Faisalabad v Sunrisers, CLT20 qualifier, Mohali

Misbah rues lack of international exposure

ESPNcricinfo staff

September 19, 2013

Comments: 17 | Text size: A | A

Faisalabad Wolves' Misbah-ul-Haq top scored with 46, Faisalabad Wolves v Otago Volts, Champions League qualifiers, Mohali, September 17, 2013
Misbah-ul-Haq: "There is a mental barrier when you have not played at the international level" © BCCI
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Misbah-ul-Haq, the Faisalabad Wolves captain, has said a lack of international exposure is hurting the development of young cricketers in Pakistan. Pakistan have not hosted an international match since March 2009 after a terrorist attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore.

"Definitely, it has had a huge effect," Misbah said in regards to the attack. "When there is international cricket in your country, there is a positive impact on your cricketers. If there is no international cricket, and you don't get to see players in action, it makes a difference to your own team and to the players currently playing for the national team. When you are playing in your country, the confidence you gain from performing at home helps when you play abroad."

Faisalabad were knocked out of the Champions League after losing their second straight match. The batsmen, apart from Misbah, struggled against international quality bowlers and failed to put up competitive totals, which Misbah attributed to a lack of quality cricket. "I have said it earlier in Pakistan too that exposure and skills will only improve when you play more cricket. The more you play under pressure, the more you will learn to handle it, and you will become an expert at handling situations.

"It is unfortunate for Pakistan that there is no such cricket there, which we need to think about quickly," he said. "Right in front of your eyes, you can see players from all parts of the world come here to play the IPL. There are different leagues in other countries and you can see a tangible difference. You can see that in Indian cricket, young players are mature by the time they come into international cricket. They know how to handle pressure, how to build an innings, how to respond with the ball under pressure."

When asked about the manner in which his team were ousted, with an eight-wicket loss to Otago Volts followed by a seven-wicket defeat to Sunrisers Hyderabad, Misbah chose to take a pragmatic approach. "When you lose games, you are disappointed but I think it's a good experience for the team. Most of the guys haven't played any international event.

"By playing in a tournament such as this, they come to know of the demands at the international level. It's a big ask for them to come straightaway and perform here. Any player who plays at this level needs a little bit more exposure and experience, which we don't have. They can learn about how to improve, how they are going to perform, how they are going to get ready for this.

"There is a mental barrier, when you have not played at the international level. When you play at the highest level, you cross that barrier and break through. Then slowly, you conquer those barriers. The more times you cross the barrier, your ability will improve that much more and you will gain more experience too. You learn from your opportunities. They (the squad) have got three matches here. It will help them in the future, I am sure."

Saeed Ajmal, who is the only other member of the team with significant international experience, has been assisting Misbah in teaching the rest of the squad how to handle the pressures of playing on this kind of stage. "We try to tell them what the demands of international cricket are and how to handle pressure," Misbah said. "How to prepare yourself for this kind of cricket. Whenever we play, we work hard with them to overcome this. They did that at the domestic level, but this is a different scenario. A different platform for them. "

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by TNAmarkFromIndia on (September 20, 2013, 16:00 GMT)

It's not just IPL. I think Indian cricket is benefiting a great deal because of a strong domestic structure and also due to regular U19 and 'A' tours. Hate the BCCI all you want but they are doing a great job of grooming the next generation of Indian players. Pakistan probably can't have an IPL-style tournament of their own because international players may stay away from the country, but what they can do is improve the structure of domestic cricket in the country and have regular tours for the U19 and 'A' teams. Also, sending their fringe players to have lengthy stints in English or Australian domestic cricket could help.

Posted by abdulashikkhan.m on (September 20, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

To those who compare Dravid and Misbah.. They both are never same. to that guy who said when dravid was playing india were losing or drawing a test match. When he was playing, he was the backbone and he was the one who stood with those people who scored huge runs. with dravid as captain we won a test match in southafrica and series in west indies and england. so dont compare dravid with misbah. misbah is good but he can never become dravid. dravid was vital and important contributor when india won matches all over the world. so dont compare them

Posted by   on (September 20, 2013, 5:24 GMT)

Somebody wrongly points out that Misbah and Dravid have similar approach to batting and captaincy.. That would be comparing chalk and cheese.. Until the end of his career, Dravid could make humungous centuries at will.. misbah does not have the apetite nor the technique for that.. Younus Khan would be a correct comparison.. He is probably Pakistan's most underrated cricketers.. Not Misbah.. As for Dravid's captaincy goes, he won a test series in England, drew a series in SA when they had Pollock and Steyn still playing.. Annihilated any team that came to India.. This is not just Dravid's accomplishments.. India was a very strong team built under Saurav.. I think the only series Dravid lot was against Pak in 2006..

