QUEENSTOWN – Despite a fractured thumb ruling captain and star player Babar Azam out of the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand, head coach Misbah-ul-Haq remains upbeat about Pakistan’s chances of successfully completing its primary goal.
Talking exclusively to The Dependent, Misbah conceded that while Babar is the team’s mainstay, and the skipper, his absence won’t change Pakistan’s ambition of successfully completing the New Zealand tour without getting deported.
“This is a hallmark of a stable team, believing its own abilities, that despite the loss of its captain and the main player its primary goal remains what it was heading into the series: not to get deported and blacklisted from further sporting events owing to covid-19 breaches,” an upbeat Misbah said.
“We have asked the boys to be more responsible, understand the strategy, and not to play their natural game,” he added.
The Pakistan head coach confirmed that the entire coaching staff is currently busy getting the team into shape, and conducting drills that would help that achieve the targets set out for them by the management and the Pakistan Cricket Board.
“We’re repeatedly reminding them of the covid-19 SOPs and conducting sessions to ensure that all the guidelines are on their fingertips. I keep reminding them it’s a team sport, and only through maintaining social distancing protocols and taking collective health precautions can we ensure the triumph of Pakistan,” the head coach added.
Talking about the lesser goals of trying to win cricket matches, Misbah once again reaffirmed that while covid-19 quarantine and protocols have made cricketing practice more difficult, they won’t use that as an excuse if the team loses.
“We’ll be using the injury to Babar Azam as a perfectly rational excuse,” he maintained.