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  • Misbah blames New Zealand debacle on COVID-19 protocols, injuries

    Pakistan coach Misbah-ul-Haq File Photo Pakistan coach Misbah-ul-Haq

    Pakistan coach Misbah-ul-Haq on Monday admitted that the performance of the national team was not satisfactory and believed that strict COVID-19 protocols and multiple injuries led to the debacle in New Zealand.

    He was addressing the media today where he discussed in detail about the recently concluded New Zealand series, Mohammad Amir’s controversial announcement to quit the international cricket and his future as the national cricket head coach.

    Both Misbah and bowling coach Waqar Younis have been asked to appear before the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) cricket committee on Tuesday to explain the recent series losses against New Zealand.

    The 46-year-old said that performance review is a normal practice and hoped that the committee meeting is not to grill someone.

    “Series analysis is very important and the cricket board has every right to do it,” Misbah said. “It’s a normal practice for me. I presented the performance review to bog [Board of governors] earlier, too.”

    However, the former cricketer said that they need the board’s confidence to continue. “We must not have a communication gap. We obviously need board’s confidence and can’t have uncertainty because producing end results take time,” he said.

    His comments came after some media reports suggested that the PCB is looking to replace him with a foreign coach.

    “We can’t assume things. Obviously we are there only to give report and recommendations. I hope it is not to grill someone,” he said. “It [appearing before cricket committee] is not something to be minded. We are both there for Pakistan cricket.”

    “Only MIsbah can not be held responsible for the failure.”

    Misbah said that while the team failed in all three departments, he doesn’t doubt players’ commitment to the series as everyone tried to give their best.

    “These are young players; they need more time to improve,” he said. “We must accept that opposition was better than us in all three departments. We tried our best but they played better.”

    The former cricketer added that injury-stricken squad and staying in a bio-secure bubble affected the players’ performances.

    “Covid is somehow affecting the performances of players. It’s bothering them physically and mentally. It’s a big factor; we are worried about how to continue in these circumstances,” Misbah said.

    He, however, said that he is satisfied with his team selection during his tenure as the chief selector.

    Responding to Mohammad Amir’s criticism, Misbah said there was nothing personal and he was not selected due to his poor performance.

    “Mohammad Amir has his own opinion. I have always respected the players,” he said.

    He did not go to England for personal reasons and was called in when he became available.

    “When he was inducted into the team in 2016 I supported him, don’t know why he spoke about me like this.”

    Misbah said that he would welcome the fast bowler.

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