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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Who will replace Misbah ul Haq as chief selector?

Pakistani media has been talking about Misbah-ul-Haq's resignation as chief selector for a long time. Who will replace Misbah?

National cricket team coach Misbah-ul-Haq has resigned from the post of chief selector today. Misbah-ul-Haq took over as chief selector in 2019 and was to continue to work as head coach. Misbah will formally announce his resignation as chief selector shortly at a press conference at Gaddafi Stadium.

It is worthwhile to recall that Misbah-ul-Haq has been criticized for a long time for his performances on the cricket field. Critics were questioning his team selection, inter alia.
Some time ago, former Test cricketer Mudassar Nazar advised head coach Misbah-ul-Haq to resign.

Nazar had said that Misbah was putting a lot of pressure on himself. “If a chief selector does not include a player in the final XI and the team loses, his decision is severely criticized” claimed Nazar.

Pakistani media has been talking about Misbah-ul-Haq’s resignation as chief selector for a long time and it was also being speculated that Shoaib Akhtar is likely to be made chief selector if Misbah-ul-Haq resigns.

Shoaib Akhtar to replace Misbah ul Haq as Pakistan’s chief selector?

Last month, former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar confirmed that he is in discussions with PCB for a plum post in the country’s cricket set-up which is believed to be chairman of selector’s post replacing Misbah ul Haq. The PCB has plans to remove head coach Misbah ul Haq from the chief selector’s position and Akhtar is being considered for the role.

Read More: Shoaib Akhtar in talks with PCB for chief selector role: report

“I will not deny it. Yes, I have had some discussions with the board and I am interested in playing a major role in Pakistan cricket. But nothing has been decided yet,” Akhtar said on a YouTube show “Cricket Baaz”.

Akhtar’s name had been doing rounds as the board was seriously considering relieving head coach Misbah off his dual responsibility and also because of its new code of ethics policy.

“I live a very comfortable life. I played cricket on my terms but now I have settled down. However, I am ready to leave this comfort and try to put my neck on the line for the PCB. I am not afraid to give advice. I will give time if the opportunity arises,” Akhtar promised.

Akhtar, however, refused to divulge details of his discussions with PCB top bosses.

“Yes there have been some discussions. I can reveal only this much but nothing concrete as yet. But talks are still on. I have not said “yes” neither have they (PCB) said “yes”, revealed the fast bowler. Akhtar also said that if he accepted the chief selector’s job he would probably be the first player who would become “bigger than the job”. He claimed “no one knows it better than (me)” him.

“I don’t like saying this but it is a fact. Look, I don’t want a job and I don’t need a salary. People want jobs and they come for salaries but I don’t need the money.” For Akhtar the motivation was to build a pool of world class players who would serve Pakistani cricket for a long time, or so he claimed.

“I am ready to get in the line of fire. I will do it because I want to play a role in creating a pool of players from the new generation who play with an aggressive mindset and without fear of failure.”

Akhtar said that if he is entrusted with the job, he wants to create match winners like Wasim Akram and Javed Miandad, who would become brands on their own. “We need to start having players who have same mindset that our greats like Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram or Mushtaq Muhammad had.

“The fast bowlers should not have muscular gym-toned bodies but ones that are cricket specific. I want to have 15 players who are brands and stars and this can only be possible if they feel secure and can win matches with their performances.” He said the main problem with the present Pakistan team was that it was scared of losing and that the players were insecure.

“This mindset had to be changed. I believe that if I had been with the team there was no way we would have lost the first test to England after reducing them to top 117 for five. Aggression is necessary in top cricket.” “I have always believed in making tough decisions and know that people will back you.” said Akhtar.

Akhtar also called on Misbah to focus on leaving a legacy in Pakistan cricket instead of worrying about the results all the time. “Everyone’s career has to end sometime. As a coach, he has to change his mindset. Play another two to three Haider Ali’s,” he said.

Answering the allegation against him that he is always on the lookout for abusing loopholes in the Pakistani cricket team, Akhtar responded, “Tell me what I am supposed to say. Virat Kohli is not just a top batsman but has around 70 plus international centuries. He as captain has built a formidable pace unit and they are winning matches for India. So how can I criticise him for anything? Tell me?” He additionally highlighted how the Indian cricket was moving ahead because of their planning and aggressive mindset of players.

No truth to Misbah-ul-Haq being replaced by Shoaib Akhtar: PCB official

Regardless, a PCB official confirmed that there was in fact no truth to the rumours that Akhtar was to replace Misbah. In late September, the PCB submitted that Akhtar will not be replacing Misbah as chief selector after all. Time will only tell the truth in this claim.