LAHORE: Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq has said achieving top Test ranking for Pakistan for the first time is something to be very proud of and the entire nation is delighted over this special feat.
On Monday, Pakistan with 111 points topped the ICC ranking after the final fourth Test match between India and the West Indies ended in tame draw at Port of Spain due to rain.
“To top the table, which boasts some great teams and players, is something to be very proud of. This is what cricketers play for and want to achieve in their careers,” Misbah said.
“I want to compliment everyone who has been involved in the process, including all the players, the support personnel, the management, as well as our loyal fans and followers who remained committed to us and continued to back and support the side through the good and not-so-good days.
“For us, the number-one ranking is not a destination but part of a journey. Our long-term objective and strategy is to remain competitive, continue to challenge the top sides with good cricket and once again become the most followed side like the Pakistan teams of yesteryears.
“If we can achieve these on a consistent basis, then I am sure there will be more laurels like this down the line,” said Misbah who is the most successful Test captain of Pakistan with 22 Test victories to his credit since assuming the charge in 2010 after the infamous spot-fixing scam at Lord’s that saw three players – Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir – getting lengthy bans and a prison term each.
Leading the side astutely with a cool mind and a sober attitude, Misbah has been a real messiah for Pakistan cricket in the past few years.
At the time of taking over the mantle of captaincy, Misbah was in charge in all three formats.
However, he surrendered the T20 captaincy in 2014 when PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf took a controversial decision to appoint Mohammad Hafeez for the post.
In 2015, Misbah who led Pakistan in the ODI World Cup in Australia-New Zealand, also relinquished the one-day captaincy and middle-order batsman Azhar Ali was appointed in his place.
It is, indeed, to Misbah’s credit that even at the ripe age of 42, he is still in great form and is the fittest player in the side who continues to lead the Test team to glory.
The ICC Chief Executive David Richardson, while congratulating the Pakistan, said on Monday that reaching the summit was very well deserved for Misbah and his men and a testament to the quality of cricket Pakistan has consistently played over the past few years.
“The past few weeks of Test cricket have been incredibly absorbing with some high-quality competitive series being played, exhibiting what is so special about Test cricket,” the ICC chief said.