Pakistan cricket head coach Misbah resigns in blow to World Cup plans

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.

FILE: Pakistan's cricket coach Misbah-ul-Haq speaks during a press conference in Lahore on 11 January 2021. Picture: AFP

LAHORE - Pakistan cricket head coach Misbah-ul-Haq resigned Monday, citing family concerns and bio-bubble restrictions in a move that leaves team preparations for next month's World Cup in tatters.

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.

"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).

Misbah admitted the timing of his decision - which came as Pakistan named a 15-man squad for the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in the United Arab Emirates next month - "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 said.

Bowling coach Waqar Younis also resigned Monday, saying Misbah's decision had prompted him to step down.

"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, a legendary former fast bowler, was quoted as saying in the PCB release.

Misbah, appointed chief selector in 2019 before leaving the post after a year, coached Pakistan in 16 Tests, with the team winning seven, losing six and drawing three.

Under him Pakistan managed to win six of their 11 ODIs, with four losses and one no result, as well as secure 16 wins in 34 Twenty20 internationals, losing 13 and five no results.

PCB said former off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq and allrounder Abdul Razzaq will act as interim coaches for the series against New Zealand starting later this month.

"The team management for the T20 World Cup will be appointed in due course," the group said.

Local media last week reported the PCB was in talks with former England coach Peter Moores to join ahead of the World Cup.

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