Misbahul Haq (L) and Waqar Younis (R), appointed as head coach and bowling coach respectively in 2019. PCB Twitter photo
Gulf Today Report
In a shocking development, the head coach of the Pakistan national cricket team Misbah-ul Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis have quit their respective roles, ahead of the T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in the UAE and Oman, informed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
Misbah, who had tested positive for COVID-19 at the conclusion of the team's tour of West Indies last month and forced to quarantine in Jamaica, cited family concerns and bio-secure bubbles as the reason behind his decision to quit.
The resignation of Misbah and Waqar leaves Pakistan cricket team preparations for next month's World Cup in tatters.
Former cricketers Abdul Razzaq and Saqlain Mushtaq have been appointed as interim coaches following the departure of Misbah and Waqar for the upcoming limited-overs series against New Zealand and T20s against
England before the mega event in the UAE, PCB further said.
“In due course, board will appoint the team management for the Twenty20 World Cup,” PCB added.
Wasim Khan, the CEO of PCB, thanked the outgoing coaches for their services and efforts during their tenure and wished them very best for their future.
The 47-year-old, who took over as head coach in September 2019, said he had made the decision while undergoing mandatory quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 following Pakistan’s tour of the West Indies last week.
Misbah stayed in the West Indies to complete quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus in Jamaica during the recent series of four T20s and two Tests.
"The quarantine time provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the past 24 months, future commitments and bio-bubble environment and on considering that I made the decision," Misbah said in a statement released by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
"I understand 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,” Misbah said.
"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.” Waqar echoed Misbah’s views.
The PCB press release has Waqar quoted as saying: "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 as a pair and now also step down together.
"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.”
Separately, Waqar said in a tweet that it had been an "honour" serving Pakistan. It was always hard to say goodbye, the former bowling coach said while wishing "best of luck" to the sports.
"Let today be the day you learn the grace of letting go & the power of moving on," he added.
With no crowds to bid farewell to the national hero because of coronavirus restrictions, the Twenty20 World Cup winner bowed out to a guard of honour from teammates and opponents after his final match in Rawalpindi on Friday.
"There have been so many great ones over the years and I am confident that the future will be bright again," added Waqar, who formed a celebrated partnership with left-arm quick Wasim Akram and is now Pakistan's bowling coach.
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