WEB DESK: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday honoured Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq with the ICC Spirit of Cricket award for the year 2016.
The awards ceremony involves a lot of categories including the Garfield Sobers Trophy (given to the Cricketer of the Year), Test Cricketer of the Year and the One-Day International (ODI) cricketer of the year, David Shepherd award (given to the Umpire of the Year) among others. The awards for 2016 have been decided based upon the individuals’ performances from September 14, 2015 to September 20, 2016.
The 42-year-old was adjudged the winner for inspiring his side to play the game in its true spirit, at the same time lifting the Pakistan cricket team from number-four to number-one on the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings. This was achieved without playing any Test matches in his home country remarkably, read an ICC media release.
According to ICC’s official website, Misbah commented on the news, “I feel honoured and humbled to have won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award. To lift the Test mace earlier this year and now this in the twilight of my career, is a message for every athlete that age is not a barrier as long as the sportsperson maintains highest fitness levels and continues to perform up to international standards.”
“As a team, we have focused on playing within the rich traditions of the sport with a positive mindset and approach so that we can entertain the spectators and fans, and at the same time, challenge the oppositions. I am glad that this has been noticed and recognised by the game’s governing body”. the Captain added.
Misbah is the first Pakistan player to win the award with the previous winners being MS Dhoni (2011), Daniel Vettori (2012), Mahela Jayawardena (2013), Katherine Brunt (2014) and Brendon McCullum (2015). New Zealand also won this award in 2004, 2009 and 2010, England in 2005 and 2006, and Sri Lanka in 2007 and 2008.