Misbah-ul-Haq has been hailed as the best Test skipper Pakistan ever had    Getty Images
Misbah-ul-Haq has been hailed as the best Test skipper Pakistan ever had Getty Images

Karachi [Pakistan] (ANI): Former Pakistan skipper Zaheer Abbas has welcomed Misbah-ul-Haq‘s decision to bid adieu to international cricket, saying it is the best time for the 42-year-old as he would retire on a high. On April 6, Misbah announced that he would retire from international cricket after the three-match Test series against West Indies beginning April 22 in Barbados. Zaheer insisted that a decision to retire doesn’t come up that easily and that it involves a lot of thinking and planning. Describing Misbah as a `great` captain, Abbas said that the Mianwali born has been successful in achieving what every skipper dreams of doing i.e to be better than his predecessors.

“A decision of retiring is a player’s own but it takes a lot of thinking before that. But for Misbah, it was the best time as he will bow out on a high,” the Express Tribune quoted Abbas as saying. “Misbah is a great captain and the most successful Test captain too which is a great achievement. A captain of a national team of any format always wants to be better than his predecessors and Misbah has been successful in doing that,” Abbas said.

“He is also the captain to play the most Test matches which has made him the most successful captain too,” he added. Echoing Zaheer’s words, former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief selector Salahuddin Sallu admitted that Misbah called it quit at the right moment before insisting that the most successful captain of our history truly deserves a rousing send-off.

“He has played his innings to become the most successful captain and now it’s the right time to leave the position. People were beginning to read his game and that was leading to the team’s poor performance. He called it quits at the best moment,” he said.

“We have to make sure that the most successful captain in our history should get deserving farewell as he has won many matches for Pakistan and lifted Pakistan to the top,” Salahuddin added. Reflecting on Misbah’s replacement, Salahuddin believes that the PCB would face a difficult task to find a player who is able to fill in the current captain’s shoes.

“A replacement of the greatest captain would be a difficult task for the board but whoever is given the responsibility would have to keep the level of captaincy, at least up to the level of Misbah,” Salahuddin said.

The Test skipper, who will turn 43 in May, had earlier asked the PCB for time to decide on his future following whitewash defeats in his last two series against Australia and New Zealand, respectively. Misbah has been at the receiving end towards the late end of his career. However, leaving the 0-2 thrashing against the Black Caps, followed by 0-3 whitewash against Australia, he has been the shining star for the side.

The captain also inspired Pakistan to the top of the ICC Test team rankings for the first time in history. Although their stint at the top was short-lived as India replaced them. Misbah has played 72 Test matches so far, scoring 4951 runs and is currently seventh on the list of Pakistan’s highest Test run-getters.

He had already retired from ODIs and T20Is after the 2015 World Cup.