Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq has signed with Rangpur for the third edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), which will start on November 22.
Ul-Haq has not played any Twenty20 Internationals since he stepped down as Pakistan’s Twenty20 captain in 2012. But, the 41-year-old has opted to play in the BPL in a bid to keep himself motivated and fit.
“I have signed with BPL,” Misbah told ESPNcricinfo. “I want to carry on and keep myself motivated and maintain my fitness. So whatever cricket comes in I want to play to avoid being complacent.”
Ul-Haq recently helped Pakistan ascend up to second on the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test team rankings after leading them to a 2-0 series win over England.
The veteran batsman had been planning to retire after the series, but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) asked him to shelve those plans.
With his next assignment being a tour of England in July 2016, ul-Haq plans to keep himself busy by playing in the BPL and the Quaid-E-Azam trophy, which is Pakistan’s domestic first-class competition.
Pakistan’s domestic season will conclude in February, meaning that ul-Haq will have four months until the start of the England tour. In order to be fully prepared for the tour, ul-Haq said that he was planning to sign with an English county.
“I love the game and want to play it,” he had said after the recent Test series against England. “It’s really difficult when you have not played any competitive cricket for six, seven, eight months and suddenly you come and play against top players. So this is a period you need to motivate yourself.
“I can still play domestic cricket and be ready for that kind of challenge, but that’s not easy. I have mentioned that before because after retiring from ODIs, I can feel that whenever the Tests come the first game is always difficult and the body mechanism is not working. I feel that I am playing after a long time and it takes one or two innings to settle and if you are getting out early it could be horrible for you so these things are there so I am just trying to rethink and work out.”