The PCB has asked Misbah-ul-Haq to keep retirement plans on hold and play on through Pakistan’s tours of England and Australia next year. Pakistan are scheduled to tour England for four Tests in 2016, and then to Australia for three Tests in the 2016-17 season. Misbah will be 42 next year.
“We have told him to delay his retirement for a year if he is thinking on those lines,” Shaharyar Khan, the PCB chairman. “We feel his presence as captain and senior player will be invaluable to the team for the Test tours to England and Australia next year.”
Misbah confirmed that Shaharyar had spoken to him. Earlier this month, he had hinted that the series against England in the UAE – which Pakistan currently lead 1-0 with one Test left to play – might be his last, particularly since the proposed series against India in December looked unlikely to go ahead.
“I have been considering so many factors as it’s a very hard decision, in fact one of the toughest ones to take,” Misbah had said. “So in the next one-and-half months I will be analysing myself as to how far I can go. I will see how much I can contribute in for the team, I will see if my passion remains the same or I start losing interest in the game. Sometimes it’s not about fitness, it’s about how much interest you have in the game and I don’t want to be a liability. So whatever the decision you will know soon.”
Misbah, 41, is Pakistan’s most successful Test captain, with 19 wins. He is retired from the shorter formats, but has shown no signs of waning form or fitness in the five-day game. He averages 56.75 in his 41 Tests as captain, all of which have come since his 36th birthday, and has made scores of 3, 51, 102 and 87 in his four innings so far in the series against England.