Pakistan is going to miss its “Captain Cool” – Misbah-ul-Haq with the official announcement of his retirement from international cricket. The ever-proud captain will hang up his boots after the upcoming test series against West Indies.
Misbah began his dauntless journey with international cricket after scoring loads of runs back in 2002, in domestic cricket. However, did not match the same skills until 2007 when he was officially selected to play for the international team.
Misbah captained for Pakistan’s international side in 53 Tests, out of which the side won 24, lost 18 and drew 11, hence withholding a positive and strong captaincy.
Misbah was highly criticized for his immense “tuk-tuk” – patience, but defined himself to be a man of precision, who actually frustrated bowlers with his defensive batting mindset. This undoubtedly helped build strong partnerships during times most needed during the match, whether in test or ODI.
The man was caught by every eye in the first T20 World Cup, in the final against all-time rivals – Pakistan & India. He burst the cricketing scene by nearly grabbing the trophy for Pakistan, but unluckily lost it at the last ball. Nonetheless, he became Pakistan’s best player in the tournament and carried that form to India, where he scored 464 runs, which included couple of tons, in the three-match Test series.
The performance made turns for the cricketer and this way Misbah became the vice-captain of Pakistan in 2008. However, his form left his side and he was dropped once again from the international team, and that too from all three formats. He made a comeback in 2010, after which he was made captain of the Test side against South Africa in later that year.
Pakistan drew 0-0 against South Africa in the test series but gained itself a 1-0 series victory against New Zealand in early 2011 at their home turf.
As we all know it and most probably were also a part of that mindset; Misbah was widely criticized for his performance in the World Cup semi-final against India. But, he took upon the captaincy of the test team yet again and clinched a 3-0 clean sweep against England in 2012, which was at that time the No. 1 test side.
During all that international boost to Pakistani cricket, the captain also played domestic cricket where he bagged the T20 championship title on behalf of Faisalabad Wolves as winners in the 2012-2013 season. In 2012-2013, he also led Pakistan to a famous 2-1 ODI series victory against their arch-rivals India.
A Pakistani cricket captain has to face the fear of removal after every loss, and so did Misbah, once his leadership came under question after losing the ODI series against South Africa in UAE. But, the board decided to give him a chance to continue and lead the team until the 2015 World Cup. The International Pakistan Cricket Team became the first sub-continent side to beat South Africa in a bilateral ODI series in their own turf, under the leadership and captaincy of Misbah-ul-Haq.
It was in 2015, after the World Cup, that Misbah decided to hang his boots and announce his retirement form one-day cricket, as he had already done previously from the T20 series.
The skipper continued to play in the longer format of the game, even after continuous criticism he led Pakistan to becoming the No.1 Test in 2016.
Since then, Misbah has been hoping to end his test cricket career also on a high note. He took the reigns of the team when it was in doldrums and took them to moments of glory. There is no doubt in claiming the fact that Misbah led Pakistan from the front in all formats of the game and claimed victory after victory, which put up the name of Pakistan as a side that is not only unpredictable but also a match winning team.
Thank you Misbah for providing us with a journey of pride and glory, and for the respect you have gathered for us in the field of cricketing even though not being able to play a single match in Pakistan during that amazing captaincy and reign.