We urge Misbah to rethink any plans of retirement he might have contemplated
Stability is a virtue that goes unnoticed and, more often than not, taken for granted. It is only when the status quo is disturbed that people tend to realise what they’ll miss. Misbahul Haq has definitely rattled the cage with his announcement of contemplating retirement as the Test series against England draws to a close. With Tests against India unlikely, Misbah seems to have been pushed towards taking the exit on a high, rather than endure the pain of being shown the door — a fate that has befallen many greats. However, for once, the Pakistan Cricket Board has acted like the fatherly figure cricketers so desperately need. It has asked its obedient ‘son’ to stay on and guide the young warriors on their tours to England and Australia next year — territories that have left nothing but wounds on Pakistan cricket in the form of defeats and scandals.
It was in the aftermath of the 2010 spot-fixing scandal that Misbah was asked to take up the reins. He immediately responded with not just impressive scores, but the team seemed to rally around him as well, ushering in an era of consolidation and relative serenity. As Misbah guided his troops in camps set up away from home, fans in Pakistan revelled in one of the most successful and consistent runs of captaincy. Quietly, Misbah became the country’s most successful Test captain, losing three series in a record otherwise worthy of an award nomination. Granted that Pakistan has not played England, Australia or India in their conditions over the last five years, but that isn’t Misbah’s fault. Whitewashing England and scoring Test cricket’s fastest century against Australia was more than what fans bargained for. Misbah has shown that he is a hero — perhaps not someone Pakistan deserved, but definitely the one we needed. He is nothing less than the Dark Knight of Pakistan cricket, a messiah who has guided the team out of hopeless positions into the peaceful shores of uncelebrated victories. And we urge him to rethink any plans of retirement he might have contemplated. We still need him.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 1st, 2015.
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