It’s a dream come true to be part of world’s best Test team: Azhar Ali

Pakistan ODI captain says Misbah receiving the Test mace is a proud moment for the nation

Emmad Hameed September 21, 2016
Azhar Ali and Misbahul Haq posing with the prestigious Test mace. PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Pakistan ODI captain Azhar Ali said on Wednesday that his dream of being part of the world’s best Test team was realised when Misbahul Haq-led side rose to the number one position in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) rankings.

Earlier on Wednesday, Misbah was presented with the Test mace by ICC chief executive David Richardson in Lahore. The mace is presented to the best side in the five-day format.

Misbah becomes first Pakistani to receive Test mace from ICC

“It is a proud moment for all of us,” said Azhar while talking to The Express Tribune. "It's like a dream come true to be part of a Test team that is the world's best.”

Azhar further highlighted Misbah’s leadership which was the primary reason that Pakistan, today, are the highest ranked team in Tests.

“Misbah deserves special praise for the way he has led the team,” he said. “I want to congratulate the entire country and cricket fans who have backed us,” he added.

Misbah suggests how to revive one-day cricket

The 31-year-old also said that memories accumulated by the Test side under Misbah’s leadership would always be treasured by the ones who were a part of the team.

“We have had some great memories over the last six years and we will cherish them for ever,” he said.

When asked about his favourite innings during Misbah’s tenure as captain, Azhar said his 68-run innings in the second Test at Abu Dhabi when England visited the UAE in 2011/2012 was his best.

In historic first, Pakistan rise to No. 1 in ICC Test rankings

In the aforementioned match, Pakistan batted first and scored 257 runs while England replied with 327. Pakistan were then bowled out for 214 with only three players scoring past 20 runs: Azhar (68), Asad Shafiq (43) and Mohammad Hafeez (22).

However, a six-for by left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman and off-spinner Saeed Ajmal’s three wickets helped Pakistan defeat England, who managed to score only 72 runs, with a 145-run target on the board.

“I rate my 68 in the second innings of the Abu Dhabi Test as my best match-winning performance considering how tough the game was for us and how we were able to make a stunning comeback and win that Test,” he reminisced.

Meanwhile, Pakistan batsman Asad Shafiq also hailed Misbah’s inspirational leadership, especially during a time when Pakistan cricket was arguably at its lowest following the 2010 spot-fixing scandal.

“Misbah led the team brilliantly throughout his tenure and deserves the accolades for his leadership and motivation,” said Shafiq. “When I joined the team six years ago I dreamt of reaching the summit of Test rankings. The journey had many ups and downs but I am so glad that I am a part of this team that has made history. I hope we can carry on in the same vein in the games ahead.”


IMTIAZ AWAN | 7 years ago | Reply Great achievement guys, you made us feel proud.
Riz khan | 7 years ago | Reply A true winner. A true Sports person. Hattsoff!!!
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