England win makes Pakistan a cricket power: Misbah

Updated: 07 February 2012 11:17 IST

Winning captain Misbah-ul Haq said his team's 3-0 routing of world number one England sends a strong message to the cricketing world -- Pakistan is a power and should be ignored no more.

England win makes Pakistan a cricket power: Misbah

Dubai:

Winning captain Misbah-ul Haq said his team's 3-0 routing of world number one England sends a strong message to the cricketing world -- Pakistan is a power and should be ignored no more.

Misbah's men won the third and final Test by 71 runs on the fourth day at Dubai Stadium here on Monday to seal the first-ever series whitewash in all Pakistan-England Tests.

And that, Misbah believed, will go a long way in further establishing Pakistan, which has not lost a series since August 2010, as a global power.

"We showed the world again that we are a power in the cricketing world," said Misbah, 37. "Now, it's time to give importance to the Pakistan team again."

Misbah said Pakistan had emerged from various problems surrounding the team, notably the spot-fixing scandal on their tour of England in 2010 which ended in lengthy bans on Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir.

"That was a big ask for a team, you can say we just came out of such problems and I think the way the team came out and the way the team is progressing, it's a wonderful thing," said Misbah, who took over in October 2010.

Since then Pakistan have won nine of their 15 Tests, lost one and drew five.

"Everybody has to look out for Pakistan cricket because everbody was just ignoring our cricket, our team and lot of things were said about the team. Our performance should be recognised and Pakistan cricket should be recognised.

"We didn't get the edge in international fixtures and now we must be given an edge in the international scheduling," said Misbah.

Misbah demanded the return of international cricket to Pakistan, suspended in the wake of terrorists' attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.

"You can't keep away a nation from international cricket after this performance. The whole world, the ICC, the playing nations should think about it and revive our international cricket.

"How long we can play like this? We go home for four days and then we play our home series outside (the country).

"It's almost one year now that I haven't stayed at home for not more than a month, it's a difficult thing for cricketers."

Misbah said nobody expected the 3-0 win.

"We were expecting that England would have problems here because of the slowness of the wickets. Our bowlers really bowled well on these wickets, but we were not expecting these sort of results to come."

England captain Andrew Strauss admitted that batting had let down his side.

"We didn't bat well in all three Tests, to be honest with ourselves. If you keep getting out for 140 or 150 then you are not going to win many Test matches," said Strauss, lamenting the first Test defeat here by 10 wickets.

Pakistan won the second by 72 runs in Abu Dhabi.

"There are obviously some regrets from the batsmen about the way we played their spinners, more regrets particularly I think how we played in the first Test because that set the tone for the rest of the series."

Strauss praised Pakistan, especially their spinners Saeed Ajmal who took 24 wickets in the series and Abdul Rehman who finished with 18.

"You need to give Pakistan huge amount of credit because their two spinners were very impressive and made life difficult for ourselves and when we did get in front of them in Tests they were able to wrest the initiative back in their favour," said Strauss.

Strauss denied his team ever took Pakistan lightly.

"We never underestimated Pakistan, they have played lot of good cricket in the last 12-18 months, we knew that their spinners were good enough and they played outstandingly, they are well led and very tight and cohesive unit and that's important for a side to play consistnetly."

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