Pakistan’s most successful captain, Misbahul Haq, has become one of the most endeared cricketers around the world for his unflappable temperament and supreme conduct both in and outside the cricket field.
He was handed over the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award by the governing body of the game in recognition of his outstanding contributions as Pakistan’s leader especially his inspirational leadership during the team’s tour of England. The seasoned campaigner took over the reins of captaincy at the back of the damning spot-fixing scandal that rocked Pakistan cricket in the summer of 2010. Since then, he went about the task of rebuilding the team before moulding them into a world-class unit that won the ICC Test Championship mace for topping the rankings for the first time since their inception.
The greatest achievement for Misbah was the mace which consolidated his position in the folklore of Pakistan’s most followed sport. At the twilight of his exceptional career, Misbah is currently leading the team on the tough tour of Australia where he is desperate to create history and take his team to their first-ever series win in the country.
Pakistan’s fighting spirit under Misbah was for the world to see after their heroic fight back almost from the dead in the Brisbane Test. Asad Shafiq who started his career as Misbah took over the captaincy took a leaf out his captain’s book to deliver a knock for the ages.
In the days ahead Misbah can take Pakistan to unprecedented glory and even if he fails to win the series in Australia his performances in the UAE and England will be remembered as long as cricket is played in the country. The award is indeed a celebration of the spirit of Misbahul Haq and Pakistan cricket fans must be mighty proud of their outstanding leader.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 23rd, 2016.