Misbah-ul-Haq Khan Niazi (Urdu: مصباح الحق خان نیازی‎) (born 28 May 1974,Mianwali, Punjab, Pakistan) is a Pakistani cricketer and the current Test captain of the Pakistan national cricket team, and was additionally the One Day International (ODI) captain until his retirement from ODI cricket after the 2015 Cricket World Cup. He is a middle-order batsman best known for his composure with the bat whilst additionally having the ability to be an aggressive big shot player when required. He is the top scorer in ODI cricket among those players who haven't scored a century in ODI. He has the world record of scoring most runs without century in ODI career. Misbah holds the record of the fastest test half century and shared the record for fastest test century with Sir Vivian Richards, which was later broken by Brendon McCullum. Misbah has an MBA degree in HRM from the University of Management and Technology in Lahore, Punjab. Misbah is related to the former Pakistan captain turned politician Imran Khan. Misbah is additionally the first cousin of former Pakistan captain Imran Khan.

Early life

Misbah grew up in Mianwali, Punjab. During his early days Misbah used to play tape ball cricket for his hometown. But his parents were always insisting for him to have good education. He then enrolled in University of Management and Technology to pursue MBA degree. Misbah made first-class debut in 1998, aged 24. Misbah eventually made to Pakistan's test and ODI cricket team in 2001.

Career highlights

2007

Although making his international debut back in 2001, his breakthrough came when was selected for ICC World T20. Misbah was influential in his prolific 2007 ICC World T20 famously playing the Paddle Scoop in the Final against India in the final over as Pakistan lost by 5 runs. He was leading run scorer from Pakistan and third overall in the tournament.

During Pakistan's tour of India, Misbah scored two centuries and was named acting captain for an ODI due to Shoaib Malik's injury.

2009

Misbah was a member of the 2009 World T20 winning squad and was praised for his performance.

2010

Earlier in 2010, after the Australia tour, he was dropped from all formats of the game and later was considering retiring if the selectors continue to ignore him. He wasn't considered for England tour where the spot-fixing saga happened due to whichSalman Butt was banned, creating a captaincy hole in the team. Then in October 2010, surprisingly he was appointed the Pakistan's Test captain for series against South Africa in UAE.

2011

Misbah played an influential role in getting Pakistan to the 2011 World Cup semifinals under Shahid Afridi's captaincy. After the loss against India at Mohali, Misbah-ul-Haq faced criticism from fans and experts for playing too a large number of dot balls in crucial overs.

During Pakistan's tour of the West Indies, Misbah enjoyed success in the second test match at Warner Park as he went on to score his first test century in four years. After West Indies series, Misbah replaced Shahid Afridi as the limited-overs captain after PCB and coach Waqar Younis were unhappy with Afridi's captaincy and awkward public statements.

2012

I have to give full credit to Misbah as he has stabilised the team and leads from the front. His performance is additionally outstanding. He makes the boys feel comfortable and relaxed so they actually enjoy their cricket. He is mature and willing to listen. The only unfortunate thing is the age factor which isn't in Misbah's favour.

—Pakistan coach Waqar Younis in 2011 on Misbah's captaincy.

After the defeat in Twenty20 series against England in 2012 and criticism from former cricketers, Misbah stepped down as Pakistan's Twenty20 captain and Mohammad Hafeez was named his successor to lead the team in Twenty20.

2013

Year 2013 was great for Misbah in terms of his batting. Misbah-ul-Haq moved to a career-best seventh place in the ICC rankings for ODI batsmen. Misbah was the leading run scorer in ODI cricket for year 2013 ahead of Mohammad Hafeez and Virat Kohli.

Misbah hadn't only gained success at international level but additionally at domestic level. His 2012–13 domestic season was memorable. He captained Faisalabad Wolves in Twenty20 domestic tournament and SNGPL in First-class and List-A domestic tournament. First, he took SNGPL to victory in President's Trophy against Younus Khan's HBL and then Faisalabad Wolves to victory in Faysal Bank Super 8 against Shoaib Malik's Sialkot Stallions in final surprisingly. Though Faisalabad Wolves lost final earlier in Faysal Bank T20 Cup against Mohammad Hafeez's Lahore Lions but they took their revenge in Super 8 tournament in semi-final and eventually winning the tournament and more importantly qualifying for the Champions League T20. And at last Misbah led SNGPL to another victory in domestic list-A tournament, President's Cup against Rana Naved-ul-Hasan's WAPDA in final. Misbah won all domestic tournaments (Twenty20, first-class and list-A) in domestic season 2012/13.

