Mani tacitly gives one-year ultimatum to Misbah

PCB chairman’s biggest worry, at the moment, is team’s performance

Mani tacitly gives one-year ultimatum to Misbah PHOTO: AFP

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani has tacitly given one-year ultimatum to national team’s head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq, after the Men in Green’s disappointing performances with the former captain at the helm.

While talking to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview, Mani explained the decision of handing dual role to Misbah bearing in mind the criticism which came with it.

“I know there is a lot of criticism but we gave dual role to Misbah because that’s the general trend in the cricketing world at the moment. The example of football is also relevant in this case because there only the manager controls the selection and coaching aspects,” he said. “Although it’s early days but if this decision does not work out, in the next year or so, we will have no hesitation in removing Misbah from the role.”

The 74-year-old brushed aside the notion that Misbah was running a one-man show despite being concerned about the team’s performance.

“Our biggest worry at the moment is team’s performance but I want to make it clear that, with regards to Misbah, there is no one-man show in Pakistan cricket at the moment,” he said. “In terms of selection, Misbah is not the only one calling the shots as he has an independent committee of six regional selectors who have a say in the selection policy and the final decision is a unanimous one.”

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“As far as coaching is concerned, we wanted to have a Pakistani incharge because we want to ensure that there is proper communication between the players which is a difficult thing to achieve in presence of a foreigner,” he added.

Mani also offered clarification over the conflict of interest that arose due to Misbah’s role as Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Islamabad United’s head coach. 

“Yes I had said earlier that there will be no conflict of interest, and I still stand by it, but in Misbah’s case we were told that he already had a contract with Islamabad United so we had to honour it,” he said.

The former International Cricket Council (ICC) president also spoke about Pakistan’s strong position in world of cricket.

“Previously we did not have a strong presence in the ICC but that is no longer the case as top board officials, including me and Wasim Khan, are part of five ICC committees which enables us to have a major say in cricketing affairs globally,” he said.

Mani also gave a positive update about Bangladesh’s tour of Pakistan, which is scheduled to take place early next year.

“The BCB security delegation was satisfied with the arrangements in Pakistan. We have also shared tour itinerary with them which includes a day-night Test,” he said. “We are laying special emphasis on Test cricket and want to ensure that we do play around eight Test matches every year, which has not been the case in previous years.”

Speaking about Prime Minister Imran Khan’s involvement in cricketing affairs, he said: “We have complete autonomy and receive no directions from the Prime Minister. I’m sure that, being a former cricketer, he understands that inorder to implement a proper structure we need time to ensure things remain in the right direction.”