Misbah-ul-Haq's interest in taking over as head coach of the Pakistan national side was made official after he resigned from the PCB's cricket committee and followed it up by formally applying for the vacant position. Misbah, who is already working as camp commander for a 20-man squad ahead of the start of Pakistan's domestic season, called it "everyone's dream" to become coach of the Pakistan team.
"It has been interesting to see my name being mentioned as a future head coach of the Pakistan cricket team, but the fact is I only made the decision today," Misbah said on Monday. "I am applying for the head coach's role fully aware that the competition will be tough. I envisage there will be a few more very competent and highly qualified people applying for one of the most challenging jobs in the game."
Misbah decided to step down from the cricket committee in the wake of reports that he was being considered for the position of head coach.
The PCB needed to rebuild their coaching staff after having brought to an end the tenure of Mickey Arthur and his team earlier this month. The deadline for submitting applications concluded today, with the PCB seeking someone who was at least a Level 2 coach "with relevant experience for at least three years" with elite cricketers. It is notable that Misbah does not have three years of coaching experience - indeed, he retired less than three years ago - but with him being the only one to formally make his interest public, he is the undisputed favourite to win the role.
Ironically, one of Misbah's biggest contributions while part of the cricket committee was leading the call to bring down the curtain on Arthur's time as head coach. With the contracts of Arthur, batting coach Grant Flower, bowling coach Azhar Mahmood, and fitness trainer Grant Luden all scheduled to end on August 15, the PCB considered whether to award them extensions. Arthur and Flower, at least, had expressed an eagerness to continue. Arthur was given a chance to present his report following the World Cup, which was widely seen as a chance for him to defend his record and make a case for an extension.
However, the decision not to extend the contracts was arrived at following a five-hour PCB cricket committee meeting. ESPNcricinfo understands that Arthur wanted two more years on the job, but the recommendations of the cricket committee, on which Misbah was an influential voice, advised against a renewal. Now, mere weeks on, Misbah appears the frontrunner to succeed the man he played under as captain for a year.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent