With professionalism and discipline as the new motto of Pakistan cricket, former captain Misbah-ul-Haq opened a new page after he was announced as the national team head coach and chief selector on Wednesday.
“I am given the two important responsibilities, both as the chief selector and head coach. Whatever my achievements are because of Pakistan,” said Misbah, while addressing a press conference alongside PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
“This is a great honour and responsibility. I always believe that when you get the power it is your exam as you have to deliver honestly, which is not easy. I will try to play my roles with all honesty, and I want to bring in professionalism in the country’s cricket from grassroots level right to the top,” he said.
Speaking about Misbah’s dual role both as a chief selector and head coach, the PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said that the conventional selection committee has ended. “The conventional selection committee has ended. Misbah, alongside the six coaches, will perform the selection duties,” he said.
Alongside serving the dual roles in Pakistan cricket, PCB has also given Misbah the green light to pursue coaching positions at the PSL. “PCB has reviewed about it and we have made a strategic decision, we understand that Misbah lacks the international exposure so, we were of the view that the opportunity he would get in PSL would be an advantage to Pakistan,” said Wasim.
“For us the bigger picture is the success of Pakistan. So based on the number of days Pakistan would play international cricket, PCB was of the view that Misbah should get the exposure in PSL if he gets picked up in the tournament,” he added.
Talking about his strategies at the helm of national cricket, Misbah said that he would make decisions as per the given resources. “I believe all your strategies are based on your resources, obviously for me it would ideal for me to play aggressive cricket, however at certain times strategies change as per the situation.”
Citing example of New Zealand’s run in Cricket World Cup 2019, Misbah said that the Black Caps were only successful after they made strategies according to resources.
Referring to the captaincy and who will lead Pakistan in all formats, Wasim informed that the decision would be taken after consultation with PCB chief and Misbah, and would be made in the coming days.
‘PSL should not be the ultimate criteria’
“A lot of T20 players are picked from PSL, the temperament of a player is checked in the tournament, however, I don’t think that we can pick a player for Test and ODI purely on the basis of PSL performance,” said Misbah.
He further said that the decision about the final Playing XI should rest with the captain. “The final say of Playing XI is the job of captain, because he is the one to operate on the field. I was clear about it when I was the captain,” said Misbah.
Talking about his working relation with the upcoming bowling coach Waqar Younis, Misbah said that they have talked about it and both are responsible for their respective domains.
“I have worked a lot with Waqar, we know each other a lot and we don’t interfere in anybody’s domain. The direction is given by the head coach whereas Waqar is responsible for the bowlers. If you ask me, Waqar is the best option for us as a bowling coach in world cricket,” added Misbah.
“Misbah is being given the same salary as Mickey Arthur,” informed Wasim Khan. It is pertinent to inform that Arthur was paid as much as $ 20,000 a month, which is worth around Rs 3.2 million.
Speaking about the batting coach position, whether Misbah would serve in that position as well, PCB chief executive said that he decision ‘is up to Misbah to decide.’
New domestic structure
“We have been talking about it for a while now that there is a huge gap between our domestic and international cricket. So we need to do something about it, so the new domestic structure would have some positives and negatives as well. However, we need to see how the system would run in the near future,” said Misbah.
Misbah added that he aims to improve Pakistan standing in Test cricket. “Firstly I would aim to improve Pakistan standings in Test cricket, if we improved in Test cricket we would automatically improve in limited overs cricket.”
Speaking about the issues of Pakistan cricket, Misbah highlighted inconsistency as a major hurdle, alongside fitness problems.
“Fitness problems are an issue of Pakistan cricket team, whenever we cleared those fitness tests we forgot about maintaining it. So it is our responsibility to keep a check on players, that is how we would be able to maintain the discipline,” he said.