Misbah, Waqar step down as Pakistan coaches before NZ series

Pakistan’s team head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis have stepped down from their respective posts, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed on Monday.

The duo, who were were appointed in September 2019, still had a year each left in their contracts however, both Misbah and Waqar communicated their decisions to the PCB on Monday afternoon.

With the New Zealand side scheduled to arrive on September 11 in Pakistan for three ODI and five T20I series, the PCB has appointed Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq as interim coaches for the series.

The team management for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will be appointed in due course while the Pakistan side will assemble in Islamabad on September 8 to kick-off their prepration for the series.

On his decision to quit the post, Misbah-ul-Haq said he now wants to spend considerable time with his family and living in a bio-secure environment for a long time was an another reason for resigning.

“I understand that the timing may not be ideal but I don’t think I am in the right frame of mind for the upcoming challenges and it makes sense for someone fresh to step-in and take the side forward,” he expressed.

On the other hand, Waqar said that he decided to step down after Misbah informed him about his future plans.

“After Misbah shared with me his decision and future plans, it was a straightforward one for me to resign as we had walked into the roles together, had worked collectively as a pair and now also step down together,” he said.

The bowling coach said that working with the Pakistan bowlers, including the youngsters, has been most satisfying part of his role.

“The next eight months will be busy and exciting for the Pakistan team and, like in the past, I will continue to back and cheer them. I want to thank each and every member of the Pakistan cricket team set-up as we stayed united in good and bad days, and hope there will be more brighter days ahead,” he said.

Meanwhile, PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said that he respects the duo’s decision and also lauded their efforts.

“In the past 24 months, Misbah has given his very best to the team and we wish him well in his future endeavors. It has been an honorable decision by Waqar and we thank him sincerely for his immense work and commitment over the past two years and wish him the very best in the future,” he expressed.

“Both Misbah and Waqar have given so much to Pakistan cricket over a long period of time and for that they deserve a huge amount of respect,” he added.

Announcing the appointments of Saqlain and Razzaq, he said: “Both Saqlain and Razzaq are ready to step-up and are very much looking forward to making important contributions in their coaching roles against New Zealand.”

Notably, the Kiwis will tour Pakistan after a long gap of 18 years.

While the ODIs will be held on September 17, 19 and 21 at Rawalpindi’s Pindi Cricket Stadium, the five T20Is will be staged at the Gaddafi Stadium between September 25 and October 3.

News Desk

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