Pakistan news July 27, 2010

Misbah plans to quit international cricket next year

Cricinfo staff
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Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan middle-order batsman, has plans to quit international cricket at the end of next year if the national selectors continue to ignore him. Misbah was dropped for the ongoing tour of England in favour of rookie players like Azhar Ali and Umar Amin, and his central contract with the PCB expires in December.

"I know luck is not favouring me these days and with the youngsters making their way into the squad, I was forced to think again," Misbah told the Express Tribune. "As a player, I feel sad to make such a decision but one day I had to decide when to call it a day.

"I am 36 and feel fit enough for the international arena. I'm seeking an opportunity to play the 2011 World Cup in a bid to end my international cricket on a high note. But if I'm unable to find a place in the national squad, I always have an opportunity in the domestic circuit to do so."

Misbah made his Pakistan debut in 2001 but he wasn't a regular fixture in the squad till the ICC World Twenty20 in 2007, where he emerged as a dangerous Twenty20 batsman. A loss of form through 2009 led to him being dropped, initially, for the tours of New Zealand and Australia. He was however flown in midway through the New Zealand tour to shore up an inexperienced batting order. In the interim, he struck form in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in Pakistan and that prompted the then captain, Mohammad Yousuf, to push for his recall. He last played for Pakistan in the World Twenty20 in the West Indies before being dropped for the Asia Cup and the England tour, a decision that had upset him.

"My performance in the last 12 months hasn't been up to the mark but my passion for the game remains," he said. "Therefore, I have planned a time frame to my cricketing career and decided to quit cricket at the end of 2011."