Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq is surely one of the most successful captains in the world and is considered as legendary figure across the globe. It was Misbah, who took the burden of leading the Pakistan Test side after the infamous spot-fixing scandal in 2010. He not just captained the side but also took the team to newer heights that barely anyone thought about post 2010. Like former Pakistan captain Imran Khan, Misbah is also considered as a fatherly figure in the Pakistan team. There have been many debates over his cricketing career as the captain of Pakistan but his journey to become a cricketer is much more interesting.

Misbah recently spoke about his journey and struggle in the famous show in Pakistan — ‘The Sportsman’. The show is hosted by former Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram, to whom Misbah revealed his story, “It’s a fact that there is always a story behind every cricketer and my story is quite difficult because my arrival in this field was a bit late. Yes, I used to play cricket since my school days but the real cricket I started after 1992. I just had given my FSC paper (probably intermediate) and after that I just started playing proper cricket. Infact, I was mostly forced by people to play cricket. I was good in tape ball cricket and most of the time I used to hit straight, so many people thought that I should play higher level in cricket, especially my cousin, who has his own club — Mianwali Gymkhana.”

He further added about how his cousin pushed him in cricket and said, “I actually used to ran away from it because it would take up my entire day and initially I was never interested in playing with leather ball. I loved playing tape ball but my cousin forcefully insisted me to start playing with leather ball and once I began playing, I enjoyed it a lot and my attraction shifted from tape ball to leather ball cricket. This is how it all started. ” 

Misbah also spoke about how he managed his education and cricketing career side by side. “After that, I played plenty of matches for club cricket then I went to Faisalabad to complete by B.SC as my father had one thing cleared.” He stated, “Do what you want but you have to atleast complete your education and try to do post-graduation as well, whether I score poor marks or good marks doesn’t matter.” 

The Pakistan Test captain also spoke about the impact of education on his life and cricketing career by saying, “Education changes your life, it change your way of thinking, you start seeing things in different way and also my subjects were double maths, physics in B.SC and after that, I completed my MBA.  Maths and physics are such subjects which enables one to see things from every angle with a newer point of view. You go deep into things while analyzing. So, when it comes to decision making in a game, you go deep in analysis with different angles and quickly too.”

He then continued by talk about how he began his First-Class career and quipped, “When I went to Lahore for masters, once again my cousin Tahir started pushing me for playing cricket and sent my kitbag there. I think, I would not have played cricket if he had not pushed me so much. Then I started playing club cricket for service, just to maintain my fitness. I started playing for fitness and while playing I met plenty of international cricketers and then I realised that I should also play at this level. I played my first grade two cricket in 1995 and then I made my First-Class debut in 1998/99 for Sargoda after completing my MBA.” 

Misbah then talked about how it was sharing dressing room with legendary cricketers, “It was a special feeling, You (Wasim Akram) were there, Inzy (Inzamam-ul-Haq) bhai, Waqar Younis was there and many other stars. For me it was like a kid who tries to hide himself so that nothing wrong happens while sharing the dressing room with these stars. ”

From there on, Misbah never looked back and with every year passing by, he improved his game and finally made his Test debut in 2001 but his big break was in 2007 ICC  World T20.