Misbah-ul-Haq Khan Niazi (Pashto: مصباح الحق) (born 28 May 1974), or Misbah-ul-Haq, is a former Pakistani cricketer who captained the Pakistani team in all three formats of the game. He is Pakistan's most successful Test captain with 26 wins.
|Full name||Misbah-ul-Haq Khan Niazi|
|Born||28 May 1974|
Mianwali, Punjab, Pakistan
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Bowling||Right arm leg break|
|Relations||Imran Khan (cousin)|
|Test debut (cap 166)||8 March 2001 v New Zealand|
|Last Test||14 May 2017 v West Indies|
|ODI debut (cap 142)||27 April 2002 v New Zealand|
|Last ODI||20 March 2015 v Australia|
|ODI shirt no.||22|
|Domestic team information|
|2000–2003||Khan Research Laboratories|
|2003–2016||Sui Northern Gas Pipelines|
|2008||Royal Challengers Bangalore|
Source: ESPNcricinfo, 12 July 2017
A late bloomer, Misbah was a middle-order batsman best known for his composure with the bat whilst also having the ability to be an aggressive big shot player when required. Misbah holds the world record of scoring most runs without century in ODI career. Misbah holds the record of the fastest test half century and shares the record for second fastest test century with Sir Vivian Richards.
After announcing his retirement from limited overs cricket in 2015, he continued to play Test cricket for a few years. On 4 April 2017, Misbah announced his retirement from all international cricket as well after the conclusion of West Indies tour. He retired from all formats of international cricket on 14 May 2017. Currently he plays only domestic matches and T20 leagues.
Misbah grew up in Mianwali, Punjab, Pakistan. His father Abdul Qudoos Niazi was a school principal. He passed away in Misbah's childhood. Misbah is the only son of his parents. He belongs to a non-Pashto speaking Pashtun Niazi family. The influential Pakistan cricketer and current Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan is his distant cousin. During his early days, Misbah played tape ball cricket for his hometown; but his parents insisted on him having a good education. Therefore, he completed a BSc in Faisalabad. He then enrolled in the University of Management and Technology to pursue an MBA degree. Misbah would eventually make his first-class debut in 1998, aged 24 for Sargodha. Misbah went on to be selected for the Pakistani Test side in 2001 and the ODI cricket team in 2002. Misbah married Uzma Khan in 2004. The couple have two children; Faheem-ul-Haq and Noriza Khan.
Misbah had not only gained success at international level but also at domestic level. His 2012–13 domestic season was memorable. He captained Faisalabad Wolves in Twenty20 domestic tournament and SNGPL in First-class and List-A domestic tournament. First, he took SNGPL to victory in President's Trophy against Younus Khan's HBL and then Faisalabad Wolves to victory in Faysal Bank Super 8 against Shoaib Malik's Sialkot Stallions in final surprisingly. Though Faisalabad Wolves lost final earlier in Faysal Bank T20 Cup against Mohammad Hafeez's Lahore Lions but they took their revenge in Super 8 tournament in semi-final and eventually winning the tournament and more importantly qualifying for the Champions League T20. And at last Misbah led SNGPL to another victory in domestic list-A tournament, President's Cup against Rana Naved-ul-Hasan's WAPDA in final. Misbah won all domestic tournaments (Twenty20, first-class and list-A) in domestic season 2012/13.
Misbah played in 2008 Indian Premier League Season 1 for Royal Challengers Bangalore while he played in Sri Lanka Premier League for Kandurata Warriors in 2012. And he also represented St Lucia Zouks in 2013 season in Caribbean Premier League. He also played for Abhani in Bangladesh.
Misbah revealed that he had been offered a two-year contract by Worcestershire County Cricket Club to play in the English County Championship from 2013 onwards, but declined due to clashes with his international commitments.
In 2015, Misbah signed by Rangpur Riders to play in the third edition of the Bangladesh Premier League. He made the decision to play in order to remain match fit for the upcoming Test Series with England in July 2016. In only his first game for Rangpur Riders, Misbah scored 61 runs, smashing 4 sixes and winning his team the game by chasing a mammoth total of 187. He was awarded the Man of the Match award for the performances.
