Lahore, Aug 22: Lauding Waqar Younis for playing a key role in helping the Pakistan cricket team deal with difficult times, captain Misbah ul Haq said the outgoing cricket coach would be missed badly by the side.
"Waqar has done a good job with the team and played an essential role in this transitional and difficult period for Pakistan cricket. Obviously team will feel his absence and there will be a void in the side," Misbah told reporters here.
Misbah said the resignation of Waqar was a surprise for the team. "He has played a big role in easing the new players into the team. Whoever replaces him will have a good precedent to work with," he said.
Waqar shocked the Pakistan cricket community on Aug 20 by announcing his resignation because of personal reasons and on health grounds. The former Test captain, who has coached the team since last year, said he would not be available after the Zimbabwe tour.
As expected, the sudden resignation by Waqar led to lot of speculation about the reasons behind his leaving the team.
So much so that the Pakistan Cricket Board was on Aug 21 compelled to issue a press release dismissing reports about differences between Waqar and the board or selectors as baseless.
"Pakistan Cricket Board considers it appropriate to rebutt reports in certain media suggesting that resignation of Waqar Younis is due to some differences with PCB officials or selection committee," the release said.
Subhan Ahmad, PCB's chief operating officer, said Waqar contacted the board a few days back and requested to be relieved from national duty for personal reasons including his health.
"Although it was a tough decision for the board to make yet we understand his position. His services for Pakistan both as a player and as the coach are enormous. We wanted him to continue with the rebuilding of the team but then he has to leave. Everyone should respect his personal priorities. PCB wish him all the best in his future endeavors," Subhan said.
The release also included a brief statement from Waqar which read, "It is unfortunate that these stories appeared despite the fact that I presented myself to media and talked in detail on the reasons of my resignation.
"Working with Pakistan team is an honor and I enjoyed being part of it. I have my personal reasons to resign and all the stories about my differences with anyone are absolutely incorrect. When you work as a team there can be a difference of opinion but that happens anywhere. I want to reiterate again that my resignation is purely on his personal reasons and all other suggestions are totally unfounded. I thank PCB for their support and understanding. I will be available again to serve Paksitan as soon as I settle my personal problems," Waqar said.