Pakistan news May 10, 2012

Misbah steps down as Twenty20 captain

ESPNcricinfo staff

Misbah-ul-Haq has stepped down* as Pakistan's Twenty20 captain and Mohammad Hafeez has been named his successor for the Sri Lanka series in June.

Misbah had captained Pakistan in eight games. His last Twenty20 assignment was the three-match series against England in the UAE in February, which England won 2-1. Misbah scored 67 runs there, with a strike-rate of just over 80.

Hafeez said he was looking forward to the additonal responsibility. "Representing Pakistan is always an honour and captaining it is more than that. Now being a captain, I don't see any added pressure," Hafeez said. "The strategy might be different but while implementing them I will take my coaches and the PCB on board to get the best results for the team."

Fast bowler Mohammad Sami, who last played for Pakistan in 2010, made a comeback. Sami had taken only one wicket in five matches for Karachi Dophins in the domestic Faysal Bank Super Eight T20 Cup in March, but had finished as the joint leading wicket-taker in the Bangladesh Premier League for Duronto Rajshahi. He was particularly successful against Dhaka Gladiators, claiming a hat-trick and then figures of 5 for 6 against them in two league games.

The new faces in the squad include Sialkot Stallions batsmen Shakeel Ansar, who came into the limelight with his maiden Twenty20 hundred against Peshawar Panthers in March in the Faysal Bank Super Eight T20 Cup, and Haris Sohail who went through that tournament scoring 173 runs in four matches without being dismissed. Left-arm spinner Raza Hasan, who claimed 12 wickets in five games in the Super Eight T20 Cup for Sialkot, also made it to the squad.

Pakistan will play two Twenty20s, five ODIs and three Tests between June 1 and July 12 in Sri Lanka.

*This story has been updated to reflect that Misbah-ul-Haq has not announced an official retirement from Twenty20 cricket

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