Pakistan selectors yet to pick Younis’ replacement

Karachi, Nov 16 ( Pakistani selectors are yet to take a decision on sending middle-order batsman Misbah-ul-Haq as a replacement for Younis Khan for the Test series in New Zealand from Nov 24.

Chief selector Iqbal Qasim told Inditop Monday that the selection committee will take a decision on the issue after discussing it with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaj Butt. Butt is currently in England and will return home Nov 20.

“Once the chairman returns home we will discuss the matter with him before deciding on naming a replacement for Younis Khan,” said Qasim, a former Pakistan Test spinner.

Media reports suggested that Pakistan have already selected Misbah to replace Younis, who made himself unavailable for the Test series in New Zealand after a stunning 1-2 defeat against the Kiwis in Abu Dhabi earlier this month.

However, Qasim made it clear that no such decision has been made yet. He also made it clear that Mohammad Yousuf, Pakistan’s new captain for the Test series against New Zealand, is yet to speak to the selectors for a possible replacement for Younis.

Last week, Yousuf told reporters in Dubai that he wants Misbah to be included in the team for the Test series against New Zealand.

Misbah was axed from the national team following a string of poor performances in all three formats of the game, and was instead asked to regain form by playing domestic cricket.

“The team is fine but I have asked the board for Misbah-ul-Haq to fill the gap that has appeared in the middle order as Younus would not be playing in the series,” Yousuf said.

“He (Misbah) is a good batsman and I think he would prove helpful for the team,” added Yousuf. He has been playing well in domestic cricket and I hope he would also perform well in the series against New Zealand.”

Misbah struck a career-best 284 for Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) last month in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. However, he decided against continuing playing in the country’s premier first-class tournament and went to Bangladesh to play league cricket there. He has scored 345 runs from four Quaid Trophy matches this season at average of 86.25.

Even if he is selected for the series against New Zealand, it is unlikely that Misbah will join the team in time to play in the opening Test against New Zealand that will get under way in Dunedin.