Ijaz Butt backs Misbah to stay on as captain
LAHORE: Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt has suggested to his successor Zaka Ashraf that Misbah-ul-Haq is the best man for the job of captaining the Pakistan team.
Butt was also of the view that Shoaib Malik was the best man to replace Misbah-ul-Haq as captain, should the current PCB chairman be force into making a change. — but only for the shorter version of the game.
“There is speculation in the media and public that the PCB may change the most successful skipper of the team,” Ijaz told Dawn.
“I don’t think it is a wise decision and if the PCB is under pressure to change him, then Shoaib Malik is the best choice to lead the team but only in the limited-overs format of the game,” he added without elaborating much from which quarters the PCB was under pressure.
“The way Malik led his Sialkot Stallions side to Super-Eight T20 Cup title shows that he has the talent to replace Misbah but he has his limitations too when it comes to the Test format of the game.”
Misbah, who was appointed as skipper at a very crucial juncture during Ijaz’s tenure when former captain Salman Butt, along with Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir was embroiled in the infamous spot-fixing saga in 2010, has won nine Tests out of 15 while another 16 One-day Internationals out of 22 in which he has led Pakistan.
However, due to his age, critics point out that Misbah isn’t a long-term solution to Pakistan’s captaincy woes.
Misbah’s latest achievements include winning the Asia Cup in Bangladesh last month as well as handing a 3-0 series whitewash to England, the world’s No 1 Test team.
In both events, Misbah kept his nerve under intense pressure, especially in the Asia Cup where Pakistan were coming after a 4-0 ODI series drubbing by England.
“Looking at his (Misbah’s) performances, it is incredible to see that he has put a new life into Pakistan cricket so he deserves full respect and command to lead the team,” Ijaz said.
“However, age is not on his side which has resulted in a number of speculations.”
Only recently, Misbah was given full backing by PCB chief Zaka Ashraf but he has hinted any proposal to change him could only be considered after a thorough discussion of the PCB think-tank.