Misbah signed by Islamabad United for a price of $140,000 to be played in February 2016 for Pakistan Super League. He is the 10th highest scorer in the league. He led Islamabad United to be the first champions of Pakistan Super League, and again was captain of the Islamabad United when the team won the third edition of PSL. Misbah also enjoys the highest success percentage as captain in Pakistan Super League matches up till now.
Although making his international debut back in 2001, his breakthrough came when was selected for ICC World T20. Misbah was influential in his prolific 2007 ICC World Twenty20 famously playing the Paddle Scoop in the Final against India in the final over as Pakistan lost by 5 runs. He was leading run scorer from Pakistan and third overall in the tournament. Also he was the first Pakistani player who reached No. 1 position in ICC T20I batsmen rankings. He was also the first Pakistani player to score a 50 in T20I.
Misbah was a member of the 2009 World T20 winning squad and was praised for his performance. Misbah played an influential role in getting Pakistan to the 2011 World Cup semifinals under Shahid Afridi's captaincy. After the loss against India at Mohali, Misbah faced criticism from fans and experts for playing too many dot balls in crucial overs.
In 2013, Misbah was brilliant in terms of his batting. He moved to a career-best seventh place in the ICC rankings for ODI batsmen. Misbah was the leading run scorer in ODI cricket for year 2013 ahead of Mohammad Hafeez and Virat Kohli.
In the first test at Abu Dhabi against South Africa, Pakistan amassed 442 runs, where Misbah scored his fourth test century, which was the second in the innings after Khurram Manzoor's 146. In the second innings the Pakistani batting collapsed and were 7/3 with only needing a mere target of 40. When the two seniors of the team (Misbah and Younis Khan) came in to bat, Misbah hit two sixes off the bowling of Robin Peterson and hit the winning runs with a straight six.
In the second test at Dubai, Pakistan were all out for 99 in the first innings. After South Africa amassed a total of 517 with Graeme Smith hitting his 4th Test double and yet another century from the AB de Villiers, Pakistan were faltering for an embarrassing defeat. At 70/4 Misbah came in and blitzed the South African bowling attack with a 197 run stand with the Asad Shafiq repeating the same stand the two had in the first test, Misbah scored 88 before trying to obliterate the part-time spinner Dean Elgar over cow corner but edged it straight to Jacques Kallis. Misbah finished the year as the highest run scorer in ODIs with 1373 runs ahead of teammate Mohammad Hafeez.
In late 2013, India was scheduled to play South Africa in a 3 Test, 7 ODI and 3 T20I series, which was cut short by the BCCI. To minimize losses, Cricket South Africa invited Pakistan to play South Africa at home, in their third bilateral series of the year.
The first ODI was hosted at Cape Town. South Africa were bundled out for 195, losing by 23 runs, and Pakistan taking the lead, 1–0. The 2nd ODI at Port Elizabeth was rain-affected, bringing it down to 45 overs per side. Pakistan won the game by 1 run, which also led them to a maiden series win against South Africa, that too at home. Pakistan was also the first South Asian team to beat South Africa in a bilateral ODI series at home. In the third ODI, Shehzad and 3 of Pakistan's star bowlers, Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi and Junaid Khan were rested. Batting first once again, Pakistan scraped together a total of 179 all out, with Misbah remaining unbeaten on 79. Although the bowlers tried to keep Pakistan in the game, the South African batsmen were too good and won by 4 wickets. Pakistan took the series 2–1. This away win over the Proteas after being humiliated in Pakistan's adopted home, the UAE, brought things back to normal in Pakistan cricket, with Misbah receiving praise from across the country.
In 2014, he made a test century off of 56 deliveries against Australia in Abu Dhabi, equaling the fastest one of that time by Viv Richards. In July 2016, Misbah scored a century against England at Lord's and became the oldest cricketer in 82 years to score a test century. At the age of 42 years and 2 months, Misbah also became the oldest captain ever to score a test century. Misbah celebrated the landmark by saluting his team members and doing ten push-ups. He later explained during an interview that the celebration was meant as a tribute to the Military Boot Camp in Abbotabad where the team had attended an army style training session.
During Pakistan's tour of India, Misbah scored two centuries and was named acting captain for an ODI due to Shoaib Malik's injury.