Posted by Equanimous on (September 20, 2013, 2:10 GMT)

Sad statements from the ambassador of a country with a proud cricketing history. Statements betray a defeatist mindset. If he has the attitude that people have to depend on others for their pursuit of excellence and well being he will strengthen the pessimistic attitude he had already infused in the national team. I wish Fazal mehmood could tell him that there wasn't a lot of international cricket in Pakistan before he went to England. Or maybe misbah could talk to the soutafrica team of 1992. I think it would have been better if misbah had just said , hey we lost , we weren't good enough this time but we will try to get better. Instead he seems to be saying , we will get worse. Not the words of a leader.

Posted by Chaudry_Cricket on (September 19, 2013, 22:04 GMT)

Misbah has made some sensible comments here. But what we need to do is improve our domestic cricket.

I propose we have 5 state teams and 1 capital team (Punjab, Balochistan, NWF, Sind, Azad Kashmir and the capital team Islamabad). We should use red kookubura balls in F.C cricket and white balls in List A and T20 cricket. We should get help from the ICC to help us produce juicy pitches and enhance curator skills. 1 domestic tournament should be held for a minimum 1 month duration. Each state has to submit a 30man list before a tourney and only pick 16 players to play the tourney they should pick (3 openers, 1 w.k, 4 middle order bats, 2 all-rounders, 4 fast bowlers, 1 offspinner and 1 legspinner). This way talent is in abundance and forced to give their best as competition will be tougher. State boards should be lured with money and forced to invest in club cricket and school cricket to make sure they pick the best players. Coaching standards need to improve.

PCB DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!!

Posted by ProdigyA on (September 19, 2013, 16:56 GMT)

I thought talent grew on trees in Pak, what happened suddenly. This loss is nothing compared to the loss against Zim that too in a Test match.

Posted by   on (September 19, 2013, 15:50 GMT)

I think we should look forward and not just rely on players to play IPL or pakistani cricketers being helped by BCCI to have a show in India. The foreign teams need to be encouraged at high level by Government. I think the time is not far away, we have seen lots of new talent in Pakistani team it doesn't really matter that FW didn't had any performers. But there is no lack of talent. And i really hope that Pakistani Govt. makes sure that people get back cricket in Pakistan which they love the most.

Posted by asim229 on (September 19, 2013, 14:44 GMT)

Regarding the comparison of Misbah and Dravid I agree that both have similar approach to batting and captaincy but why adapt an approach we all know that failed in the past. When Dravid was playing regularly in ODIs and captaining the side then india used to hardly won any ODI series and always used to draw the test matches and had lower ranking. At that time the No1 team in the world Australia used to play aggressively and they even played with the runrate of above 4 in tests and used to bat out other teams with aggressive play.Later it was the positive captaincy of ganguly and emergence of players like MS.Dhoni and Yuvraj who laid the foundation of India being No1 team.Todays pak team can easily be compared to indian team of 90s in which everyone including captain is just playing for their averages and survival.

Posted by   on (September 19, 2013, 14:12 GMT)

One can easily compare Misbah with what Dravid was for India. They always criticized him for being slow, non-flamboyant, uni-dimensional and made only for test cricket. Yet, here we are. Dravid has more than 10000 ODI runs with an astounding average and an equally impressive strike rate. He may not have had the elegance of a Yuvraj or power of a Dhoni but he always got the job done. Something similar can be said about Misbah. He lacks the elegance of an Anwar or power of Afridi. Yet, To his misfortune, he finds himself alone in this spot with absolutely no support. Once in a blue moon, seniors like Hafeez or Younis make some runs and the team wins. There is no dearth of bowling talent in Pakistan but it looks very unfortunate to see Misbah waging a lone battle where everyone else is still wondering how to score a decent one when at the crease. For the sake of world cricket and Misbah himself, I hope international teams start playing in Pakistan in near future if not immediately.

Posted by applethief on (September 19, 2013, 12:39 GMT)

@xtrafalgarx Neither have Pakistan really. Even during a disastrous tour like 2010 in England, they still managed a convincing test match win. And in the 2006 Oval test that was forfeited, they had England completely on the ropes. Australia aren't whipping boys at home, they gave South Africa a tough run of it recently, but no-one expects Pakistan to be convincingly whitewashed at the start of a tour. Even their lost series to South Africa had plenty of moments where they had the momentum - better discipline and that series could have been 2-1 to SA, or possibly 1-1

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