Lahore: Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis have stepped down from their respective roles, said a release by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday. Both Misbah and Waqar were appointed in September 2019 and had a year left in their contracts.

The PCB has announced that Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq will join the team management as interim coaches for the New Zealand series. Mushtaq currently serves as the Head of International Player Development at the National High Performance Centre. Razzaq was the coach of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa team which won three trophies across all formats in 2020/21 domestic cricket season.

It also said that the team management for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will be appointed in due course. The resignations of Misbah and Waqar come just a few hours after the squad for the home series and T20 World Cup was announced.

“The quarantine in Jamaica post the West Indies series provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the past 24 months as well as the schedule for international cricket ahead. Considering that I would have had to continue to spend considerable time away from my family and that too in a bio-secure environment, I have decided to step down from the role,” said Misbah in a media release.

“I understand that the timing may not be ideal but I don’t think I am in the right frame of mind for the upcoming challenges and it makes sense for someone fresh to step-in and take the side forward. The past 24 months have been thoroughly enjoyable and I want to thank my team and the management for their support. I wish the Pakistan cricket team best of luck in the upcoming events and will continue to support them every time they will take the field to represent Pakistan,” added Misbah.

“After Misbah shared with me his decision and future plans, it was a straightforward one for me to resign as we had walked into the roles together, had worked collectively as a pair and now also step down together,” said Waqar.

“Working with the Pakistan bowlers, including the youngsters, has been most satisfying as they have now started to show progress. Bio-secure environments in the past 16 months have had their impact, something we had never experienced during our playing days.”

“The next eight months will be busy and exciting for the Pakistan team and, like in the past, I will continue to back and cheer them. I want to thank each and every member of the Pakistan cricket team set-up as we stayed united in good and bad days, and hope there will be more brighter days ahead.”

The CEO of PCB, Wasim Khan, thanked the duo for their services. “The PCB understands and respects Misbah’s decision. Cricket in this unprecedented bio-secure world has not been easy for anyone and Misbah has clearly taken into account the intense six months of non-stop cricket ahead.”

“In the past 24 months, Misbah has given his very best to the team and we wish him well in his future endeavors. It has been an honorable decision by Waqar and we thank him sincerely for his immense work and commitment over the past two years and wish him the very best in the future.

“Both Misbah and Waqar have given so much to Pakistan cricket over a long period of time and for that they deserve a huge amount of respect.”

The Pakistan team will assemble in Islamabad on September 8 ahead of New Zealand flying into the country on September 11. The white-ball series will start with three ODIs in Rawalpindi followed by five T20Is in Lahore.