Karachi: Soon after Misbah-ul-Haq confirmed that he is bidding adieu to international cricket following the Test series against West Indies, former Pakistan cricketers have come in unison to pay glowing tribute to outgoing captain for his commendable services to the country’s cricket. Legendary Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram said if Misbah believes that it is the right time to give up international cricket then he should retire. “A cricketer should have fitness and passion for playing. If now Misbah thinks it is the right time for him to give up international cricket then it is good,” the Dawn quoted Wasim as saying. Wasim further stressed that Misbah should be given a rousing send-off for his magnificent services to the country’s cricket. He further said that Pakistan should also support the player who will be made the new captain of the Test side.
Describing Misbah as a `gentleman`, former fast bowler Sikander Bakht expressed hope that the 42-year-old struck a century in every Test match he plays against the Caribbean side. “I wish Misbah scores a century in every match of the Test series in the West Indies.Misbah is a gentleman and we have never ever heard any disciplinary issues involving him,” Bakht said.
Mohammad Yousuf insisted that Misbah has enormous achievements and, therefore he should be accorded a proper farewell. Lavishing praise on Misbah, legendary leg-spinner Abdul Qadir called on the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to hand over the Test reins to ODI and T20 captain Sarfraz Ahmed after end of the West Indies series.
“Sarfraz is a fighter and the team looks united under his captaincy. Making Sarfraz captain in all three formats will help the team avoid groupings,” Qadir said.
Meanwhile, PCB chairman Shahryar Khan labeled Misbah as an outstanding captain before confirming that they would honour the Test captain at a reception to acknowledge his precious contribution for lifting Pakistan cricket.
“He is an outstanding captain and refined human being. He has immense contribution for the Pakistan team and our cricket; we will duly acknowledge this contribution by awarding him a medal and doing a lot more at a reception,” Shahryar said. Shahryar did not stop there and further went on to say that Misbah is a wise skipper who exactly knows how to get the best out of his team-mates. “Another outstanding achievement of Misbah was to take the team to the number one ranking in Test cricket [last year] which will always be remembered in Pakistan cricket history,” he added.
The PCB chairman also urged Pakistan’s upcoming cricketers to emulate Misbah as their role model in order to become good players. Earlier, Misbah called curtains on his international career, announcing that the upcoming three-match series against West Indies beginning April 22 in Barbados will be his last.
The Test skipper, who will turn 43 in May, had earlier asked the PCB for time to decide on his future following whitewash defeats in his last two series against Australia and New Zealand, respectively.
Misbah has been at the receiving end towards the late end of his career. However, leaving the 0-2 thrashing against the Black Caps, followed by 0-3 whitewash against Australia, he has been the shining star for the side.
The captain also inspired Pakistan to the top of the ICC Test team rankings for the first time in history. Although their stint at the top was short-lived as India replaced them. Misbah has played 72 Test matches so far, scoring 4951 runs and is currently seventh on the list of Pakistan’s highest Test run-getters. He had already retired from ODIs and T20Is after the 2015 World Cup.