Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq lamented country’s deplorable domestic cricket structure and disagreed with the notion that a change in the national side leadership would better team’s performances.
After Pakistan’s abysmal run Down Under, the PCB is contemplating having one captain for all three formats. At the moment Pakistan’s One-Day International side is led by Azhar Ali, Twenty20 International side by Sarfraz Ahmed, and the Test side by Misbah.
"Make anyone captain - Azhar or Sarfraz - but unless we solve our problem deep down, whoever comes in will face problems," Misbah said in Faisalabad on Wednesday. "We have to improve domestic cricket and groom talent. If we want to do well in England, Australia and South Africa, we have to give the players maximum experience of playing there. If a player keeps on playing here [in Asia] and all of a sudden does a tour of Australia or South Africa after six years, it will be difficult for him [to perform]."
Pakistan were the last Test nation to launch a franchise-based T20 league in 2016. As expected it brought forward raw talent in the likes of Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, and Mohammad Asghar. Misbah, however, said that Pakistan should not expect much from the league.
"Don't start thinking that there will be change in the team after PSL," he said. "I think we have to improve [the domestic structure] overall. It is just a tournament. Obviously players will come from it and it will give them exposure, [but] otherwise we have to do a lot of work. We have to bring our domestic cricket close to international standards for whatever talent comes through from the Under-16s and Under-19s. We have to prepare better pitches and improve the standards of our cricket in domestic set-up."
After being at the top of the ICC Test Rankings in August-September last year, Pakistan lost six Tests in a row. Misbah’s, whose batting form dipped during the New Zealand and Australia Tests, was severely criticised for the poor run Down Under.
In a response to his detractors, Misbah said: "We need consistency in the thinking of our nation, and then there will be consistency in our team."
"If your thinking is not consistent and it changes after one match, then the team's performance will also be like that.
"If you are talking about me - I retired one year ago, but at that time the whole nation said I should keep on touring. Now the whole nation is saying that I should be ashamed of myself and go. If you do such things, nobody will be ready to become captain. It's not necessary you win every series, it's not necessary you perform in every series. One can put in his best effort. Our views change if you don't perform in four matches, despite performing for six years."