Misbah gets ICC Spirit
DUBAI: Making Pakistan proud once again, Misbah-ul-Haq has won International Cricket Council’s Spirit of Cricket Award 2016.

He got the award for inspiring Pakistan briefly to No. 1 in the Test rankings.

Misbah, 42, led Pakistan to the top of the Test rankings for the first time earlier this year after they drew a four-Test series in England 2-2. Despite not playing any Test in his home country, Misbah muscled Pakistan to the top on the back of a run of unbeaten Test series since August 2014, when they were at No. 6.

Misbah is the first Pakistan player to win the award. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2011), Daniel Vettori (2012), Mahela Jayawardene (2013), Katherine Brunt (2014) and Brendon McCullum (2015) were the winners in the last five years, while the New Zealand (2004, 2009 and 2010), England (2005 and 2006) and Sri Lankan (2007 and 2008) teams won in the preceding years.

“I feel honoured and humbled to have won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award,” said Misbah. “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.”

Meanwhile, Marais Erasmus was awarded the David Shepherd Trophy for the ICC Umpire of the Year.

Erasmus, 52, is the fifth umpire to win the award after Simon Taufel (2004 to 2008), Aleem Dar (2009 to 2011), Kumar Dharmasena (2012) and Richard Kettleborough (2013 to 2015).

Erasmus made his international debut in October 2007 in a One-Day International between Kenya and Canada in Nairobi, and was promoted to the elite panel in 2010. He was voted by the elite panel of ICC match referees and Test playing captains, and defeated strong competition from Richard Illingworth, Bruce Oxenford and Richard Kettleborough, the ICC said in a statement.

“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,” said Erasmus. “It has been an excellent period of international cricket and I consider myself extremely fortunate to be part of it.”

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