Pakistan men’s national cricket team head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis have stepped down from their respective roles, announced the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday.
According to a press release issued by the PCB, the two coaches communicated their decisions to the PCB late Monday morning.
With the New Zealand side due to arrive on September 11 for three ODI and five T20I series and the Pakistan side to assemble in Islamabad on September 8, the PCB has appointed Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq as interim coaches for the series, with the team management for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 to be appointed in due course.
As per PCB’s press release, former captain Misbah said: “The quarantine in Jamaica post the West Indies series provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the past 24 months as well as the schedule for international cricket ahead. Considering that I would have had to continue to spend considerable time away from my family and that too in a bio-secure environment, I have decided to step down from the role.”
“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,” said Misbah.
“The past 24 months have been thoroughly enjoyable and I want to thank my team and the management for their support. I wish the Pakistan cricket team best of luck in the upcoming events and will continue to support them every time they will take the field to represent Pakistan.”
While Waqar said: “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.”
“Working with the Pakistan bowlers, including the youngsters, has been most satisfying as they have now started to show progress. Bio-secure environments in the past 16 months have had their impact, something we had never experienced during our playing days,” he added.
“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,” said Waqar.
PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said: “The PCB understands and respects Misbah’s decision. Cricket in this unprecedented bio-secure world has not been easy for anyone and Misbah has clearly taken into account the intense six months of non-stop cricket ahead. In the past 24 months, Misbah has given his very best to the team and we wish him well in his future endeavours”.
“It has been an honourable 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,” said Khan.
“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 further said: “Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq have been appointed as interim coaches for the New Zealand series. Saqlain is the Head of International Player Development at the National High Performance Centre, while Abdul Razzaq’s domestic side won three titles in the 2020-21 season.”
“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,” he added.
Misbah and Waqar were appointed in September 2019 and still had a year each left in their contracts.