Pakistan men's national cricket team head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis have decided to step down from their respective roles ahead of the Men's T20 World Cup later in 2021. In their absence, former cricketers Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq have been named as the team's interim coaches for the New Zealand series. In an official statement by the Pakistan Cricket Board, it has been confirmed that they had conveyed their decision to the board late on Monday night.
Notably, both Misbah and Waqar were appointed in September 2019 and had a year each left in their respective contracts but have pulled out just before an event like a World Cup set to be played in conditions familiar to Pakistan in UAE where they have played a lot of their cricket.
Don’t think I am in the right frame of mind for the upcoming challenges: Misbah
"The quarantine in Jamaica post the West Indies series provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the past 24 months as well as the schedule for international cricket ahead. 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 from the role," Misbah said as quoted in PCB's official release.
"I understand that 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," he added.
Bio-secure environments in the past 16 months have had their impact: Waqar
Meanwhile, Waqar said that once Misbah informed him of his decision of stepping down, it was a no-brainer for him as they had walked into the role together.
"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 collectively as a pair and now also step down together," Waqar was quoted in the same release.
"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," he further added.
Earlier on Tuesday, Pakistan announced their 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup. Click to check out.
Among a few notable omissions, veteran players like Shoaib Malik and Sarfaraz Ahmed, who captained the Pakistan team in the 2007 and 2016 T20 World Cups respectively did not get a chance in the squad for the marquee event. Pakistan are set to begin their T20 World Cup campaign against India on October 24.