Misbah answers critics with Player of the Year nomination


Pakistan cricket team captain Misbah-ul-Haq believes that his nomination for the ICC cricketer of the year award is an answer to his critics. Misbah, who is now captain in all three formats of the game after the retirement of Shahid Afridi, said the nomination had come at a right time in his career. “It is satisfying to know that all your hard work does eventually payoff and is recognised,” Misbah said. “Although it’s just a nomination, it still boosts your confidence and inducts new energy in you,” he said.
“It’s a positive sign as it also drives you to strive harder, to improve on your current show and reach further,” he added. “As far as the criticism is concerned, I think this is an ongoing practice by some individuals and analysts that a player should not be afraid of. Hard work is the simple reply to all sorts of criticism,” he stated. While Misbah is his country’s lone representative for the Cricketer of the Year Award, youngsters – Azhar Ali, Adnan Akmal and Wahab Raiz – have been shortlisted for the Emerging Player of the Year category.
Other Pakistan cricketers to have been nominated were Muhammad Hafeez and Saeed Ajmal for the one-day international (ODI) Player of the Year award. Misbah said he would try to work harder on his game and reckoned that the next six to eight months were crucial for him and the national team. “We are going to play against some really tough opposition in Sri Lanka, England and perhaps India and the team need to do well to improve Pakistan’s rankings in all three formats,” Misbah said. Hafeez, who has performed better than most of his teammates since his return to the squad, last year, said he was happy to be nominated for the ICC award. “I worked very hard in last three years for the comeback and I think this nomination tells me I’m heading in the right direction,” said Hafeez.
“Everyone apart from us has been playing in their home conditions but we still have been able to make an impact, playing away from home and deprived of home conditions,” he added. Hafeez performed well on the tour to the West Indies this year scoring 267 runs in five matches with an average of 53 while taking six wickets at an average of just over 23. He also made his second one-day international century on the tour as well, scoring a fluent 121.