Misbah-ul-Haq takes charge of Pakistan training
Islamabad: Former captain Misbah-ul-Haq will be in charge of Pakistan’s 17-day training camp when it opens on Monday in Lahore.
The camp at the National Cricket Academy will have 14 centrally contracted and six other cricketers participating.
Azhar Ali, one of the centrally contracted players, is expected to join the camp after completing his county contract with Somerset.
The other five centrally contracted players — Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas and Mohammad Amir — have been exempted because they are playing county cricket in England.
“We have given exemptions to them but they have been advised to return to Pakistan in time to be available for the first-round matches of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy (domestic first class tournament),” said Zakir Khan, director of international cricket for the Pakistan Cricket Board.
Last week the PCB dismissed the national team coaching staff after Pakistan failed to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup. That included head coach Mickey Arthur and batting coach Grant Flower.
The PCB said Misbah and the cricket academy staff would handle the training camp until a new coaching staff is lined up.
The country’s premier domestic tournament — Quaid-e-Azam Trophy — begins on September 12. Six teams will compete in 31 four-day matches.
Pakistan will be playing six test matches, three one-day internationals and nine Twenty20s in the 2019-20 international season that begins with hosting Sri Lanka for a two-test series in October.
“Misbah, who has been Pakistan’s most successful captain, understands the arduous demands of the format in this day and age,” Khan said.
A high-profile security delegation from Sri Lanka visited Lahore and Karachi last week. The PCB hopes to host Sri Lanka in these two cities for two Test matches.
Pakistan has not hosted a test match at home since an attack on Sri Lanka’s team bus in Lahore in 2009 killed eight people and wounded several Sri Lankan cricketers.