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Misbah among Pakistan's Greats
Misbah-ul-Haq is a man with clear head and gentlemen like personality. Playing for his country for the past one decade, he surely has been defying age and unfavorable circumstances; Misbah has performed the duty for his country's cricket with some grace, style and poise. Misbah-ul-haq has witnessed the controversies in Pakistan’s cricket and dealt with them. One may or may not agree with techniques and strategies of his on the cricketing field, but surely no one can question his dedication and willingness to carry the weight of national side during their ugly lows.
Abdul Hafeez Kardar is considered to be the father figure in Pakistan’s cricket. He was the first international captain of the national side. He captained the side back in 50’s and rose to fame with his significant contributions with the ball during the series leveling test match at the Oval in 1954. Moreover under his prolific leadership Pakistan cricket team went on to defeat Australia in 1957 at Karachi in the only Test match. He laid the foundations for Pakistan as the competitive team in international arena.
In the early 80’s Imran Khan was a colossal figure in Pakistan cricket, with his fearless approach and the ability to understand the game he transformed the national side into a dominating force in world cricket. Imran’s leadership earned Pakistan overseas victories against England and the arch rivals India. He nurtured the raw talent and made them into the world beaters. During his days as a leader of the national side Pakistan was the only side that could match WestIndies both home and away. He was the first and to date the only to lift the World cup. Credit to his leadership, courageous cricket associated with Pakistan.
Pakistan cricket team was at their unforgettable best during the era of 90’s. A team that was packed with numerous superstars had the ability to beat any side on the given day. With so much talent, ability and skills in the store the national side still could not manage to claim international titles because they lacked the blessings of a leader, who could polish their raw talent.
With the advent of 21st century the side had lost the flair and aggression they were known for. The superstars of 90’s had retire and the young blood did not demonstrate much hope. With all the mess around, in came the spot-fixing saga of 2010. Those were some poisonous times in Pakistan’s rich cricketing history. Credibility of Pakistani players had gone in world cricket; the nation was deprived of the international cricket at home already. A spell of disgrace and shame casted on the national team until Misbah-ul-haq accepted the responsibility to lead the side.
Slowly and steadily Misbah started the rebuild process, he had the will power of a giant and carried the whole team along. He took the side from absolute bottom to the top in the world test rankings. Under his able leadership Pakistan whitewashed England and NewZealand. Pakistan defeated Australia in a 3 match Test series played in UAE. He shares the record for most consecutive test series wins. He captained Pakistan in 53 Test matches so far clinched 24 victories with a win percentage of 45.28. Misbah is the only captain from sub-continent to have won a bilateral series against South Africa in their backyard. Furthermore he is honored to be the only captain to have whitewashed a side outside Asian conditions. He also claimed the joint second fastest century in Tests (56 balls) against Aussies in UAE.
Misbah-ul-haq’s successes cannot be measured with the statistical data, his contribution to Pakistan cricket is way more than that, the circumstances in which he led and the way he delivered is matchless. This great man is almost at verge of retirement from the international circuit; he had contributed immensely to Pakistan’s cricket and proved to be a faithful servant to the national side.
It was Misbah, the next great leader after Kardar and Imran Khan and for his towering efforts plus contributions for the nation he deserves a fitting farewell. Wish him well.