Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Misbah ul Haq Deserved The ICC Awards

The list of nominees for the International Cricket Council Awards in both the Test Player of the Year and the Cricketer of the Year category were like a constellation of stars. Amongst this cavalcade of icons, one name stood out...

That of he sole Pakistani nominee in Misbah ul Haq

That was in recognition, not for his deeds as a player on the field, that could be categorised as above average. Though more, for his service, not only to his Nation of Pakistan, but cricket as a whole as a Captain.

In truth, deeds that deserve him to be labelled a Statesman

Lofty praise indeed, and a term saved for icons of the game like Sir Frank Worrell. Though like the great West Indian, Misbah has represented similar meaning to Pakistan in the last 12 months. 

I say this, for through his natural acumen as an astute and refined leader of men. He has transformed a basket case situation into one that is a is a Team ready to re emerge as a power again

This by the fact that when he was issued with the Pakistan Captaincy, it was the virtual poison chalice. The Team had sadly lost the right to host home games due to terrorism, then the Team was on the point of imploding in the wake of Match Spotting allegations. That later would cost its two brightest stars, in bowlers Mohammed Asif and Mohammad Amir.

Such was the gravity of the situation, that irrational calls by Ian Botham to see Pakistan banned from the International arena were being taken on in some quarters.

Despite this, Misbah has not only put the shattered pieces of Pakistan cricket back together again, but done so in a manner that is bringing the Team renewed respect.

Silence is the most deafening aspect of the Team now. For all the inner politics, scandals and acts of madness, that have so been associated with Pakistan cricket in the past. They have been replaced by the principles and honour, that is so apparent in Misbah being made the basis and reputation of the Team

Then with this success has followed

In the Test arena, they have been undefeated in all their series, and won against New Zealand away.

Then in the ODI arena, the Team he created had enough inner belief and substance to make the Semi Finals of the World Cup. In fact, if Shahid Afridi hadn't of inexplicably replaced Misbah as Captain on the eve of the World Cup due to huge public pressure. Ive no doubt that with Misbah's more steady, and thoughtful Captaincy. Pakistan might have won the Cup.

This remarkable renaissance of a Team on the edge of the abyss makes you question whether Misbah should have indeed been given recognition in winning the two ICC Awards he was nominated for

For what is more deserving of reward?

The exceptional deeds of Jonathan Trott and Alistair Cook as individuals in a Team, that let them be awarded the Cricketer of the Year and Test Player of the Year respectively. Or the acts of Misbah ul Haq, that despite overwhelming odds, has seen not only the saving of his Nation, but the rebuilding of it in a more refined and respected manner.

You would favour Misbah because of the legacy that he has left to the game in the last 12 months.

Then in lieu oh his meaning to the game as a whole, he would have been a more worthy recipient of both the Test Player of the Year and the Cricketer of the Year Awards

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