KARACHI: Legendary batsman Zaheer Abbas has lauded Test captain Misbahul Haq for becoming the first Pakistani to win the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award, describing the veteran cricketer’s feat as a huge achievement.
“Misbah has made Pakistan proud with this award,” Abbas told The Express Tribune. “It had been a long time since a Pakistani received such an honour; this award is something to rejoice for all Pakistanis.”
The 42-year-old Misbah was adjudged the winner for inspiring his side to play the game in its true spirit as well as lifting the Pakistan cricket team from the number four spot to the very top of the ICC Test Team Rankings.
MS Dhoni (2011), Daniel Vettori (2012), Mahela Jayawardena (2013), Katherine Brunt (2014) and Brendon McCullum (2015) are the previous winners of this award.
Abbas, the former International Cricket Council (ICC) President, also appreciated the governing body for recognising Misbah’s services towards the game.
“This Pakistan team has done remarkably well under Misbah. From a deteriorating state he took the team to the top of the world rankings and I am happy he has been rewarded,” he said.
“Mind you, Pakistan have been unable to play matches at home and to lead the team to the top under such circumstances make Misbah one of the best Test captains in the country.”
The ‘Asian Bradman’ further said Misbah did not just lead the team well, his performances with the bat were also pretty impressive.
“Misbah has been performing well with the bat too. By scoring runs at this stage of his career, he has proven there are no age barriers. I back him to continue playing for the team.”