LAHORE-Misbah-ul-Haq has stepped down from the chief selector’s responsibilities to concentrate and focus on the head coach’s role of the men’s national team. 

The new chief selector will begin his tenure from December 1 and till then, Misbah will continue to carry out selection responsibilities. The decision means Misbah will announce the squads for the home series against Zimbabwe on October 19 and then for the away series against New Zealand. The first assignment of the new chief selector will be to select the squads for the January home series against South Africa, comprising two Tests and three Twenty20 Internationals. Misbah communicated his decision to PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan in Islamabad last week during the National T20 Cup. 

Commenting on his decision, Misbah-ul-Haq said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the dual roles but after reviewing the past 12 months and looking ahead at the workload in the next 24 months of my tenure, it is appropriate that I invest and dedicate all my time, energy and attention to one role from now on. 

“Coaching is my passion and my ultimate objective remains to contribute to the development of players and help the side achieve bigger successes. When I was appointed last year, I was offered the coaching role first and then given the option to also head the selection committee, which I had graciously accepted. “I am grateful to the Pakistan Cricket Board for their understanding and for supporting my thought process. “I had been thinking about the demands and rigours of the dual roles for some time. The meetings with the National High Performance staff and the Cricket Association coaches in the past two weeks have provided me better clarity and helped me in my decision-making as I believe we now have a strong system in place.

“With the new Cricket Association system in full flow, the chief selector has to be able to watch as much domestic cricket as possible. With a big 24 months now coming up, we have mutually agreed that there is a need for me now to be fully focused on one role. “I look forward to a strong working relationship with the new chair of the selection committee and hope together we will achieve our collective objectives.” 

PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said: “The PCB wholeheartedly respects Misbah’s decision on stepping away from the chief selector role. When he took on the national head coach role, we also required him to take on the chief selector’s role due to circumstances at that point in time. 

“Pakistan has three global events, including two Asia Cups and the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, as well as 10 Future Tour Programme commitments over the next 24 years. As head coach of the national side, he has reassessed his priorities and believes he has a better chance of producing the desired results by focusing solely on the coaching side. We are very happy to support his thinking on this. 

“Over the last two weeks, Misbah has worked closely with the other selectors to finalise the squads for both the upcoming series with Zimbabwe and the New Zealand tour, which will follow in November. We are grateful that this process is near completion, allowing time for the new chief selector to be in post to begin work from 1 December. 

“With a new chief selector, we will revisit the selection criteria to ensure that there is complete alignment between the Selection Committee, the High Performance Centre and the national men’s cricket team. With so much red and white-ball cricket ahead, we will need to select squads that have a strong balance between youth and experience.”