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Misbahul Haq becomes first Pakistani to win ICC Spirit of Cricket Award

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Test captain Misbahul Haq on Thursday became the first Pakistani to bag International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Spirit of Cricket Award for inspiring his team from fourth to the first position in the five-day format.

“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 ICC Test team rankings. Remarkably, this was achieved without playing any Test matches in his home country,” read an ICC media release.

Misbah has joined a distinct list of some of the game’s modern-era greats like MS Dhoni (2011), Daniel Vettori (2012), Mahela Jayawardena (2013), Katherine Brunt (2014) and Brendon McCullum (2015).

“I feel honoured and humbled to have won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award,” said Misbah as quoted in the media release. “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.”

He then explained the philosophy of the Test team. “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.

He added: “I am glad that this has been noticed and recognised by the game’s governing body.”

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