Misbah is an exemplary leader: Waqar

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis says Misbah leads from the front and has stabilized the team Getty Images

Karachi: Jul 10, 2011

Pakistan coach Waqar Younis has lavished praise on Test and one-day captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, describing him as an exemplary leader and a keen learner of the game.

In a report that Waqar sent to the Pakistan cricket Board on the team players after the West Indies tour, the former pacer described Misbah as a mature player and captain.

“I have to give full credit to Misbah as he has stabilized the team and leads from the front,” Waqar wrote in his report which was published in the “Dawn” daily newspaper today.

Misbah was named Test captain last year by the PCB when Shahid Afridi had retired from Tests after leading Pakistan in just one match against Australia at Lords and than when Salman Butt was suspended in the spot-fixing case.

In May the PCB Chairman, Ijaz Butt also appointed Misbah as captain of the one-day team in place of Afridi.

“His performance is also outstanding. He makes the boys very comfortable and relaxed so they actually enjoy their cricket. He is mature and willing to learn,” Waqar said about the 37-year old batsman.

Waqar, however, noted that the one unfortunate aspect of Misbah was the age factor.

“On that account I don’t think he would be able to lead the side in the next World Cup and there I would advise the board that we should start grooming a young captain from now,” the former test captain said.

Interestingly in a recent interview, Misbah made it clear that while he had no ambitions to run after the captaincy but he would continue to play until he enjoyed the game, was fully fit and performing well.

Misbah had said that age should not be a bar for any player as long as he performs for his country and adds value to the team.

About former captain and batsman Younis Khan, Waqar said his presence in the team also had a positive effect and helped the youngsters mingle well.

“It was quite unfortunate that he had to leave the squad on the West Indies tour and returned home due to his brother’s death.”

“He was missed on the tour because he is one of the key players in the batting line-up,” Waqar wrote.

Waqar also observed that allrounder, Muhammad Hafeez has been exceptional both with bat and ball and he was timing the ball sweetly and worked with a game plan while bowling.

“He is now taking responsibility as a senior member of the team,” Waqar said.

Waqar also praised the two veteran spinners, Saeed Ajmal and Abdul Rehman describing as match-winners.

“They really try their best all the time. They listen to the advice and work to improve themselves. They are reliable and are developing into match-winners.”

Interestingly, the report has no mention of Waqar’s views on Afridi although both worked together as captain and coach since last year until the West Indies tour where they developed differences over selection matters.

Waqar is set to return to Pakistan on July 18 where he will take charge of the fast track camp currently underway in Lahore.