Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has bowled a yorker, stunning even cricket experts and critics by picking out of team batsman, Misbahul Haq, to lead the squad in the upcoming Test series against South Africa.
"I am shocked and in future I am not going to talk on Pakistan cricket, the affairs are in a shamble," the Daily Times quoted former chief selector Iqbal Qasim, as saying, referring to the PCB`s decision to appoint Misbah as Test captain.
"How can they continue to ignore Younis when he is available?" Qasim questioned, talking about former skipper Younis Khan.
Pakistan`s chief selector Mohsin Khan, however, disclosed said that Younis was the selectors` first choice to bolster the national team`s middle-order, which he believes, desperately needed a senior player in it.
"We needed a senior player to strengthen our batting line-up... Our first choice was Younis Khan but we didn`t get any clearance (from the PCB) after which we discussed the option of recalling Misbah and decided to go for it," The News quoted Mohsin, as saying.
"I know that Misbah has just managed to score runs on and off in his international career but he is the kind of player who can click anytime," he added.
But the biggest factor that helped Misbah clinch Pakistan`s captaincy appears to be his clean track record.
"In a team where many of the players have had serious disciplinary problems, Misbah is one guy who has a neat and clean background," stressed Mohsin, adding, "He is a thorough professional and one of the fittest players in our country, which is another big plus point."
Misbah, who has never captained Pakistan in Test matches, has been recalled to the national team for the one-dayers and Twenty20s against South Africa after a gap of six months. In a dramatic change of fortunes, the 36-year-old is now a part of Pakistan`s plans for all three formats of the game just six months after being dumped as a spent force.
The Test squad comprises Misbahul Haq (captain), Imran Farhat, Taufiq Umar, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Yousaf, Umar Akmal, Azhar Ali, Saeed Ajmal, Danish Kaneria, Abdur Rehman, Zulquarnain Haider, Umar Gul, Tanvir Ahmad, Mohammad Sami, Wahab Riaz and Sohail Tanvir (subject to fitness).
Meanwhile, all-rounder Shahid Afridi has been retained as the team captain for the five one-day internationals and two Twenty20s preceding the Test series in the UAE.