Misbah could decide future within a month

Misbah-ul-Haq plans to decide in the next month whether to call time on his international career and the Pakistan Test captain also hit back at his critics following a poor tour of Australia.

The veteran batsman, who will turn 43 this year, has long been faced with questions about his future and a 3-0 series whitewash has led to intensified probing.

Misbah will now turn his attention to leading Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League and will use that tournament to bring him to a decision over whether to he wants to continue playing for his country.

He told ESPNcricinfo: "The idea is to assess myself how badly I want to play cricket.

"I think in this one month I will make my decision to quit or at least give a certain date. I could easily have quit after England series in UAE [in November 2015] but that wasn't the right way."

He added: "You sometimes don't see your own achievements and personal gains, you also have to think about the team you have built, you have to see where it stands at a certain stage.

"Otherwise it was easy for me to retire after taking Pakistan to number one. I don't really think about my personal gains and I knew I had more to lose from Australia and New Zealand, but I think that wasn't a right way to think about.

"I had to stand there and give youngsters a message that you have to face the music in tough situations, face the challenge.

"That was my thinking behind [it] and I am sure [critics] will come up with another narrative to disagree with me. No matter that you lose, but accept the challenge. Don't run off. And at least give them [youngsters] the encouragement, stand behind them."

Misbah's lack of runs and captaincy led to criticism in Australia, with Ian Chappell among those to question his role, and the Pakistan stalwart is not impressed with such derogatory comments about his batting.

"In the middle order where I bat, it is important for me to bring stability whatever the situation," he said. "If we are four down then being an experienced batsman I should go and anchor partnerships and try to rebuild.

"The idea always is to take the team to a respectable total on which our bowlers can give a fight. But I feel angry when former players who have played the game at highest level, whose understanding about the game is even better than mine, still target my batting."


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