Pakistan revel in rare show of unity

Dubai: For many years, Pakistan`s biggest rivals were not their opponents but their own players.

Castigated for a lack of unity, consistency and awareness of the pitfalls in the game, some of Pakistan`s most talented players went into oblivion.

The spot-fixing scandal of 2010 destroyed the careers of three of Pakistan`s most exciting talents in Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer.

Instead of trading on their enormous talent, the three are now serving jail sentences on charges of defrauding bookmakers by bowling deliberate no-balls during the Lord`s Test against England two years ago.

Meanwhile, express paceman Shoaib Akhtar fell well short of being remembered for his bowling, with failed dope tests and skirmishes with his own team-mates as well as his country`s cricket board.

But since the spot-fixing scandal, Pakistan`s decision to appoint Misbah-ul Haq as captain has proved inspired and the team has not looked back, beating the world`s best team England by 10 wickets in the first Test on Thursday.

Misbah said he has tried to introduce the missing virtues of unity, discipline and focus into the team.

"The biggest virtue of this team is focus and once you focus on the job in hand, which we have done in the past 18 months, you tend to do well," said Misbah, who has not lost a Test series since taking over in October 2010.

Misbah said every player is selfless, quoting an example of the third day in the first Test against England.

"You can judge the unity by the fact that Abdul Rehman himself came to me and asked to be replaced by Saeed Ajmal so that he (Ajmal) could get the third wicket needed to complete his 10 in the match," Misbah revealed.


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