi Stadium, Misbah said he would continue to play domestic cricket.

“I am announcing my retirement from international cricket. The upcoming series against West Indies will be my last,” he said.

Misbah, who was named one of Wisden’s five Cricketers of the Year yesterday, has led his side in 53 Tests since taking over and won 24 times.

“I will continue to play cricket at the domestic level. Regarding when I will leave domestic cricket, I will decide it later.”

Having taken the reins when the team was in the midst of a turbulent phase, Misbah guided Pakistan to the number one spot in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test ranking.

“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.”

Misbah said he was disappointed at not having fulfilled his dream of winning the World Cup.

“I had some unfinished business, but that’s how life is. I had a dream of winning the World Cup for Pakistan, but then I also had a dream of captaining the team in Pakistan. However, that is how life is. You don’t get everything you ask for.”

His first assignment was the Test series against South Africa, following which he led the team to a 1-0 win over New Zealand. The crowning glory for Misbah and Pakistan was their 3-0 whitewash of England in the 2012 series, which was their first win against England in seven years.

In 2014, Misbah smashed a century in both innings as he led Pakistan to their first series win against Australia in 20 years. Pakistan then secured a 2-2 draw against England and were crowned the new world number one in Tests. But, Misbah’s form and the team’s fortunes dipped in the series against New Zealand and Australia. Pakistan suffered their first series loss against New Zealand in 31 years while they were whitewashed 3-0 in Australia for the fourth consecutive time.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal