Sethi backs under-fire Misbah to lead against SA next month

I can’t hold their bats to make them play sensibly all the time,” Misbah was quoted as saying in his meeting with the PCB. -File photo

I can’t hold their bats to make them play sensibly all the time,” Misbah was quoted as saying in his meeting with the PCB. -File photo

DAWN, LAHORE, 24th SEPTEMBER 2013: Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq on Monday received full backing of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) caretaker chairman Najam Sethi to lead the team in the challenging series against South Africa, scheduled to begin in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Oct 14.

Misbah, who despite his fine performances with the bat, has come under fire for losing a Test and a One-day International to the lowly-ranked Zimbabwe in the recently-concluded series.

The seasoned batsman, in his meeting with Sethi, expressed his deep concern over the scathing criticism from critics following the Zimbabwe tour, well informed sources told Dawn.

But Sethi, reposing full confidence in Misbah, asked him to prepare himself to lead the team in the upcoming series against South Africa.

Sethi said the PCB does not believe his (Misbah’s) performance played any negative role in the two defeats on the Zimbabwe tour and he should not worry too much about it.

It may also be mentioned here that even the newly-appointed manager, former Test captain Moin Khan, in his report to the PCB has suggested that Misbah needs to bring some change in his attitude but he is otherwise a fine captain.

Sources said Misbah discussed the Zimbabwe series at length with the chairman and explained the reasons behind his long stay at the wicket at times during the Tests and insisted that he tried his best to motivate the players.

“I can’t hold their bats to make them play sensibly all the time but I feel that with me batting for longer hours and steering the team out of crisis, the rest of the batsmen should also get inspired to play longer innings,” Misbah was quoted as saying in the meeting.

He advised the chairman to consider in-form players for the South Africa series and to strictly select them on their performance at the domestic and international level.

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