Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis step down from Pakistan Coaching roles

Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis have quit their positions as head coach and bowling coach of the national men’s team respectively. Misbah cited spending “considerable time away from my family in a bio-secure environment” because of Covid-19-related restrictions as the reason for his decision, while Waqar said that since he and Misbah had started out in their roles together, it made sense to also step away together. With New Zealand scheduled to arrive in Pakistan for a white-ball series later this month, the PCB has appointed Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq as replacement coaches of the team.

Misbah and Waqar addressed their decisions to the PCB on Monday morning, around the time the squads for the upcoming series against New Zealand and England at home, as well as the T20 World Cup, were made public. They had been appointed to their roles in September 2019, and still had a year left in their contracts.

The influence of Ramiz Raja, the PCB chairman-in-waiting, is quite apparent in the new decision. Ramiz has been nominated by Imran Khan, Pakistan’s prime minister as well as the PCB’s patron-in-chief, to the Board of Governors, and although he is not the chairman officially until September 13, he has a direct involvement in the PCB’s affairs. He’s met with all the PCB departments already, and is believed to have had provided inputs for the ODI and T20I squads.

The quarantine in Jamaica after 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 in a statement issued by the PCB. “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.
“The past 24 months have been thoroughly enjoyable and I want to thank my team and the management for their support. I wish the Pakistan cricket team best of luck in the upcoming events and will continue to support them every time they will take the field to represent Pakistan.”
Wasim Khan, the PCB’s chief executive, called Misbah and Waqar’s decision “honorable”, and said that Saqlain and Razzaq, who are both experienced coaches, were ready for the step up as the coaches.


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