Pakistan Test skipper Misbah-ul-Haq remained silent over his retirement plans as the national squad departed on Saturday for challenging series against England.
“Right now I am just focusing on the four Tests in England because if we want to show everyone our top three ranking in Test cricket is not based around our wins in the UAE we need to put up a good show against England,” Misbah said in an interview before the team’s departure.
Speculations were rife that Misbah would make some sort of announcement about his future on Friday. Misbah, 42, was compelled by the PCB last year not too retire from Test cricket and lead the team to England and a reliable source said the test captain had infact discussed his future plans with the PCB officials.
“He has informed the PCB he will decide on whether he will continue to play Test cricket after the series in England,” the source said.
Misbah said the series in England would be a challenge for the batsmen since they had hardly played outside the UAE in the last few years.
“But we have prepared hard for this series on similar pitches and I am banking on the fact that all our batsmen are now hardened Test campaigners,” he said.
Misbah said that the batsmen had been told to take their time in England and play a waiting and patient game.
“Conditions do vary a lot in England and one session turn everything upside down so we are going to take it session by session. What we have achieved against England in the UAE in 2012 and 2015 does not matter now for us,” Misbah said.
Misbah’s critics and supporters believe that the tour to England will define his place in Pakistan cricket history as Pakistan has in the last four to five years has played its home series in the United Arab Emirates on generally flat pitches.
Misbah was not part of the Pakistan squad that went to England in late 2010 for a tour which saw the infamous spot-fixing scandal erupt in the fourth and final test at Lords.
But it was after that tour that the PCB decided to appoint Misbah as Test captain, a position he has held until now and become Pakistan’s most successful Test captain.