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5 Cricketers who became unexpected captains

Unlike other sports, the role of captain becomes even more pivotal and holds more significance than a coach as most decisions on the field are taken instinctively.

2. Misbah ul Haq

Misbah-ul-Haq
Misbah-ul-Haq. (Photo by Jason O’Brien/Getty Images)

It is generally believed that at the age of 36 – a sportsman’s career is coming to an end. However, similar wasn’t the case with former Pakistan captain, Misbah ul Haq. At the age of 36 and had played just 19 Test matches over eight years since debut when he took the reins for Pakistan. Interestingly enough, a few months before his captaincy debut, he was contemplating retirement from all forms of cricket.

In 2010, Pakistan cricket fell into crisis after three cricketers were charged with spot-fixing. Butt had already been the third captain Pakistan had tried that year; Shahid Afridi had retired from Tests, and Mohammad Yousuf had lost seven straight games in Australia. Meanwhile, the senior-most member of the team, Younis Khan, was feuding with the board chairman, Ijaz Butt. So, Misbah not only returned to the Pakistan team but was named a captain.

It was a decision that came without the selectors’ nod, and Mohsin Khan, Pakistan’s chief selector at that time. As things turned out, Misbah went on to become Pakistan’s most successful Test captain and led the side for seven years before retiring in 2017, at the age of 43. Recently, Misbah has been chosen as the head coach and chief selector of Pakistan team and will be looking to inject his pivotal experience in the national team.

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