Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq stunned the nation with his performance at Lord’s on Thursday. The 42-year-old not only scored an amazing century but also exhibited some serious swag.
Misbah became the sixth oldest player in Test history to make a century as his unbeaten 110 took Pakistan to 282 for six at stumps on the first day of a four-match series.
His achievement was all the more impressive as this was also his first Test at the ‘home of cricket’, yet he secured a coveted place on the Lord’s honours board.
However, the highlight of the day was when Misbah celebrated his century with a salute to the Pakistan flag flying above the Pavilion and performing a series of push-ups. Although, at first, it appeared to be a joke aimed at critics who questioned whether he is now too old for international cricket, there was another reason for that amazing and surprising celebration.
In the post-match conference, Misbah revealed that the push-ups were for the trainers of Pakistan Army.
“I promised them [army trainers] I would do 10 push-ups if I score a century on this tour,” he said.
“We had an honour code on the boot camp, for push-ups, so that was my promise to them the next time I scored 100. So that was for them, and the salute was for the flag.”
Shoaib Malik also tweeted saying they were all taught to salute at the army camp.
Last month, the PCB had arranged a boot camp at PMA, Kakul for players to increase their fitness level, following the debacle in Asia Cup.
The Islamabad United captain dedicated the ton to his wife and fans. He said his unbeaten century against England at Lord’s was the “top innings” of an impressive Test career.
Misbah equalled West Indies great Vivian Richards’s then world record for the fastest-ever Test century with a blistering 56-ball hundred against Australia in Abu Dhabi in 2014 — a mark surpassed by Brendon McCullum’s 54-ball hundred for New Zealand against Australia at Christchurch in February.
“I rate this as my top innings in Test cricket and I’m really happy about that,” Misbah said at the post-match presser.
“It’s a dream to play at Lord’s and especially getting 100, and the name on the honours board is something special,” added Misbah, who vindicated his own decision to bat first after winning the toss.
“Obviously when you are playing competitive cricket you just don’t think about your age. If you are there, you just take on the challenge that comes with playing the game.These records are always something special, and they are very satisfying to make those kinds of achievements, but the main thing is just to keep achieving for your country,” he added.
Game’s legends and cricket pundits alike were just as impressed by Misbah’s innings as us.