Misbah-ul-Haq led Pakistan to become the top-ranked team in Tests    Getty Images
Misbah-ul-Haq led Pakistan to become the top-ranked team in Tests Getty Images

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday honoured Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq with the ICC Spirit of Cricket award for the year 2016 during the ICC awards ceremony. The cricket governing body has been recognising the best of talents with awards since 2004. The awards ceremony involves a lot of categories including the Garfield Sobers Trophy (given to the Cricketer of the Year), Test Cricketer of the Year and the One-Day International (ODI) cricketer of the year, David Shepherd award (given to the Umpire of the Year) among others. The awards for 2016 have been decided based upon the individuals’ performances from September 14, 2015 to September 20, 2016.

The 42-year-old Pakistan captain led the side to pull off a 2-2 draw against England at the latter s home, helping the side attain the top spot in the format. Apart from leading the team, Misbah s century in the very first Test at Lord s was one of the silver-linings for Pakistan in the series. Thus, he becomes the first Pakistan cricketer to win the award. 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, Misbah told ICC after the announcement.

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Marais Erasmus was named the winner of the David Shepherd award for the ICC Umpire of the year. David Shepherd has been one of the role models for many aspiring umpires and to win the trophy named after him is something to be really proud of. It has been an excellent period of international cricket and I consider myself extremely fortunate to be part of it, revealed Erasmus.

Apart from Misbah and Erasmus, Suzie Bates has been named the Women s Player of the Year in ODIs and T20Is while the names of the rest of the awardees are yet to be revealed.