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Misbah urges ICC to reconsider

09 December, 2013

KARACHI: Pakistan's Test and One-Day International captain Misbahul Haq has emphasised that the cricket fraternity and International Cricket Council (ICC) must understand that the country needs the return of international cricket.

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The national team has been playing away from home for close to five years, and the players have often said that it is extremely hard for them to be away from their families.

"I think it's time that the ICC and other cricket nations support Pakistan because international cricket away from home has tough demands on the players," Misbah told The Express Tribune.

"Jonathan Trott's example should be an eye-opener for the world. Imagine what the players have gone through in all these years.

"I can assure you it's not easy to be playing away from home and performing all the time. Not only has it got psychological consequences, but it has also stopped the growth of our local cricket."

'Cautious approach required to avoid injuries'

Misbah agreed that the team management must not overburden important players especially if they are carrying niggles.

He agreed that injured fast bowler Mohammad Irfan was overused in the 'home' series against South Africa.

"In the future we would have to be extra cautious with our important players," he said.

"We were forced to play Irfan even when he was carrying a niggle and unfortunately he eventually broke down. This is the reason we rested to Saeed Ajmal recently as well."

Morale high for SL series

Misbah added that Pakistan will go in the series against Sri Lanka on a high as the morale of the players has been boosted following the win in South Africa.

"It is a perfect opportunity for us to win back to back series as we've got the momentum after winning against the Proteas," he stated.

He explained that the core of the future team is in shape, yet there are always slots available for exceptional players such as left-arm pacer Usman Shinwari, who impressed in the recently concluded Faysal Bank T20 Cup.

"Shinwari has emerged from nowhere with an ability that is unique and which hasn't gone unnoticed," he said. "The selectors and I have discussed his performance and he can be used as a surprise weapon against any team."

Meanwhile, Misbah revealed that the one-day series win against South Africa is a memorable one for him, but he still regards the 3-0 Test whitewash of England in 2012 as the best series of his captaincy career.

"To win against South Africa at their home is really remarkable. The emergence of youngsters such as Bilawal Bhatti, Anwar Ali, Sohaib Maqsood and Ahmed Shehzad is a positive sign."

"But I still feel that to beat England in the three-Test series when they were number one is probably the biggest win of my career as a player and captain."

End.