Cricket Committee gives Misbah, Waqar benefit of doubt, expresses ‘dissatisfaction’ over squad’s performance

Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis. — Photo: File

The Pakistan Cricket Board’s Cricket Committee on Tuesday recommended head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis’s retention but expressed dissatisfaction over the team’s performance against New Zealand in the recent series.

The coaches were under fire after the Kiwis thrashed Pakistan, with the Men In Green winning only one out of three T20Is, and losing all matches of the Test series.

Heading into today’s meeting, speculation was rife that Misbah and Waqar’s jobs could be on the line if committee members were to be unimpressed with their explanations, according to Geo Super.

PCB, in a statement after the meeting, said that the committee headed by former Test cricketer Saleem Yousuf, “expressed its dissatisfaction over the side’s performances” but “acknowledged the fact that the team had competed in the unprecedented and challenging COVID-19 circumstances”.

“The committee observed that due to the above-mentioned situation, a few experienced players were absent and that, in turn, contributed towards the overall below-par performances,” said the statement.

The committee also recommended that the PCB continue to support and back the team management, whilst suggesting that the next performance appraisal be conducted following the home series against South Africa.

“The PCB Cricket Committee unanimously agreed that the backroom staff needed to provide absolute clarity on their collective strategy and approach so that they could be evaluated and assessed against those objectives at the next meeting,” read the statement.

The committee urged for more “scientific and data-based” strategy to be adopted but largely gave the benefit of the pandemic to the team and its officials.

It scheduled another review after the South Africa series but warned that this time “there will be no points for second place”.