Test captain says he will play domestic cricket while waiting for Pakistan’s next Test tour.
Pakistan’s Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq said Monday he had signed a contract with a Bangladesh Twenty20 side, deferring retirement plans after his side’s 2-0 win against England last week.
The 41-year-old had hinted that last week’s Test series could be his swansong, but later said he might be persuaded to return for next year’s four-match series hosted by England. The series will be Pakistan’s next Test assignment and, having retired from one day cricket this year and Twenty20 internationals in 2012, Haq is set to face eight months out of national colors.
In order to keep his eye in, he said he wants to play domestic cricket and has signed a contract with the Rangpur Riders in the Bangladesh Premier League. “I will be playing in the Bangladesh league and hope that this opportunity helps me carry on,” said Haq. “I need to play to motivate myself for the England tour.”
Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Shaharyar Khan had asked Haq to delay his Test retirement until at least the next tour in order to give Pakistan a longer transition period.
“I have to look for ways and means to motivate myself as its tough when you play only one format of the game,” Haq said after the team’s win in last week’s Test in Sharjah. “If I am able to motivate myself then it will be easier,” he said. “It’s a challenge to play after long gaps.”
Haq is currently ranked 10 in the world Test batting rankings. Since taking over as captain in 2010, he has led Pakistan to 20 wins in 42 Tests—the highest number of victories for any Pakistani skipper.
With last week’s victory over England, he took Pakistan to number two in the world rankings for the first time in almost a decade—an achievement made all the more remarkable given that the side has not played Tests at home since militants attacked a visiting Sri Lankan team in 2009.