Misbah rules out stepping down

Misbah-ul-Haq (Getty)
Misbah-ul-Haq (Getty)

Karachi - A defiant Misbah-ul-Haq has ruled out stepping down as Pakistan cricket captain despite the team's poor performance in recent times and strong criticism of his leadership.

Under him, Pakistan lost a test in Zimbabwe in September and were thumped 4-1 in the just-concluded one-day series in the United Arab Emirates.

Misbah salvaged some personal reputation by emerging as the leading scorer in one-day internationals this year with 1119 runs from 26 matches but many, including former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, felt his batting lacked aggression and that he was uninspiring as a leader.

"I have no intentions of quitting. I am doing well and as long as I am in form, I will continue to play for my country," Misbah, 39, told Reuters.

"As far as captaincy is concerned, it is an honour to lead your country and in the end, the board takes a decision ... I have no issues with what they decide," he said.

The right-hand batsman has a 73.39 strike rate in one day internationals but his critics believe it was not enough.

"All those people who say I am too slow and not aggressive should first check their stats ... I have been the most consistent scorer for the team in both formats," Misbah said.

He insisted cricket was a team game and he alone could not be held responsible for recent debacles.

"Everyone has to contribute in cricket and one player cannot win you a match ... unfortunately our batting has struggled badly this year and it is something we need to work on," Misbah said.

A senior member of the Pakistan cricket board recently said one should not expect the team to win when a pack of lions was led by a "jackal".

"If standing firm under pressure out in the middle and scoring runs makes you a jackal then I am a jackal," said Misbah.

Pakistan are due to tour South Africa this month to play three one dayers and two Twenty20 matches.

Their Australian coach Dav Whatmore has already confirmed he would not seek an extension of his two-year contract when it expires in February.

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