Pakistan batsman Misbah-ul-Haq was hoping that his electric performance in the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy would fast track his return to the national team after he was dropped for the upcoming series against New Zealand. Barely a day after being axed from the one-day, Twenty20 and Test squads, Misbah scored a career-best 284 for Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) against Lahore Shalimar at the Lahore City Cricket Association Ground.
He shared a Pakistan record of 479 with Usman Arshad (183), 41 short of the world record for the fifth wicket in first-class cricket, set by Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja for Saurashtra against Orissa in India last year.
"Naturally it's disappointing to lose your place, but I have played a big innings, which I badly needed to revive my career, and I will prove that my career is not over," Misbah said. "There is no better way to prove your critics wrong than by scoring runs, and I will prove that my age is not a hurdle in my career. I will definitely work my way back into the team."
The 35-year-old right-hander, who has played 15 Tests, 56 ODIs and 23 Twenty20 internationals, fared poorly in Pakistan's Test and one-day defeats in Sri Lanka in July-August and managed just six runs in Pakistan's opening match of the Champions Trophy against the West Indies. He was overlooked for the match against India, and managed 41 against Australia in the last league game before being left out for the semi-final against New Zealand.
However, Misbah said he would stay positive. "I am a positive cricketer and will try my level best to get my place back."
Pakistan will play three ODIs in Abu Dhabi and two Twenty20 internationals in Dubai against New Zealand, beginning November 3. After the limited-over series, the teams will fly to New Zealand to play three Tests.