Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq has suggested extending the time span of the ICC World Test Championship with the COVID-19 pandemic bringing all cricketing activities to a halt and potentially throwing the international schedule haywire.
"I just think that all teams must get equal opportunities in the championship even if matches are rescheduled," he said during a video conference with the media on Tuesday (31st March).
"Whenever cricket resumes all teams should get equal opportunity in the ICC World Test Championship to try to play in the final. The tournament can be extended beyond 2021," he said.
According to the original schedule, the inaugural competition runs from 2019-2021.
Pakistan had to postpone a Test of the championship against Bangladesh at home following the coronavirus outbreak earlier this month.
Misbah also said that if teams didn't get equal opportunity to play in the championship, results would not be fair.
The ICC has indicated that it would talk to member boards to find a solution to the matches of the championship which will be hit by the pandemic and one option which will be discussed would be awarding points for cancelled matches.
"The tournament should be extended that is my view. That is the only way we can find and end the event in a balanced way. Matches can be rescheduled if the event is extended, he said.
After the Test against Bangladesh, Pakistan's next assignment of the ICC Championship is a Test series in England in July.
Misbah said since that series was very important, he had already asked all the players who are in isolation to keep working on their fitness and also study the strengths and weaknesses of the England team.
"I have been in touch with most of the players including centrally contracted players even trainer is in touch with them we are giving them and sending them plans according to their equipment at home to remain in shape as a team.
"I want the physical condition of players to be what is required in Test cricket whenever cricket resumes, he said.
Misbah said this was the best time for Pakistan to do its homework for the series in England and analyse their players.
Asked about Pakistani players and officials having to take pay cuts if the coronavirus pandemic continues for a long time, Misbah said when the contracts of players expire in June, the board and players will sit down and decide what to do.
"When new contracts come we will see situation and take the right decisions and players will have to understand and it will not be a one-way decision everyone is mentally ready for this situation," he said.
Misbah calls for uniform policy in dealing with corrupt cricketers
Misbah demanded a clear policy for players who are found guilty of corruption at any level.
However, the former Test captain also didn't agree with the public comments made by Mohammad Hafeez, who feels tainted players should not be allowed back into the national team.
"It is my personal opinion that if you are playing as a player you shouldn't be giving such opinion as the ICC and PCB are the authority on these matters and they take decisions as per existing law," he said.
He advised Hafeez to avoid making comments because as a player one has to share the dressing room.
"It is good that the PCB CEO Wasim Khan has had a long talk with Hafeez on this issue and Hafeez has shared his ideas as well. I think he will now understand that it is totally up to organisation to take a decision on these issues."
Asked about Hafeez's suggestion that a clause should be put into the players contracts on the issue of what should happen if a player is found guilty of corruption, Misbah said that there should be a unanimous law for all players.
"But we have to take into count many things like a player's education and his understanding of his position and situation and his decision making ability. In most cases we have seen it has been about players failing to report any approaches to them."
Misbah players like in the recent Umar Akmal case tended to take things lightly and landed into trouble.
"My personal view is that if you want to put such a clause for players, it should be unanimous and should be decided once for all."
Misbah also indicated that Hafeez might not be in the team management's future plans in the ODI format.
"When we sit down to talk about ODI cricket we will have to see whether Hafeez would be playing in the 2023 World Cup because you have to start planning about a World Cup well in time."