In the first test at Abu Dhabi against South Africa, Pakistan amassed 442 versus the World no.1 team, Misbah scored his fourth test century, which was the second in the innings after Khurram Manzoor's 146. In the second innings the Pakistani batting collapsed and were 7/3 with only needing a mere target of 40. When the two seniors of the team (Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan) came in to bat, Misbah hit two sixes off the bowling of Robin Peterson and hit the winning runs with a straight six.

In the second test at Dubai, Pakistan were all out for 99 in the first innings. After South Africa amassed a total of 517 with Graeme Smith hitting his fourth Test double and yet another century from the AB de Villiers, Pakistan were faltering for an embarrassing defeat. At 70/4 Misbah came in and blitzed the South African bowling attack with a 197 run stand with the Asad Shafiq repeating the same stand the two had in the first test, Misbah scored 88 before trying to obliterate the part-time spinner Dean Elgar over cow corner but edged it straight to Jacques Kallis.

Misbah finished the year as the highest run scorer in ODIs with 1373 runs ahead of teammate Mohammad Hafeez.

Criticism on his captaincy

In 2013, Pakistan played bilateral series against South Africa, India, West Indies, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka and they additionally participated in Champions Trophy. Despite winning against India in India, away series lose against South Africa 3-2, win-less streak in Champions Trophy and winning against minnow Zimbabwe 2-1 and then again defeat in home series against South Africa in UAE 4-1 put huge criticism on Misbah's captaincy and his approach to the game. Especially series defeat against South Africa 4-1, brought Misbah's captaincy under severe scrutiny. Ex-Pakistani players were demanding a total renovation of Pakistan cricket, and Misbah was being criticised for his captaincy, slow batting and the defeat. The PCB, however, announced that Misbah was to remain captain until the 2015 Cricket World Cup. Several TV shows and notable personalities opposed this decision and demanded that Misbah should be sacked.

ODI Series vs South Africa 2013 (South Africa)

India was scheduled to play South Africa in a 3 Test, 7 ODI and 3 T20I series, which was cut short by the BCCI. To minimise losses, CSA invited Pakistan to play South Africa at home, in their third bilateral series of the year.

The first ODI was hosted at Cape Town. South Africa were bundled out for 195, losing by 23 runs, and Pakistan taking the lead, 1–0.

The second ODI at Port Elizabeth was rain-affected, bringing it down to 45 overs per side. Pakistan won the game by 1 run, which additionally led them to a maiden series win against South Africa, that too at home. Pakistan was additionally the first South Asian team to beat South Africa in a bilateral ODI series at home.

The dead rubber was played at Centurion, and 3 of Pakistan's star bowlers, Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi and Junaid Khan were rested. Batting first once again, Pakistan scraped together a total of 179 all out, with Misbah remaining unbeaten on 79. Although the bowlers tried to keep Pakistan in the game, the South African batsmen were too good and won by 4 wickets. Pakistan took the series 2–1. This away win over the Proteas after being humiliated in Pakistan's adopted home, the UAE, brought things back to normal in Pakistan cricket, with Misbah receiving praise from across the country.

2015 and ODI retirement

In January 2015, Misbah announced that he would retire from ODIs and T20Is after the 2015 World Cup. Misbah captained Pakistan in 2015 Cricket World Cup at Australia. He was the leading run scorer in tournament from Pakistan. Pakistan could only make it to Quarter-Finals. They were defeated by Australia in Quarter-Final, which was the last ODI match for Misbah.

2016

In April 2016, Misbah decided to postpone his Test retirement until Australia tour in 2016/17.

In July 2016, Misbah scored a century against England at Lord's and became the oldest cricketer in 82 years to score a test century. At the age of 42 years and 2 months, Misbah additionally became the oldest captain ever to score a test century. Misbah celebrated the landmark by saluting his team members and doing ten push-ups. He later explained throughout an interview that the celebration was meant as a tribute to the Military Boot Camp in Abbotabad where the team had attended an army style training session.

In August 2016, under Misbah's captaincy, Pakistan achieved the number 1 ranking in test cricket for the first time after 1988. Pakistan displaced India as number 1 after rain caused the final test match between India and West Indies to end in a draw. PCB chairman Shahryar Khan and ex-Pakistan coach Waqar Younis said that all credit should be given to Misbah for his leadership over the last six years.

