LAHORE: Misbah-ul-Haq on Wednesday received the prestigious ICC Test Championship mace for inspiring Pakistan to the top of the Test team rankings for the first time since the current rankings system was introduced in 2003.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson presented the mace to Misbah at the home of Pakistan cricket at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore and Misbah said it was befitting that the mace presentation was taking place there.
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“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,” said Misbah. “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.”
Misbah added he was delighted to hold the mace in the twilight of 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.”
Pakistan is only the fifth side after Australia, England, India and South Africa to top the ICC Test rankings, while Misbah is the ninth captain to lift the mace after Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Steve Smith (all Australia), MS Dhoni (India), Andrew Strauss (England), Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla (both South Africa).