It's time to give importance to Pakistan cricket team again: Misbah

Misbah-Ul-Haq poses with the trophy after beating England in the Test series AFP

Dubai: Feb 6, 2012

Winning captain Misbahul Haq said his team s 3-0 routing of world number one England sends a strong message to the cricketing world that Pakistan is a power and should be ignored no more.

Misbah s men won the third and final Test by 71 runs on the fourth day at Dubai Stadium here on Monday to seal the first-ever series whitewash in all Pakistan-England Tests.

And that, Misbah believed, will go a long way in further establishing Pakistan, which has not lost a series since August 2010, as a global power.

“We showed the world again that we are a power in the cricketing world,” said Misbah, 37. “Now, it s time to give importance to the Pakistan team again.”

Misbah said Pakistan had emerged from various problems surrounding the team, notably the spot-fixing scandal on their tour of England in 2010 which ended in lengthy bans on Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer.

“That was a big ask for a team, you can say we just came out of such problems and I think the way the team came out and the way the team is progressing, it s a wonderful thing,” said Misbah, who took over in October 2010.

Since then Pakistan have won nine of their 15 Tests, lost one and drew five.

“Everybody has to look out for Pakistan cricket because everybody was just ignoring our cricket, our team and lot of things were said about the team. Our performance should be recognised and Pakistan cricket should be recognised.

“We didn t get the edge in international fixtures and now we must be given an edge in the international scheduling,” said Misbah.

Misbah demanded the return of international cricket to Pakistan, suspended in the wake of terrorists attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.

“You can t keep away a nation from international cricket after this performance. The whole world, the ICC, the playing nations should think about it and revive our international cricket.

“How long we can play like this? We go home for four days and then we play our home series outside (the country).”

“It s almost one year now that I haven t stayed at home for not more than a month, it s a difficult thing for cricketers.”

Misbah said nobody expected the 3-0 win.

“We were expecting that England would have problems here because of the slowness of the wickets. Our bowlers really bowled well on these wickets, but we were not expecting these sort of results to come.”(AFP)