Karachi: Former PCB chairman and Pakistan's nominee for the post of International Cricket Council (ICC) President, Najam Sethi has disclosed how he had to take a firm stand to prevent Misbah-ul-Haq from being removed as captain this year.
"They were people who told me that I should look at other options but I decided to announce Misbah as captain until the World Cup 2015 because I know he is our best option to handle this team," Sethi said on Geo News channel.
Sethi had rocked the Pakistan cricket community earlier this year when as chairman of the board he announced Misbah had been retained as captain until the World Cup.
With the World Cup a year away they were many skeptics who felt that before the event Misbah at his age wouldn't be able to survive in the team.
"Misbah has been our most sensible choice to lead the team because he has brought lot of calm and stability to this team in most difficult times for Pakistan cricket," Sethi said.
"But when I was Chairman they were many people who told me that it was time for a change and to move. They dropped the name of Shahid Afridi very strongly as a replacement. But I took the decision to retain Misbah because I knew he was the best person to lead this side," Sethi said.
"I am happy that today he has vindicated this trust in him and people need to realize that he bats the way he did in the past because of the team requirements. Look when he didn't get runs Pakistan lost that is how important a role he plays in the middle order," Sethi said.
Sethi who voluntarily stepped down as PCB chairman and allowed the election of Shaharyar Khan to head the cricket affairs said similarly in the case of Younis Khan he had taken a stand.
"As Chairman I took the stand to back Younis. They had demoted him in the central contracts list and when they came to me and tried to justify this I told them Younis deserved the top grade and I used my powers to promote him," Sethi said.
Sethi, who will take over as ICC President next year for a one year term, made it clear that he had had a lot of faith and respect for Younis and Misbah. "In Younis Khan's case it was wrong the way they dealt with him because he has more to give to Pakistan cricket and see how he performed against Australia," he added.
Ironically it was Sethi's hand picked man, former Test captain Moin Khan to be chief selector and manager who initiated the move to demote Younis and also pushed for a change in the captaincy.
A situation which earlier this year also led to Sethi giving him a rap on his knuckles and announcing they were not plans to change Misbah as captain. Sethi also defended his decision to appoint Waqar Younis as head coach and also bring in Mushtaq Ahmed as spin bowling consultant in the team management with Moin.
"I had a feeling these three could change things for Pakistan cricket and It is good to see positive things happening now against Australia. Because Pakistan cricket needed these wins before the World Cup," he said.
He said the emergence of leg-spinner Yasir Shah in the series could be credited to the presence of Mushtaq in the team.