Misbah-led Pakistan completed its first ever series victory in the Caribbean with a nail-biting 101-run win on Sunday (May 15) against West Indies in Dominica, bidding Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq a farewell in the most fitting way possible.
With only six balls left in the game, and Roston Chase at the other playing a knock of his life, West Indies’ number eleven Shannon Gabriel — who had seen off 21 deliveries to keep his side afloat — inexplicably decided to hit Yasir Shah out of the park. The ball kissed inside edge of his willow and slammed into stumps, leaving Chase stranded on 101 and marking an end to a remarkable resistance that kept Pakistan at bay for hours.
After serving more than six years as Pakistan captain, Misbah walks away from international cricket broadly satisfied with what he has achieved in his tenure.
“Whenever you think back, you think I’ve done this and that, you always have a feeling I could’ve done this a little better,” Misbah said. “I tried all that I could on my part, with whatever authority and responsibility I had, whatever was in my hands, I did what I could. I tried my level best with this team.
“And I think, thank God, we have achieved quite a few things in Test cricket especially. One-days also we achieved some things, stuff that other big sides couldn’t do. With the resources, the situation, the limitations of Pakistan cricket I think that I am, to a great degree, satisfied with whatever we have achieved.”
Misbah leaves the game as the most successful Pakistan Test captain, with 26 wins to his credit. It is nearly double the number of victories Imran Khan and Javed Miandad had seen under their reign.
“No secret,” he said. “Patience is very important. The other thing, for captaincy, is that the most difficult task, you go there and do it yourself. If you dothat, then automatically players get behind you and start playing their roles.
“I didn’t think of it is as a burden. Neither did I ever think that I would do it for this long, or did I worry about it being taken away from me. You are given a responsibility and you have players and resources around you who help you in fulfilling that.
“You maintain good relations with the players, with the board – with whoever you work with. Giving respect to everyone has helped me in my captaincy and I got respect in return.”
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Another great who is hanging up his boots alongside Misbah is Younis Khan, who is arguably the best Test batsman Pakistan has ever produced.
“That is where Pakistan will miss Younis Khan. In those scenarios, there has to be someone who can stand up, who can play an outstanding fourth innings, or who is out of form and can make a 200. From nowhere to play such an innings, if you have someone like that, you’re always confident as a team.” Misbah said.
“The most important thing, in any situation, is to have players who truly believe they can do it, players who believe that whatever the situation, whatever circumstances, they are the ones who can do it for the first time.”
Misbah also revealed his future plans, saying he will stay in touch with cricket in one way or the other.
“It’s simple. You’ve spent so much time in cricket, so you try and stay on in the field that you’ve worked in.” he said.
“Help others, continue things. I haven’t decided specifically what yet, but, even if it is with my department (SNGPL), who have young players, I’ll see what I can do. Or with my district side, if I can do something.”