Pakistani Cricket is already in Controversies and now Misbah Ul Haq's new scandal comes on scene.
The glut of controversies in Pakistan cricket has gone through over the last few years has made playing for the national side "mental torture," according to Test and ODI captain Misbah-ul-Haq. The list of destabilising events in Pakistan cricket in recent years is long and it has taken, Misbah said, a heavy toll on players and their performances."It is a mental torture to go through such things and it affects your performance," Misbah said in an exclusive interview with local television channel Geo Sports.
"It has been a torture at times because these things do affect our image and people talk about it. There are people who pass remarks on the roads and it affects you."I must give credit to the players for adjusting to these pressures and still trying to perform on the field. In that way the performances we have given in recent months are very good."Though the spot-fixing scandal last summer was the most damaging issue, much of the mess from the last year has emerged from a widening gap between the board and its players. In March 2010, the PCB banned and fined seven of its top players after the side's disastrous, winless tour of Australia earlier in the year.
Eventually the punishments were reduced or rescinded altogether.But since then, Shahid Afridi and now Danish Kaneria have taken the board to court in separate disputes. The fall-out from the spot-fixing scandal led to Misbah taking over as Test leader, while the board's dispute with Afridi meant Misbah also took over the one-day reins. Misbah said the formation of a players' association could help resolve matters."A players' association with the right people in place can do a lot in Pakistan cricket," Misbah said. "It can improve communication between players, management and board. It can educate and guide players on contentious issues. It can lead to a reduction in the controversies and scandals that hit Pakistan cricket."Misbah also said that players should take time to understand clauses of the board's central contracts before signing them.
The nature of the contracts has come under scrutiny in recent months, with some players privately feeling them to be too constrictive in a number of ways. For example, if a centrally-contracted player goes for a county stint he will not be paid his contract retainer for the time he is away, a practice in no other board in the world."I would advise all players to consult their elders or even lawyers if they don't understand the clauses of the contracts," Misbah said. "It is a binding agreement with the board. Once you sign it then it is no use complaining afterwards about it."Asked specifically if he felt the existing central contracts were draconian in nature, Misbah refused to comment. "I think these are issues that can be sorted out with better communication," he said. "What I think about the contract, I should be talking about it directly to the board not in the media."Lines of communication between team management, players and the selection committee needed to be clear and open, Misbah said, in reference to the dispute between Afridi and the board.
That was sparked by what Afridi saw as undue interference from Younis in selection matters."I think it is important for a captain, coach or manager and players to know their job descriptions and responsibilities. They must know where they stand. They must also be communicating with each other all the time on any issue," he said. In asking for a clear delineation of roles and duties, Misbah in effect asked for what Afridi was sacked for."Even the national selectors must communicate well with the management.
Both should know why a certain player is being dropped or why a certain player is being selected in the team," he added.Misbah turned 37 on the day he captained Pakistan in an ODI against Ireland in May and his age has often been used in arguments against his taking over as leader. But he insisted that his passion for the game had not dimmed. "I am mentally up for international cricket. As long as I am performing I will carry on," he said. "Age is no bar for me. I feel a cricketer only matures after the age of 30. Fortunately that is what happened to me."
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