Pakistan remain in the dark over whether captain Misbah ul Haq will lead the side at the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.
The Pakistan Cricket Board on Sunday denied they had dropped Misbah for the final One-Day International against Australia, saying the skipper had decided “he needed a break” after a string of low scores.
While the PCB says Misbah will lead the side in the upcoming two-Test series against Australia, he isn’t a certainty to captain the side at the World Cup.
“We remain totally firm that we have put our bandwagon behind him and he will lead,” said PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan.
“(I said to him), ‘If you yourself think your leadership will not deliver, then it is up to you. We will not push you’.
“I have told Misbah this … so this is where we stand.
“He is determined to put things right, if he does, he is back.
“We have considered other names of course as a contingency but it is up to him.
“He is a human being, he is depressed at the fact that he hasn’t been scoring and when you don’t score and you are a skipper the whole team suffers.
“So what I found very noble on his part is that he said, ‘The day I get an idea that the team is suffering because of me, then I will say myself, ‘let me go’. But I have hopes right now that I can recover from this, and show my mettle. Every batsman comes to this’.”
Misbah, who averages 43.07 in One-Day Internationals, has passed 50 just twice in 10 ODIs this year to average 22.50.
He was replaced as captain by Shahid Afridi for the final ODI, which Australia won by one run, after he withdrew from the side on the eve of the match.
Shaharyar said Misbah made the decision to rest, and denied reports that the skipper had been dropped.
“Misbah ul Haq decided that he needed a break from the rather depressing scores he has had in SL as well as here,” Shaharyar said.
“The management also agreed that if he wants to sit this out, it is his own decision.
“No-one coerced him into doing this.
“He himself decided that this is the right time for him to take a break and see if he can recover in the Tests.”
Having watched his side throw away victory in Abu Dhabi to remain winless from four matches against Australia, Afridi was pessimistic about Pakistan’s chances in the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year.
And he urged Misbah and the PCB to make a decision about the captaincy sooner rather than later.
“The Pakistan captaincy is not an easy job,” he said.
“I think whoever is captain – Misbah or me – we should know about it.
“If I am to captain in the World Cup then I should know about it.
“If we are not able to win on these pitches then we have to think we can’t go into the World Cup with these performances.
“If you look overall we have spoilt the good work of the bowlers.
“On this pitch it looked as if they will get 280-plus.
“We managed to keep them down to 231 but from the Twenty20 game to the third one-dayer our problem has been a lack of partnerships.
“When we build a partnership our wickets start to fall.”
via Cricket Aus