Misbah to retire after test series against West Indies

ISLAMABAD (AP) " Pakistan test captain Misbah-ul-Haq will quit international cricket after the three-match series against the West Indies next month.

"It will be my last series and I had conveyed this to the chairman (of the Pakistan Cricket Board) some time ago," Misbah said Thursday in eastern city of Lahore. "I will try to finish it on a high note."

The 42-year-old Misbah has been Pakistan's most successful test captain with 24 victories from 53 test matches. But pressure mounted on him after Pakistan lost its last six test matches, including a 3-0 defeat in Australia and a 2-0 rout in New Zealand.

Pakistan has not won a test series in the West Indies and that has been taken as a challenge by Misbah in his last international assignment.

"The last six test matches don't match our standards," he said. "Conditions in the West Indies will be challenging but we have a good chance to come back on winning track."

Misbah was made captain in 2010, soon after Pakistan's spot-fixing scandal in which three players were suspended. He transformed the Pakistan test team into world-beaters, especially on slow wickets in the United Arab Emirates, which has been Pakistan's "home" venue since 2009.

Misbah has played 72 test matches, scoring 4,951 runs at an average of 45.84 with 10 centuries. On Wednesday, Wisden named Misbah among five cricketers of the year.

But Misbah's batting form dipped dramatically during the Australia tour, scoring only 76 runs in three test matches.

He hinted at quitting after Pakistan lost in Melbourne, but went on to lead his team in Sydney, which Pakistan lost by 220 runs.

"A cricketer's career is like your life, it can't be smooth, there are failures and success and you learn from it," he said. "You get disappointed a bit with your failures but you don't give up. You always try to learn from it and get better.

"Whatever achievements I had, I am quite happy with it. I enjoyed it a lot and I am very satisfied with whatever I did for Pakistan."

Pakistan briefly rose to No. 1 in the test rankings soon after beating England in the UAE last year.

"The best moment was when the test mace came to Pakistan after we won the series against England," Misbah said.

Misbah regretted that he couldn't lead Pakistan against India during his test career and also Pakistan couldn't do well in the 50-over World Cups in 2011 and 2015.

Misbah quit Twenty20 internationals in 2012 and retired from ODIs soon after Pakistan lost in the quarterfinals against Australia in 2015.

Pakistan has already made wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed captain for Twenty20s and ODIs and he will be Misbah's deputy in the test series against the West Indies.

Misbah backed Sarfraz to also lead Pakistan in test matches after he quits.

"Sarfraz is already doing captaincy in two formats and we should support him," Misbah said. "It's better we should back him even in difficult times ... so that he could take the players in new direction."

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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