By Mohsin Ali –
ISLAMABAD, (TLTP): Pakistan cricket team Head Coach Misbah-ul-Haq has said that he is highly satisfied with players’ progress even during forced break due to coronavirus pandemic, which has brought not only routine life but also all kinds of sporting activities to a complete standstill.
Says Malik, Hafeez in World T20 plans
Misbah expressed these views while talking to a select group of sports journalists through video link on Tuesday saying it is ideal time for the players to work on their fitness level while staying at home. “I know, majority of players don’t have gyms and other facilities at home, but at least they can have place in rooms to maintain their fitness levels. I am in close contact with all the players and we daily discuss different aspects,” he further said.
When Editor Sports The Law Today Pakistan (TLTP) asked Misbah if forced break might have hurt his ambitions, as he was adjusting quite well slowly after tough series against Australia as well as recent results against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were highly satisfactory, Misbah replied, “It is true, team was going quite well. I had a lot of cricket with almost same group of players and it is easy to coach them, but we don’t have control over nature. We all can hope and pray that this virus ends quickly, so we can concentrate on sports.”
To other questions of TLTP if Pakistan team badly need a quality all-rounder like Abdul Razzaq, who can hit lusty blows in the later order, whether players of Rawalpindi-Islamabad are highly unfortunate as they were not given ample chances if compared with players of other major cities, and if highly talented all-rounder Ali Imran could be one such classic example, Misbah admitted that Ali Imran is a huge talent and he is very much under PCB’s consideration.
“Unfortunately, Ali was not picked by any franchise in the PSL-5, but we gave him chance against visiting MCC team and we will continue to provide him with more chances. We need a player to bat at number 6 while Ali is useful while batting top of the order. Anyways, we have enhanced pool of players and a number of players are under our radar,” added the head coach of national cricket team.
Misbah said, “Pakistan cricket team’s next assignment is in July against England. We have time and we had given opportunities to players, which I think is good, as World T20 is in October this year in Australia. We need to find players who can be suitable in Australian conditions.”
When asked about recent statement of Muhammad Hafeez regarding Sharjeel Khan, Misbah said that PCB CEO Wasim Khan had a detailed conversation with Hafeez on the issue. “I personally feel PCB, ICC and anti-corruption units are there, so players must not come on media, rather they should use the right platform.”
He further said that he feels that rules must be made for tainted players but no one should come in public, adding, “Personally I am not satisfied with Sharjeel Khan’s fitness level.” Khan did show glimpses of what he can do, but he had more than enough time to work on his fitness level during suspension if he wants to win back place in the national team, Haq added.
When asked whether Shoaib Malik and Hafeez are in his World T20 plans and whether Hafeez’s statement had hampered his chances for a place in the national team, Misbah replied, “Off course Malik and Hafeez and others, who were given chances are very much in long term plans. They were not recalled for one particular series. As far as Hafeez is concerned, he had clarified his stance and that matter is over, only performances will determine the fate of the players.”
He said he has told players to utilize this time while watching old videos. “When we last toured England, what were our flaws and what were our strengths, we have to focus on those to ensure great results,” he maintained.
When asked the people will judge his performance as Islamabad United coach as well and results were not as good as he would have liked, Misbah replied, “This doesn’t matter. After playing so much cricket, I know positives. If we closely look at United results, they are not as bad. It was sheer bad luck, which cost us dearly in matches, which matters the most. We finished at the rock-bottom, but we were in winning positions in number of matches, but rain spoiled our chances. We could have finished at number 2 or three, but we didn’t,” he said.
“Obviously, I would have loved to finish at top, it didn’t happen. We will work as a unit, we have found a number of talented players in PSL-5 and most importantly, youngsters were picked as captains by franchises, which is good. No matter they never led national side, but at least, it would give them huge confidence. I am focused on taking Pakistan team forward and as soon as things are back to normal, we will start full-fledged training,” he continued.
Misbah requested all to take care of themselves and their neighbors amid COVID-19 pandemic. “Try to help others as much as we can, as this is difficult time and we all will have to join hands to come over this period,” Misbah concluded
The Law Today Pakistan, commonly known as TLTP, is the largest news wire service, headquartered in Islamabad. The service is providing fast, comprehensive and verified news on superior courts adjudications, regulatory framework of fiscal, monitory and external sectors, economic regulatory bodies amid apex institutions regulating the financial system. TLTP is empowering readers of more than 12 national English dailies in the country.