LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has requested Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq to continue leading the side till 2018 at least.
“Though Misbah is independent to decide about his future, the PCB has suggested him to continue till 2018,” said PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan in an exclusive interview to Dawn here on Monday.
“Because of his excellent fitness, Misbah can easily play international cricket for few more years. Besides, he is calm, well-educated, calculative and balanced and enjoys a lot of respect in the team,” he added.
“We have a couple of names in our minds regarding who would lead the side after Misbah’s retirement but we need to analyse them in detail before taking any decision.
“Both Azhar and Sarfraz Ahmed are good choices but the former’s batting suffers whenever he leads the side. All-rounder Imad Wasim can also be a candidate as he has impressed the PCB with his ability of handling pressure at crucial stages of matches,” the chairman said.
Meanwhile, Shaharyar said both Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif were eligible for selection in the Pakistan team after taking part in first-class matches and it was up to selectors to decide when to test them.
When asked why the PCB had different approaches towards leg-spinner Danish Kaneria and the three tainted players — Salman, Asif and Mohammad Amir — as Danish had never mixed a match against Pakistan, the chairman said, “Kaneria was banned by the England and Wales Cricket Board. The PCB and all other cricket boards are now bound to follow it, but, I have sympathy for Kaneria and I think he should file an appeal before the ECB to get justice.”
Meanwhile, about the poor show of the Pakistan team on the New Zealand tour, Shaharyar said their bowlers bowled well but their batsmen again failed to perform on green-top pitches.
“Another factor which multiplied Pakistan’s problems was rainy weather due to which they could not play a warm-up match and hold proper practice sessions.”
He said Pakistan’s coaches were more familiar with Australian wickets and therefore they could guide their batsmen better about Australian wickets.
To a question, he said junior team’s chief selector Basit Ali was appointed head coach of the Pakistan women team only for the ongoing tours of New Zealand and Thailand, and in future he would have to keep only one post and that would be decided by the board.
He admitted that the Pakistan U-19 team for next month’s Asia Cup in Sri Lanka was announced in the absence of Basit and added that the decision of sending him with the women team was temporary and major changes were being made in the women set-up.
Shaharyar said the Senate Standing Committee on Sports had summoned the PCB on women cricket and their meeting will be held in Islamabad on Tuesday (today).
The PCB chairman denied all such reports that he would quit the post soon.
“No, I have no such idea in my mind. I am an elected chairman till August 2017. And my health is also improving after the heart surgery,” he said.
To a question, the PCB chairman said the financial condition of the PCB was not strong at the moment but they would soon be helping organisations of other sports just like India and Bangladesh.
He also dispelled the impression that the PSL, after being run as a separate company, in future, would cause losses to the PCB.
“It is a wrong impression that the PSL will damage the PCB if run as a separate company. The PSL will work under the PCB and its profits and losses will be for the PCB,” he added.
“Last year, we provided money for the first edition of the PSL and in return we not only got back our principal investment but also the profit of US$2.5million,” he said.