Club cricket

Misbah Played In Indian Premier League Season 2008 For Royal Challengers Bangalore While He Played in Sri Lanka Premier League for Kandurata Warriors in 2012. And He additionally Represented St Lucia Zouks in 2013 Season in Caribbean Premier League.He additionally played for Abhani in Bangladesh. Misbah revealed that he had been offered a two-year contract by Worcestershire County Cricket Club to play in the English County Championship from 2013 onwards, but declined due to clashes with his international commitments.

Bangladesh Premier League

In 2015 Misbah Ul Haq was signed by Rangpur to play in the third edition of the Bangladesh Premier League. Misbah Ul Haq made the decision to play in order to remain match fit for the upcoming Test Series with England in July 2016. In only his first game for Rangpur Riders Misbah Ul Haq scored 61 runs, smashing 4 sixes and winning his team the game by chasing a mammoth total of 187. He was awarded the Man of the Match award.

Pakistan Super League

Misbah Ul Haq was signed by Islamabad United for a price of $140,000 to be played in February 2016. He is the tenth highest scorer in PSL . He led Islamabad United to be the first champions of Pakistan Super League.

Captain of Pakistan

Test captain

Misbah-ul-Haq's record as Test captain
TeamsMatchesWonLostDrawn
Australia2200
Bangladesh4301
England10721
New Zealand5212
South Africa7142
Sri Lanka13445
West Indies4310
Zimbabwe3210
Grand total48241311
Date last Updated:October 25, 2016

Misbah ul Haq is the most successful test captain of Pakistan. Misbah has led Pakistan in 48 test matches, winning 24, losing 13 with 11 draws. Misbah was named test captain after spot-fixing scandal throughout England tour of 2010. In subsequent series against South Africa in the UAE he led Pakistan in tests. After resignation of Shahid Afridi as test captain and suspension of Salman Butt due to spot-fixing scandal, Misbah was preferred over Younus Khan, Mohammad Yousuf and Kamran Akmal as captain. Wasim Akram stated that although the decision was surprising if Misbah bats and fields well everything else will go according to plan. Former Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson stated that he believed Misbah has the best cricketing brain within Pakistan and he'll do incredibly well in the plans for the captaincy Misbah hit back at those who criticised the decision to appoint him captain and stated that he should be given a chance to prove himself

ODI captain

Misbah was the ODI captain from 2008 - 2015 and had the tenth highest success rate. He left in 2015 as captain from criticism due to his slow yet successful approach. Notwithstanding after continuous international losses, notably Pakistan's exit from the 2016 ICC World Twenty20, PCB officials seriously considered asking him to return as ODI captain.

Misbah-ul-Haq's record as ODI captain
TeamsMatchesWonLostTiedN/RWin%
 AFG22000100%
 AUS6150010%
 BAN66000100%
 ENG404000%
 IND8440050%
 IRE5401080%
 NZ4130025%
 SCO11000100%
 RSA15690040%
 SL2110100150%
 UAE11000100%
 WIN7331050%
 ZIM76100100%
Grand total8745392152%
Date last Updated:20 March 2015

Pakistan Super League

He is the Captain of Islamabad United (PSL) Under his captaincy Islamabad United won the first edition of Pakistan Super League tournament in 2016.

International Records

  • Fastest Fifty in Tests (21 Balls) completed in 24 minutes against Australia in Abu Dhabi.
  • Most half centuries without making an ODI century - Misbah has 42 half-centuries without a single century.
  • Leading run scorer in ODIs throughout 2013.
  • Most ODI fifties (15) in a calendar year (2013).
  • Joint second fastest century in Tests (56 balls) against Australia on 2 November 2014 in Abu Dhabi.
  • Pakistan's most successful Test captain with 23 wins.
  • First captain from South Asia to beat South Africa in South Africa.
  • Only second captain from Pakistan to win Asia Cup (2012).
  • Eighth Pakistani player to hit centuries in both innings of a test match.
  • Only Asian Captain to win 4 or more Test matches against England.
  • Most Test centuries by a Pakistan Test captain.
  • The first batsman to make a Test hundred after the age of 41 after Geoffrey Boycott in 1981.

International Centuries

  • In the column Runs, * indicates being not out.
  • The column title Match refers to the Match Number of his career.

