ISLAMABAD – Test skipper Misbah-ul-Haq became the first Pakistani to bag International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Spirit of Cricket Award 2016 on Thursday.

ICC honoured Misbah with the award for the way in which he brought his team from fourth to the first position in the Test 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.

The elated Misbah also expressed his views after the prestigious award and dubbed it as pinnacle of his career.

“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.”

Misbah also described Pakistan’s strategy that made it help wade through the rankings to clinch top position.

“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 opposition,” he said.

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

The International Cricket Council (ICC) also announced its Test and ODI Teams of the Year but unfortunately no Pakistani made it to the list.


India’s star player Virat Kohli has been named as captain of the ODI team which includes three Australians, Indians, South Africans each, and one each from England and West Indies.

On the other hand, England’s Alastair Cook has been named as captain of the ICC Test Team of the Year, which includes four Englishmen, three Australians, and a player each from New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka and South Africa.