Earlier in 2010, after the Australia tour, he was dropped from all formats of the game and later was considering retiring if the selectors continue to ignore him. He was not considered for England tour where the spot-fixing saga happened due to which Salman Butt was banned, creating a captaincy hole in the team. Then in October 2010, surprisingly he was appointed the Pakistan's Test captain for series against South Africa in UAE.
During Pakistan's tour of the West Indies, Misbah enjoyed success in the second test match at Warner Park as he went on to score his first test century in four years. After West Indies series, Misbah replaced Shahid Afridi as the limited-overs captain after PCB and coach Waqar Younis were unhappy with Afridi's captaincy and awkward public statements.
Misbah led the team in eight T20I matches. He won six and lost two. He played his last T20I match against England in 27 February 2012. After the defeat in Twenty20 series against England in 2012 and criticism from former cricketers, Misbah stepped down as Pakistan's Twenty20 captain and Mohammad Hafeez was named his successor to lead the team in Twenty20.
In 2013, Pakistan played bilateral series against South Africa, India, West Indies, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka and they also participated in Champions Trophy. Despite winning against India in India, away series lose against South Africa 3–2, win-less streak in Champions Trophy and winning against minnow Zimbabwe 2–1 and then again defeat in home series against South Africa in UAE 4–1 put huge criticism on Misbah's captaincy and his approach to the game. Especially series defeat against South Africa 4–1, brought Misbah's captaincy under severe scrutiny. Ex-Pakistani players were demanding a total renovation of Pakistan cricket, and Misbah was being criticized for his captaincy, slow batting and the defeat. The PCB, however, announced that Misbah was to remain captain until the 2015 Cricket World Cup. Several TV shows and notable personalities opposed this decision and demanded that Misbah should be sacked.
In August 2016, under Misbah's captaincy, Pakistan achieved the number 1 ranking in test cricket for the first time since 1988. Pakistan displaced India as number 1 after rain caused the final test match between India and West Indies to end in a draw. PCB chairman Shahryar Khan and ex-Pakistan coach Waqar Younis said that all credit should be given to Misbah for his leadership over the last six years.
Misbah is the most successful test captain of Pakistan. Misbah has led Pakistan in 56 test matches, winning 26, losing 19 with 11 draws. Misbah was named test captain after spot-fixing scandal during England tour of 2010. In subsequent series against South Africa in the UAE he led Pakistan in tests. After resignation of Shahid Afridi as test captain and suspension of Salman Butt due to spot-fixing scandal, Misbah was preferred over Younus Khan, Mohammad Yousuf and Kamran Akmal as captain. Wasim Akram stated that although the decision was surprising if Misbah bats and fields well everything else will go according to plan. Former Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson stated that he believed Misbah has the best cricketing brain within Pakistan and he will do incredibly well in the plans for the captaincy Misbah hit back at those who criticised the decision to appoint him captain and stated that he should be given a chance to prove himself
Misbah was the ODI captain from 2008–2015 and had the 10th highest success rate. He left in 2015 as captain from criticism due to his slow yet successful approach. However, after continuous international losses, notably Pakistan's exit from the 2016 ICC World Twenty20, PCB officials seriously considered asking him to return as ODI captain.
In January 2015, Misbah announced that he would retire from ODIs and T20Is after the 2015 World Cup. Misbah captained Pakistan in 2015 Cricket World Cup at Australia. He was the leading run scorer in tournament from Pakistan. Pakistan could only make it to Quarter-Finals. They were defeated by Australia in Quarter-Final, which was the last ODI match for Misbah.
In November 2016, against New Zealand at Christchurch, Misbah-ul-Haq was handed over a one-match suspension by the ICC for his side's slow over rate, meaning he had to miss the second Test in Hamilton. On 30 December 2016, Cricinfo published an article which indicated that Misbah might retire.
However, he continued to play in longer format for rest of the series with success, where Pakistan beat England to become No. 1 Test team in the world as well. On 6 April 2017, Misbah finally announced his intentions to retire from all international cricket after the conclusion of West Indies tour.
