Misbah-ul Haq: Bidding Adieu

Published 01/30/2015, 11:05 AM EST


Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul Haq is set to bid adieu to ODI and T-20 cricket post the World Cup. He would continue to represent his national side in Test cricket. Misbah became the second Pakistani player after Shahid Afridi to announce his retirement in the recent past. The Pakistani team will begin their World Cup dream against their arch rivals India and the long serving captain has promised the fans that the team would play its best cricket and look to defeat India, a feat they have failed to achieve so far in the World Cup history.

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Misbah was handed the test captaincy in 2010 by the Pakistani board post the spot fixing scandal and was handed the ODI captaincy in 2011. Since his debut in 2002, Misbah has played 153 ODIs scoring 4,669 runs at an average of 42.83 with 37 half centuries under his name, fastest to do so without a hundred. He has led Pakistan in 78 games with a success rate of more than 50%, a remarkable feat. The player certainly has been a constant source of inspiration for his team mates since the spot fixing scandal.

The most remarkable aspect of Misbah has been his phlegmatic temperament. It shows in his batting, which reached unprecedented levels of consistency in the year 2011. Very rarely you find a batsman who can adapt to all forms of cricket, on all kinds of surfaces, against any type of attack maneuvering them with ease. The guy has single handedly won so many matches for his side and has been one of the greatest players in the Pakistani cricket in second half of the decade, during which most of the Pakistani players turned into black holes.

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Misbah is 41 years old and age is certainly a factor in sports and so the household Pakistani hero is also losing his sheen. Misbah’s poor ODI form was in focus last year, when he scored mere 285 runs in 12 matches at an average of 23.75. The poor form also affected his captaincy and in October, Misbah had admitted that the prospects of captaining the side in the 2015 World Cup depended on his return to form. The PCB, however, continued to back Misbah and asserted that he would remain the side’s ODI captain until the World Cup. The Test series against Australia that followed the ODIs marked a turnaround as Pakistan flattened their opponents. Misbah also scored the joint-fastest Test hundred, off 56 balls, equaling Viv Richards’ record.

The time is right and the Pakistani star decided to pack his cards. Misbah would certainly like to end his journey on a happy note and winning the World Cup would be an icing on the cake. With the retirement of Misbah, Afridi and sooner or later Younis Khan, a generation of Pakistani greats would take a leave from the cricketing world, giving the beacon to the younger generation to follow their footsteps.

Edited by Shivang Aggarwal

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Akshay Kothari

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