Under-pressure Misbah to lead Pakistan in Caribbean

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LAHORE, Pakistan (CMC) – Under-fire Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq will lead Pakistan on their three-match tour of the Caribbean starting in April, after rejecting calls for his ouster and making himself available.
Calls for the veteran player to step down had intensified in recent months following Pakistan’s poor form which saw them lose all five of their last Tests to New Zealand and Australia.
But the 42 year old – he turns 43 in May – said it was important that he stay on to help Pakistan end their losing skid.
“I am committed to the Pakistan Test team and that’s why I’ve made myself available,” Misbah said.
“We as a team will do our best to lift ourselves from the slump which we’ve had by losing six Tests on the trot.”
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, Shaharyar Khan, confirmed he had been informed by Misbah of his decision and that had been conveyed to the selection panel.
A PCB statement subsequently indicated that Misbah would be at the helm for the West Indies series.
“Accordingly the chairman has approved his appointment as captain of the Pakistan Test team for the upcoming Test series in West Indies,” the statement said.
“The chairman has also approved the appointment of Sarfaraz Ahmad as
vice-captain of the Pakistan Test side.”
Misbah has led Pakistan in 53 of his 72 Tests, winning 24, losing 18 and drawing 11. Last October, he steered the hosts to a convincing 2-1 victory over the Windies in a three-match series in the United Arab Emirates.
Since then, however, he presided over a 2-0 loss to the Black Caps and a 3-0 defeat to the Aussies away from home.
Pakistan face West Indies in the opening Test at Sabina Park in Jamaica from April 22-26, in the second Test at Kensington Oval in Barbados from April 30 to May 4 before clashing in the final game at Windsor Park in Dominica from May 10-14.

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