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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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Double trouble: Misbah ul Haq & Waqar Younis resign

In a surprising turn of events, Misbah and Waqar have suddenly stepped down from their positions as cricket coach before T20 world cup.

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Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis have stepped down from their positions ahead of the T20 World Cup scheduled to take place from October. In official statement issued, Misbah claimed “The quarantine in Jamaica post the West Indies series provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the past 24 months as well as the schedule for international cricket ahead.”

“Considering that I would have had to continue to spend considerable time away from my family and that too in a bio-secure environment, I have decided to step down from the role. I understand that the timing may not be ideal but I don’t think I am in the right frame of mind for the upcoming challenges and it makes sense for someone fresh to step-in and take the side forward.”

“The past 24 months have been thoroughly enjoyable and I want to thank my team and the management for their support. I wish the Pakistan cricket team best of luck in the upcoming events and will continue to support them every time they will take the field to represent Pakistan.”

Read more: PM Khan appoints Ramiz Raja as PCB Chairman

Walking in the steps of Misbah, Waqar also declared his resignation by saying “After Misbah shared with me his decision and future plans, it was a straightforward one for me to resign as we had walked into the roles together, had worked collectively as a pair and now also step down together.”

“Working with the Pakistan bowlers, including the youngsters, has been most satisfying as they have now started to show progress. Bio-secure environments in the past 16 months have had their impact, something we had never experienced during our playing days.”

“The next eight months will be busy and exciting for the Pakistan team and, like in the past, I will continue to back and cheer them. I want to thank each and every member of the Pakistan cricket team set-up as we stayed united in good and bad days, and hope there will be brighter days ahead.”

In their place, Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq have been appointed as interim coaches for the New Zealand series. Saqlain serves as the Head of International Player Development at the National High Performance Centre, while Abdul Razzaq’s domestic side won three titles in the 2020-21 season.

PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan has said he respects the decision taken by Misbah and Waqar, and has wished them both best of luck for their future endeavors.

“The PCB understands and respects Misbah’s decision. Cricket in this unprecedented bio-secure world has not been easy for anyone and Misbah has clearly taken into account the intense six months of non-stop cricket ahead. In the past 24 months, Misbah has given his very best to the team and we wish him well in his future endeavors”.

Read more: T20 World Cup trophy revealed; Ramiz and Babar discuss the tournament

“It has been an honorable decision by Waqar and we thank him sincerely for his immense work and commitment over the past two years and wish him the very best in the future. Both Misbah and Waqar have given so much to Pakistan cricket over a long period of time and for that they deserve a huge amount of respect.”

“Both Saqlain and Razzaq are ready to step-up and are very much looking forward to making important contributions in their coaching roles against New Zealand.”

T20 Squad

Another recent development has been the announcement of the 15 member T20 squad for Pakistan. Pakistan will be represented in the mega event by Babar Azam (Captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Asif Ali, Azam Khan, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood while Shahnawaz Dhani, Usman Qadir and Fakhar Zaman are in reserve.

The same squad will also play against New Zealand in the upcoming home series. Men in green will play 3 ODI’s and 5 head to head T20 matches against New Zealand before heading for the T20 World Cup.

Reactions

Hashtag #RamizRaja and #T20Worldcup are trending on top on Twitter ever since the announcements were made. Pakistanis have given mixed reactions on the selected squads as well as the resignation of Misbah and Waqar.

Some blamed the newly appointed PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja for the sudden resignation of Head coach and Bowling coach.

While others saw the news as an opportunity for a fresh start and thanked Ramiz Raja for it.

Similarly, people have been criticizing the selection of Asif Ali and Azam Khan as unjustified and believe that experienced players like Wahab Riaz, Muhammad Amir and Haider Ali have been left out.

This is also going to be Pakistan’s first T20 world cup without Shahid Afridi who is known for his huge 6’s in T20’s and fans will surely miss his presence on the field.