Pakistani Test skipper Misbah-ul-Haq won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award, the ICC tweeted Thursday.
The 42-year-old was given the award for inspiring his side to play the game with zest and zeal that mirrors his own.
The Pakistani Test side rose to the number one spot on the ICC Test rankings during his captaincy this year, that too in a time when Pakistan only plays international cricket away from home.
Misbah is the first ever Pakistani to win the award. Previous winners include MS Dhoni (2011), Daniel Vettori (2012), Mahela Jayawardena (2013), Katherine Brunt (2014) and Brendon McCullum (2015).
According to ICC’s official website, Misbah reacted to the news, saying, “I feel honoured and humbled to have won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award.”
“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,” the skipper added.
Talking about team strategy, Misbah said, “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.”
“I am glad that this has been noticed and recognised by the game’s governing body,” he concluded.
Earlier this year Misbah cheekily dropped to his hands and knees and did 10 push-ups in quick succession after he became the oldest Test centurion in 82 years at England’s famous Lord’s cricketing ground.
“That was my promise to the army guys,” Misbah explained later in a press conference.
Last month he also made history on Nov 18 by becoming the first Pakistani to play 50 matches as Test captain at the Hagley Oval ground in Christchurch against the Kiwis.