David Richardson (left) and Misbah-ul-Haq (right) during the presentation ceremony at Lahore Photo Courtesy: ICC Twitter Account
David Richardson (left) and Misbah-ul-Haq (right) during the presentation ceremony at Lahore Photo Courtesy: ICC Twitter Account

Achieving the Test status for the first time since the rankings were introduced in 2003, International Cricket Council (ICC) presented the Test mace to Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq on Wednesday morning at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The last Test played on this venue was against Sri Lanka and since then no Test has taken place here. Misbah led Pakistan in the four-Test series against England that ended in draw by 2-2. Pakistan toppled India to gain the No. 1 spot. India enjoyed the No. 1 spot for brief time, until their final Test against West Indies ended in a draw. The No.1 spot was at stake as Australia were whitewashed by Sri Lanka.

 

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson presented the mace to Misbah at 10:30 hrs PST followed by a press conference at 11:00 hrs PST. After receiving the mace, Misbah mentioned, “This mace is a reward for the efforts and hard work of each and every individual who has been part of this group.” Misbah also said, “There can’t be a better location to receive the ICC Test Championship mace than this ground where we last played a home Test seven years ago. It is ironic for both the players as well as the fans that the journey to the number-one position has been outside Pakistan. The players have missed on the crowd support, while the spectators have been unable to watch live some magnificent team and individual performances. But I am confident that things will change and international cricket will soon return to Pakistan.”

He was happy to receive the mace in the twilight on his career, “It has always been a dream to lift an ICC trophy as captain. To be only the ninth international captain to achieve this honour in the traditional format of the game is something to be very proud of. This mace is a reward for the efforts and hard work of each and every individual who has been part of this group over the past few years.” Meanwhile, Richardson congratulated Misbah on receiving this mace and said, “The ICC Test Championship mace is a symbol of excellence and a recognition of a side’s outstanding performance in the purest format of the game. Being part of a team that is ranked No.1 in Test cricket is a pinnacle achievement for any cricketer. Pakistan is a deserving recipient of the mace. It is all the more impressive that it has reached the number-one Test ranking despite not being able to play a series in front of its home crowd since March 2009.” ALSO READ: Story of Misbah-ul-Haq’s journey to international cricket

He further added, “On behalf of the ICC, I want to congratulate the Pakistan cricket team and Misbah-ul-Haq in particular for the way he has led his side. I hope that the team continues to go from strength to strength. A strong Pakistan side is good for international cricket.” ALSO READ: Misbah-ul-Haq: Pakistan need to lay greater emphasis on one-day cricket in domestic system

Misbah’s next assignment will be to lead Pakistan in the three-match Test series against Jason Holder-led West Indies in the UAE. The first Test begins on October 13 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. West Indies ahead of this Test series were handed a 2-0 series defeat by India at home.