Lahore: Any threats to the Test and one-day captaincy of Misbah-ul-Haq have been dissipated by the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Zaka Ashraf during a meeting with the players in Johannesburg.
Ashraf, who met the players and team management during a visit to Johannesburg to watch the final one-dayer between Pakistan and South Africa, told Misbah that he will be continuing as captain for the Champions Trophy in England in June and should be prepared for the challenge.
"Misbah was told before the final match he should not be concerned about his captaincy or place in the team as he would be leading the team in the Champions Trophy and he should just focus on trying to win the one-day series against South Africa," a source said.
The source said that Ashraf had also praised the players for their fightback in the ODI series but made it clear that no player - senior or junior - should take his place for granted. Ashraf also added that the board was providing them all facilities and incentives, so they were also expected to repay with good performances.
A lobby in the Pakistan cricket community had been insisting that Misbah's tenure as one-day captain and player was now over and he would be replaced by Mohammad Hafeez as skipper for the Champions Trophy. But the source insisted that since the time Misbah got back to form in the one-day series, he was more confident about himself and his captaincy.
The source said that Ashraf had also discussed about the appointment of a permanent batting coach and assured the team that the a coach would be named before the Champions Trophy.
"The coaching committee has been told to revive and fast track its search and recommend candidates for the batting coach position. The names of some of the former Pakistan players, including Zaheer Abbas is also being considered for the position," the source said.
The board had appointed former captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq as batting consultant to work with the players before the team went to India for the One-day series in December. It also wanted to send Inzamam with the team to South Africa but later dropped the plan after failing to reach an agreement with the former captain, who had demanded a two-year contract and fees equivalent to what is being paid to head coach, Dav Whatmore.
The source said that the national selection committee has also been asked to continue till Champions Trophy.
"The board has informed the selectors that they will be selecting the squad for the Champions Trophy although their tenure had ended with the South African tour," the source said.
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