Former Pakistan cricket team captain Misbahul Haq, who was appointed to the joint position of head coach and chief selector for the men’s team in Sept 2019, has resigned from his role as chief selector, he announced in a presser on Wednesday.
He said that he took the decision because he felt he could not do justice to both the roles, keeping in view the team’s international commitments. “When I was told by the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) to [work as both head coach and chief selector], I said I would do it but we had a discussion that if I ever felt that giving time to both would be hard, I would leave.”
Misbah said he had told the PCB that he wanted to focus solely on coaching and appreciated that they had accepted his decision. “Of course, the focus is on making the Pakistan team as good as possible,” he said.
He clarified that his resignation was not because of any disagreements with the cricket body or a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan last month over a policy matter of the board pertaining to abolishing departmental cricket, after which the PCB had decided to call for an explanation.
“There is no such reason. If that was the case, I would not be working as head coach either. It is my choice to leave this way.”
Talking about his experience as chief selector, Misbah said that he “tried for 1.5 years to make the best decisions in the interest of Pakistan cricket”. He also expressed satisfaction that the team was going in the “right direction”.
“I am sure whoever comes next will work [to make the team] better and continue with our vision of bringing the team in top three,” he said.
“The most important thing is my passion for the field,” he said, adding that he felt he has the energy to be with the team on the field.
“My first target as coach is to bring the Pakistan team in top three in all formats. We should at least win International Cricket Council (ICC) events and that is our target and [we are] focusing on that.”
In a statement, PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said that the board “wholeheartedly respects Misbah’s decision on stepping away from the chief selector role”.
“Pakistan has three global events, including two Asia Cups and the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, as well as 10 Future Tour Programme commitments over the next 24 years. As head coach of the national side, he has reassessed his priorities and believes he has a better chance of producing the desired results by focusing solely on the coaching side. We are very happy to support his thinking on this,” the statement said.
Misbah’s appointment — a first in Pakistan cricket — came after a unanimous nod from a five-member panel, which interviewed several candidates and submitted their recommendations to PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani.
In August, sources in the PCB had rubbished reports circulating in the media that Misbah would be replaced as chief selector.
“We have neither discussed it, nor it is in our plans. It’s a completely baseless story,” a well-informed source had told Dawn.