By Shahid Hashmi
(Sport360)-Pakistan’s newly elected cricket chief yesterday backed captain Misbah-ul Haq despite a Test series defeat in Sri Lanka, calling it a setback not a disaster.
A 105-run defeat in the second Test on Monday consigned Pakistan to a 2-0 series loss, which brought them down from third to sixth in the official Test rankings.
Elected unopposed as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman on Monday, Shaharyar Khan said the team needed consistency.
“My top priority is to have consistency in all cricketing matters and that’s why I will not do any wholesale changes in Pakistan team or team management,” Khan said.
Khan’s predecessor Najam Sethi had announced Misbah will remain Test and one-day captain until next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Besides the defeats, Misbah also failed as batsman, managing just 67 runs in four innings, a failure which prompted former players to call for his sacking.
“Sri Lanka have recently defeated England in England, so I don’t think Pakistan losing to them is a disaster, it’s a setback and we realise that there is a need for improvement in the team. I believe that Misbah should be retained until the World Cup,” said Khan, who also held the chairman’s post between 2003 to 2006.
Khan also ruled out any immediate changes in the team management, but said the board would look at the 10-strong staff.
“This is not the time to change anyone in the management but we must assess whether the management is over-staffed,” said Khan, also a former foreign secretary.
Khan hoped international cricket will return to Pakistan once the security situation improves in the country.
“Security is a problem for big teams like Australia, England and India not touring Pakistan and in the immediate future it doesn’t look like resuming. However, I am sure the door will open slowly and gradually,” said Khan.