He played his last international match on 10 May 2017 against West Indies in Roseau. He scored his 39th Test fifty in the first innings, but dismissed for just 2 runs in the second innings. However, in his last match as captain, Pakistan won the match by 101 runs and sealed the series 2–1. The win highlighted as the first ever series win against West Indies in the West Indies as well. The retirement of Misbah and Younis at the match has given them a perfect farewell and ESPNcricinfo cited their retirement with #MisYou.
This article's Criticism or Controversy section may compromise the article's neutral point of view of the subject. (January 2019)
Despite performing well, Misbah has gone through severe criticism from senior players and journalists. This list of criticizers includes Shoaib Akhtar, Ramiz Raja, Waqar Younis, Inzamam Ul Haq and Mohammad Yousuf. Few of the criticizers have become admirers now, that include Ramiz Raja and Waqar Younis. Now Inzamam Ul Haq has also become an admirer of Misbah.
Records and AchievementsEdit
- Fastest fifty in Tests (21 Balls) completed in 24 minutes against Australia in Abu Dhabi.
- Most half centuries without making an ODI century – Misbah has 42 half-centuries without a single century.
- Holds the record for scoring the most number of runs in ODI cricket without a career hundred (5122). Also the only player to score 4000 as well as 5000 ODI runs without a career century.
- He has the best batting average for any batsman without a career ODI hundred and with an aggregate of 5000 ODI runs(43.40)
- Leading run scorer in ODIs during 2013.
- Most ODI fifties (15) in a calendar year (2013).
- Joint second fastest century in Tests (56 balls) against Australia on 2 November 2014 in Abu Dhabi.
- Pakistan's most successful Test captain with 26 wins.
- First captain from Asia to beat South Africa in South Africa.
- Only second captain from Pakistan to win Asia Cup (2012).
- Eighth Pakistani player to hit centuries in both innings of a test match.
- Only Asian Captain to win 4 or more Test matches against England.
- Most Test centuries by a Pakistan Test captain(8).
- The first batsman to make a Test hundred after the age of 41 since Geoffrey Boycott in 1981.
- One of 2017 Wisden Cricketers of the Year.
- Misbah holds the record for scoring the most test runs as Pakistani captain.
- Most sixes hit by a Captain in Test Cricket (72).
- Misbah has a dubious distinction of ending the innings with 99 to name, more than once in Test match cricket. Misbah has been dismissed for 99 twice and once he was left stranded one short of 100, with entire team bowled out. Misbah is also the only test captain to score 99 in a test innings more than once(3 times as skipper) and also the only test captain to be dismissed for 99 in an innings as well as to be remained unbeaten on 99 in an innings as well
- First Pakistani Captain who defeated West Indies in Test series in West Indies.
- Most Successful Capitan of Asia in Test Format. He has won eleven test series.
- First Pakistani captain who white washed England in Pakistan's 58 years cricket history in 2012 in UAE.
- Pride of Performance – President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain awarded Pride of Performance to Misbah-ul-Haq on 23 March 2014.
- ICC Spirit of Cricket – 2016
- PCB's Imtiaz Ahmed Spirit of Cricket Award and Lifetime Achievement Award – 2017.
- Sitara-i-Imtiaz - President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz to Misbah-ul-Haq on 23 March 2018.
- In the column "Runs", * indicates being "not out".
- The column title "Match" refers to the match number of his career.
|Misbah-ul-Haq's Test centuries|
|1||161*||9||India||Kolkata, India||Eden Gardens||2007||Drawn|
|2||133*||10||India||Bangalore, India||M. Chinnaswamy Stadium||2007||Drawn|
|3||102*||25||West Indies||Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis||Warner Park||2011||Won|
|4||100||39||South Africa||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates||Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium||2013||Won|
|5||135||43||Sri Lanka||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates||Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium||2014||Won|
|6||101||50||Australia||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates||Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium||2014||Won|
|7||101*||Australia||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates||Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium||2014||Won|
|8||102*||51||New Zealand||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates||Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium||2014||Won|
|9||102||60||England||Dubai, United Arab Emirates||Dubai Cricket Stadium||2015||Won|
|10||114||62||England||London, England||Lord's Cricket Ground||2016||Won|
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- Asia Cup
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| Pakistani national cricket captain (Tests)
| Pakistani national cricket captain (ODIs)
| Pakistani national cricket captain (T20I)