Pakistan news July 22, 2011

Waqar calls for Misbah replacement to be groomed

ESPNcricinfo staff

Waqar Younis, the Pakistan coach, has called for a young captain to be groomed as an eventual replacement to the current leader Misbah-ul-Haq, who is 37 years old.

"Being 36-37 is not very young," Waqar said. "He [Misbah] is very fit and has done very well as captain but age usually catches up, so we need to groom a young captain."

Misbah took over the Test captaincy after dramatic exits by Shahid Afridi, who retired from Tests, and Salman Butt, who was involved in the spot-fixing scandal during the tour to England in 2010. Misbah's results have been impressive - a drawn series against South Africa in UAE and a win in New Zealand. After the 2011 World Cup, Misbah had to take over the limited-overs captaincy as well.

With Afridi, who was in charge of the one-day team until recently, refusing to play under the present PCB administration headed by chairman Ijaz Butt, Misbah is set to lead Pakistan in all three forms of the game on a tour of Zimbabwe in August. Pakistan are due to play one Test, three one-day and two Twenty20 matches and Waqar said Afridi will be missed.

"Every cricketer who leaves is missed, like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and then myself were missed and, of course, Afridi will also be missed," Waqar said. "But there are other youngsters who will take their place."

Waqar also urged former greats such as Javed Miandad to help youngsters develop, particularly at the top of the order. "Whatever help can come is good because we have to take Pakistan cricket forward," he said. "Our problems in opening are old ones and we are trying to overcome these problems and I would urge former openers like Mohsin Khan, Saeed Anwar, Aamir Sohail and Mudassar Nazar to come and help the openers. Hopefully some new players will develop."