Pakistan Cricket: Misbah-ul-Haq and Pakistan Cricket Board’s captaincy concerns
With Pakistan cricket, controversies are never far as the side has a decade long history of feuds regarding the leadership perils.
In a country where cricketers are more famous than the local movie stars, leadership woes are bound to take place with big names with even bigger egos going after the captaincy.
Rarely has the country seen powerful captains like Imran Khan, who stood his own without any serious challenge.
Since the departure of Imran, captaincy has changed hands on almost regular basis, either due to revolts within the team or lack of commendable results under the leadership of a particular individual.
Most recently, Shahid Afridi, after developed difference with then coach Waqar Younis opted to relinquish his captaincy, causing another problem for the country’s cricket board to find his replacement.
Apparently, Misbah-ul-Haq, who was the Test skipper at that time, was the obvious choice. However, the mild-mannered middle-order batsman is no Afridi and perhaps his calm demeanour is not what Pakistan’s one-day side should be looking for, considering the fact that Pakistan has always played best one-day cricket with an aggressive approach.
The recent Pandora’s box was opened when Pakistan were humiliated in the one-day series against England in the United Arab Emirates (UAE),where after whitewashing the Poms in the Test series, the Men in Green faced a similar fate in the limited overs game.
As if this was not enough, Pakistan tasted defeat in the three-match T20 series, where the English won by 2-1 after Pakistan lost the final match.
These unimpressive results rang alarm bells in Pakistan cricket; however, with no suitable replacement for Misbah, the PCB is still reluctant in changing him.
While there were calls to remove him from his captaincy, the board decided to stick with the 37-year-old Misbah for the ongoing Asia Cup.
The outcome of this tournament will most likely seal Misbah’s fate as the captain of the one-day squad and while he is best suited to lead the Test side, his time as the captain of the limited overs squad is under scrutiny.
With Misbah under the watchful eye of PCB, Shahid Afridi is the best contender to be named as the new captain.
However, the hard-hitting batsman has stayed mum on the whole issue and has repeated time and time again that he is comfortable playing under Misbah.
Almost two months back there were rumours that the discarded Shoaib Malik would be named as the new skipper; however, after his failed attempt to make a comeback in the national team during the series against England, he would most likely be discarded as the next captain.
However, critics suggest that PCB should look towards the next generation of players and since Afridi and Malik have had their stints as the captains of the national team, it is time to name a totally new player for the job.
The obvious choice at this point in time could be opener, Mohammad Hafeez, the cricketer is an impressive batsman and a lethal bowler, who with time has become an impeccable member of the national team.
The all-rounder should now be given an opportunity to test his mettle and what best way could it be than to be named as the next skipper of Pakistan cricket.
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