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Islamabad United part ways with head coach Misbah-ul-Haq for upcoming PSL season
Islamabad United News

Islamabad United part ways with head coach Misbah-ul-Haq for upcoming PSL season

Islamabad United have decided against renewing the expired contract of head coach Misbah-ul-Haq for the sixth edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) owing to the new conflict of interest rules introduced by the PCB.

Misbah is presently serving as the Pakistan head coach, which means he will have to bring an end to his year-long association with two-time PSL winners Islamabad United.

The 46-year-old former Pakistan skipper had taken over from Dean Jones as the Islamabad coach for PSL 2020 despite being appointed in the dual capacity of head coach and chief selector for the national side.

The PCB had then reasoned that allowing Misbah to coach in a high-profile T20 tournament will help him hone skills and gain experience.

Jones subsequently signed with Karachi Kings, leading them to the playoffs of PSL 5 before the competition was postponed in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak following the league stage. Karachi later clinched their maiden PSL trophy with Wasim Akram assuming the role of the stand-in coach after the tragic demise of Jones in September.

Meanwhile, Misbah's maiden PSL coaching stint saw Islamabad United crash out of the first round as they finished last on the six-team table.

Contrastingly, he boasts a tremendous record with the franchise as a player, captaining them to PSL title wins in 2016 and 2018.

“I obviously have an attachment to Islamabad United and the relationships that we have built over the past five years. But with back to back World T20s coming up I want to focus on the PSL from a purely neutral perspective," Misbah said in a statement released by United.

"For anyone involved in Pakistan Cricket their national commitments should always be the priority, and for that, I believe I will have to sacrifice my franchise commitments. I wish the best of luck to Islamabad United for PSL 6, and the foundation we have built in that franchise will hopefully be a ladder to success for them for this year and future PSLs to come," he added.

Misbah is currently in New Zealand with the Pakistan cricket team, who are set to take on the hosts for the forthcoming two-match Test series. His next international assignment will be the home fixtures against South Africa towards the end of January with Mohammad Wasim replacing him as the chief selector.

Islamabad United extended gratitude to Misbah's services to the team since the inception of the glamorous T20 event.

“Misbah has been an integral part of Islamabad United since being picked in the draft of PSL Season 1 in December 2015, and has been instrumental in making us the most successful team of the PSL," said team owner Ali Naqvi. "We will miss his experience, guidance and wisdom but we respect the constraints of PCB’s new rules and his commitments to the National side. We wish him the best in his professional as well as personal life.”