Misbah announces retirement from Test cricket

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Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan Test captain, announced his retirement from the longest format of the game on Thursday (April 6), revealing that the upcoming three-match Test series against West Indies will bring down curtains to his career.

After Pakistan slipped to a 3-0 series defeat in Australia, there were speculations that Misbah would hang up his boots, but the 42-year-old decided to play the three-match Test rubber against West Indies.

“I am announcing my retirement from international cricket,” said Misbah. “The upcoming series against West Indies will be my last.”

“I’ve seen many ups and downs during my career,” he added. “I was dropped from the team played poorly as well at times. But then I had some great moments too where we became the number one Test team in the world. So overall, I am satisfied with my performance.”

The right-handed batsman, who made his first-class debut back in 1998-99, however, added that he will continue to play domestic cricket.

“I will continue to play cricket at the domestic level,” he said. “Regarding when I will leave domestic cricket, I will decide it later.”

Misbah made his Test debut against Pakistan in New Zealand, but was dropped from the setup after the tour of Bangladesh in 2003.

The gritty batsman then made a successful return to the national side during the World T20 in South Africa in 2007 when he turned out to be the leading run-scorer for Pakistan. His consistent performances helped the Asian country to reach the final of the tournament.

Misbah took over the reins of captaining Pakistan’s Test side in 2010 after the spot-fixing scandal that broke out in England, resulting in the suspension of Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt.

Misbah captained the Test side in 53 matches, winning 24 and losing 18 games. Under his able leadership, Pakistan climbed to No. 1 spot for the first time in the Test rankings after beating England at The Oval in 2016.

However, after Pakistan hurtled to a 3-0 whitewash in Australia, Misbah came under severe pressure to quit captaincy. He had said: “No, right now, retirement is completely out of my mind.

“If I do think about that, then this match here will be very difficult to play. We have to think of this match as the first match of the series and that it is the final also. At the moment, this is how we are thinking. I have forgotten the last four-five Tests we’ve had and now we’re totally focused on this.”

He has notched up 4951 runs at an average of 45.84 in the traditional format of the game so far.

The 42-year-old also captained the Pakistan side in 87 ODIs. He retired from the 50-over format after the Asian country lost the quarterfinal of the 2015 World Cup to Australia.

The redoubtable cricketer played 39 Twenty20 Internationals, compiling 788 runs at an average of 37.52.