Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis resign as Pakistan coaches

Duo cite bio-bubble fatigue for stepping down ahead of T20 World Cup

Misbah-ul-Haq, centre, has stepped down as Pakistan cricket coach with the T20 World Cup two months away. AFP
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Misbah-ul-Haq has stepped down as coach of Pakistan, less than two months before the start of the T20 World Cup in UAE.

Misbah, along with the side’s bowling coach Waqar Younis, told the Pakistan Cricket Board their decision on Monday morning.

Each had a year left to run on contracts they signed in 2019.

Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq have been placed in interim charge for the limited-overs series against New Zealand.

The management for the T20 World Cup, which starts on October 17, will be appointed in due course, according to the PCB.

“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,” Misbah said.

“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.”

Waqar said he had chosen to follow Misbah, after the head coach told him his plan.

“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,” Waqar said.

“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.

“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 brighter days ahead.”

The news followed a few hours after Pakistan had announced their squad for the T20 World Cup, with Shoaib Malik and Sarfaraz Ahmed the big-name absentees.

“The PCB understands and respects Misbah’s decision,” Wasim Khan, the PCB chief executive, said.

“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.”

Updated: September 06, 2021, 9:20 AM