Pakistan captain says he will continue playing Test matches as long as he remains fit to do so.
Pakistan cricket captain Misbah-ul-Haq said on Sunday he would quit one-day cricket after the World Cup although he would continue to play Tests.
Haq, 40, becomes Pakistan’s second senior player after Shahid Afridi to announce his one-day retirement after the World Cup, which is being staged in Australia and New Zealand from Feb. 14 to March 29.
“It’s my final decision and I have informed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) of my decision,” said Haq. “It would be the icing on the cake if I retire with a World Cup win and I will do my best to do that. I’ve thought about this for a long time. The World Cup is an important event and I want to finish on a winning note,” said Haq, who will be playing his second World Cup after featuring in Pakistan’s semifinal finish in 2011.
Haq has played 153 one-day internationals, scoring 4,669 runs at an average of 42.83 with 37 fifties, the most runs without a 100 in all one-day internationals. Haq, who took over the Test captaincy in 2010, replaced Afridi as one-day leader in May 2011. He quit Twenty20 cricket in 2012.
“I will play Test cricket as long as I am fit,” said Haq, whose 100 off just 56 balls, against Australia in Abu Dhabi in November, equaled West Indian Viv Richards’ Test record for the fastest ton.
Haq hopes his impending departure, along with Afridi’s and the probable retirement of Younis Khan, will not affect Pakistan’s one-day team. “I think young players will have to take responsibility and they are capable of that,” he said, refusing to name his successor as captain of the one-day team. “I can’t take any names, its up to the PCB to decide.”
He said teams survive when senior players quit. “Look, Sri Lanka will soon not have Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara but they will survive. So I hope the next generation in Pakistan will have to step up and lift the team,” he added.
“I am a satisfied man. I have achieved what I wanted to and it will be great if I win the World Cup. Pakistan’s one-day win in India and South Africa in the last two years are my greatest achievements in my captaincy and I cherish that.”
Pakistan will fly to New Zealand on Jan. 21 to play two one-day internationals on Jan. 31 and Feb. 3. They will play two warm-up games on Feb. 9 and 11 before taking on India in their first World Cup match in Adelaide on Feb. 15.
Besides Haq and Afridi, Younis Khan is also likely to quit one-day internationals but the senior batsman has not yet taken a final decision.
A PCB spokesman confirmed Haq’s decision. “Misbah met PCB chairman a few days back and informed him of his decision,” confirmed PCB spokesman Agha Akbar. “He has taken a graceful step and we want to give him a worthy send-off on Jan. 13 before the start of the short training camp and he will formally hold a press conference.”