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Misbah pretending to be okay with dual role

The overwhelming amounts of responsibilities have put pressure on Misbah although he does not want to show it

PHOTO: AFP

It doesn’t seem too long ago but the last Test match played in Karachi was 10 years ago. At that time Misbahul Haq was a normal cricketer as opposed to his current dual role of the head coach and chief selector. I still remember it fondly, when a massive amount of runs were scored in the National Stadium in Karachi. Sri Lanka made more than 600 runs and Pakistan responded by making more than 700 runs.

Batsmen Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera made double centuries for the guests and Pakistan’s captain Younis Khan responded with a triple century. The security was tight during that time but it has achieved full-proof status now.

The rise of the media, as opposed to the past, can be gauged by a recent press conference. The entire room was filled with cameramen and reporters. Sri Lanka’s consultant head coach Mickey Arthur was the first to enter. The difference now was that he was wearing a blue shirt instead of the green one he had donned earlier in the year. He greeted the journalists he knew in the front seats and began the press conference.

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His words made me realise how infatuated he is with Pakistan cricket. He is now in the opposing camp but still misses that feeling. He had a huge role to play in the development of players such as Babar Azam. Their recent ascent is a matter of pride for Pakistan’s former head coach.

Arthur’s manner of answering questions was friendly and he kept a smile on his face throughout. On the other hand Misbah seemed very troubled. He did not give a clear answer to many questions. If someone else had stated that “we should ask Sri Lanka to allow us to play 16 players,” the entire room might have laughed. But Misbah’s statement did not even receive a few smiles around the room. The overwhelming amounts of responsibilities have put pressure on him although he does not want to show it.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka both had practice sessions at the National Stadium in Karachi. Fans faced disappointment in Rawalpindi but the match in Karachi is expected to be different. Even though it is cold in Karachi there is no chance of rains in the coming days. We hope that the fans witness an exciting match.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of Cricket Pakistan.