Test centuries

The following table illustrates a summary of the Test centuries scored by Misbah-ul-Haq.

Misbah-ul-Haq's Test centuries
#RunsMatchAgainstCity/CountryVenueYearResult
1161*9 IndiaIndiaKolkata, IndiaEden Gardens2007Drawn
2133*10 IndiaIndiaBangalore, IndiaM. Chinnaswamy Stadium2007Drawn
3102*25 West IndiesSaint Kitts and NevisBasseterre, Saint Kitts and NevisWarner Park2011Won
410039 South AfricaUnited Arab EmiratesAbu Dhabi, United Arab EmiratesSheikh Zayed Stadium2013Won
513543 Sri LankaUnited Arab EmiratesAbu Dhabi, United Arab EmiratesSheikh Zayed Stadium2014Won
610150 AustraliaUnited Arab EmiratesAbu Dhabi, United Arab EmiratesSheikh Zayed Stadium2014Won
7101* AustraliaUnited Arab EmiratesAbu Dhabi, United Arab EmiratesSheikh Zayed Stadium2014Won
8102*51 New ZealandUnited Arab EmiratesAbu Dhabi, United Arab EmiratesSheikh Zayed Stadium2014Won
9102*60 EnglandUnited Arab EmiratesDubai, United Arab EmiratesDubai Cricket Stadium2015Won
1011462 EnglandEnglandLondon, EnglandLord's Cricket Ground2016Won

International Half-centuries

T20 International fifties

Mt.RunsBallsDismissalAgainstCity/CountryVenueYear
45535Run out IndiaDurban, South AfricaKingsmead2007
666*42Not out AustraliaJohannesburg, South AfricaThe Wanderers2007
1087*53Not out BangladeshKarachi, PakistanNational Stadium2008

International Awards

Test Cricket

Man of the Match awards

S NoSeriesSeasonMatch PerformanceResult
12nd Test – Pakistan in New Zealand Test Series2010/111st Innings: 99 (16×4); 2 Catches
2nd Innings: 70* (7×4)
Drawn.
22nd Test – Australia vs Pakistan in UAE Test Series20141st Innings: 101(211 balls) (10x4) (1x6)
2nd Innings:101*(57 balls) (11x4) (5x6)
 Pakistan won by 356 runs.

Player of the series awards

#SeriesSeasonMatch PerformanceResult
1Pakistan in England2016282 runs with 1 hundred and 2 fifties. Avg: 99.28 (4 Matches)Series drawn 2-2.

One-Day International Cricket

Man of the series awards

#SeriesSeasonMatch PerformanceResult
1Pakistan in West Indies2013260 runs with avg. of 65.00 (5 Matches) Pakistan Won the series 3-1.

Man of the Match awards

S NoOpponentVenueDateMatch PerformanceResult
1New ZealandMcLean Park, Napier1 February 201193* (91 balls, 7×4, 1×6) Pakistan won by 2 wickets.
2West IndiesKensington Oval, Bridgetown28 April 201162* (109 balls, 4x4, 1x6); DNB; Pakistan won by 3 wickets.
3South AfricaKingsmead, Durban21 March 201380 (93 balls, 7x4, 2x6); DNB; Pakistan won by 3 wickets.
4West IndiesBeausejour, Gros Islet19 July 201375 (112 balls, 3x4, 2x6); DNB;Tied.
5West IndiesBeausejour, Gros Islet24 July 201363 (93 balls, 5x4, 1x6); DNB; Pakistan won by 4 wickets.
6ZimbabweHarare Sports Club, Harare31 August 201367 (85 balls, 6x4); DNB; Pakistan won by 108 runs.

Twenty20 International Cricket

Man of the Match Awards

#SeriesSeasonMatch PerformanceResult
12007 ICC World Twenty20 eighteenth match (AUS vs PAK) in South Africa200766* (42 balls: 7x4, 1x6) Pakistan won by 6 wickets.
2Pakistan vs Bangladesh in Pakistan2007/0887* (53 balls: 3x4, 5x6) Pakistan won by 102 runs.

Criticism

Despite performing well, Misbah has gone through sever criticism from senior players and journalists. This list of criticizers includes Ramiz Raja, Waqar Younis, Inzaman Ul Haq and Mohammad Yousaf. Few of the criticizers have become admirers now, that include Ramiz Raja and Waqar Younis.