Islamabad United (IU) on Thursday bid farewell to Misbahul Haq as their head coach due to the latter’s commitments with the national team and the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) conflict of interest rules.
In a statement, the Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise said that Misbah’s contract, which had expired earlier, will not be renewed.
The seasoned cricketer — who stepped down as the chief selector earlier in October to focus solely on coaching — was the captain of two IU teams that had won the league in 2016 and 2018. He was appointed head coach of the franchise in Dec 2019.
In the statement, the team thanked the cricketer for his association with the franchise and wished him the best in his current role with the national team.
Commenting on the news, Misbah said that he had an attachment to IU and the relationships built over the past five years. “But with back to back World T20s coming up, I want to focus on the PSL from a purely neutral perspective.
“For anyone involved in Pakistani cricket, their national commitments should always be the priority, and for that I believe I will have to sacrifice my franchise commitments,” he said in comments posted to the franchise’s website.
“I wish the best of luck to Islamabad United for PSL 6, and the foundation we have built in that franchise will hopefully be a ladder to success for them for this year and future PSLs to come.”
Meanwhile, Ali Naqvi, the owner of the franchise, said: “Misbah has been an integral part of IU since being picked in the draft of PSL Season 1 in December 2015, and has been instrumental in making us the most successful team of the league.
“[The team] will miss his experience, guidance and wisdom but we respect the constraints of the PCB’s new rules and his commitments to the national side. We wish him the best in his professional as well as personal life,” he said.