Misbah not losing sleep over captaincy future

Karachi: Pakistan`s long-serving Test and one-day skipper Misbah-ul-Haq is not worried about his future as the national captain and said this was a matter best left in the hands of the cricket board.

"Captaincy is an issue which is in the hands of the board and it is their decision," he told reporters today in Lahore.

"I have always enjoyed the challenge of leading Pakistan and it has not affected my own performances which is satisfying for me," he said.

The captaincy of the one-day side in particular has become a major debate in Pakistan cricket circles with the World Cup 2015 less than a year away.

Even though the chairman of the board, Najam Sethi has categorically stated there was no reason to change Misbah as captain and he would lead the side in the World Cup but given the volatile nature of Pakistan cricket many still remain skeptical about who will be Pakistan`s captain in the mega event in Australia and New Zealand.

The 40-year-old Misbah, who is still one of the fittest players in the side, also backed the board`s plans to introduce a fitness based central contract for players.

"It is a good move because fitness is very important these days and if the fitness of our players improves their fielding standards and performances will also improve," he noted.

The PCB last month also appointed South African Grant Luden as the team`s fielding coach and trainer but he has yet to join and didn`t attend the fitness summer camp in Lahore set up by the board for some 40 players which will wind up after a month this week.

Interestingly even the newly appointed head coach, Waqar Younis also didn`t attend the camp and will join the team from July 1, with his first assignment a Test tour to Sri Lanka in August.

Misbah said the summer camp had been very beneficial for the players and it allowed them to take a hard look at their fitness standards.

"Such camps should be continued because the players improved their fitness and this emphasis on fitness in the new central contracts is also a good thing," he added.

The PCB is planning to announce fitness based central contracts for its players from this year with a penalties and points system for fitness levels.

Misbah pointed out that the tall left-arm pacer, Muhammad Irfan had also regained fitness in the camp.

"It is a very good news that Irfan is fit again because he is a important weapon in our attack and if he can even deliver five to four overs for us they can play a big role in our success," he noted.

Misbah also backed the appointment of Waqar as head coach and said his joining was good for the team.

"Waqar has worked before with the team and his experience is invaluable for us," he concluded.

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