Misbah offers mea culpa after Sri Lanka disaster


Pakistan’s cricket captain Misbah-ul Haq on Tuesday admitted his failure with the bat was a “big factor” in his team’s disastrous tour of Sri Lanka.

Pakistan were beaten 2-0 in the Tests and lost the three match one-day series 2-1 in August.

Veteran Misbah has held Pakistan’s frail batting order together since being appointed captain in 2010, and was the world’s leading scorer in one-day cricket last year with 1,373 runs.

But age appeared to be catching up with the 40-year-old in Sri Lanka where he scratched out a total of just 67 runs over both Tests and the same in the three one-dayers.

“If I take pressure it won’t solve the problem, my contribution as a batsman was not there and it was a big factor,” he said.

“I should do more work on my basics and try to come back in form as soon as possible because when you play as a senior batsman in the team your contribution is very important,” he added.

He added that lack of match practice — the tour was Pakistan’s first since the Asia Cup and World Twenty20 in February-March this year — had also played a role in the defeats.

“We lacked match practice and we couldn’t handle it,” said Misbah whose team was destroyed by Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath who took 23 wickets in two Tests.

Newly appointed coach Waqar Younis and batting coach Grant Flower have come under fire since the losses but Misbah said it was too early to pronounce judgement.

“Whatever staff is with you, they try to help you and do the hard work with the players and work with the team, but sometimes when you come into such a situation where results don’t come, it needs some time… before the next series we have time to eradicate whatever weaknesses we have.”

Misbah and Younis met Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan on Tuesday to review the defeats and plan for their next two series against Australia and New Zealand — both in United Arab Emirates starting from October.

Pakistan plan to hold a training camp later this month to tune up for the series against Australia which starts with a Twenty20 international in Dubai on October 5.