Abu Dhabi (Online): Pakistan Test cricket captain Misbah-ul-Haq was awarded with the ICC's Spirit of Cricket Award 2016 today (Thursday) for his participation in lifting team Pakistan from its number four ranking in Test cricket to number one. 

Captain Misbah was considered the winner for enabling his side to play the game in its true spirit as well as taking Pakistan to the top of the Test rankings table. This was accomplished without any cricket being played in Pakistan for more than a couple of years, ever since the infamous terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team.

Now he has become the first Pakistani to win this award. Previous winners include India's MS Dhoni (2011), New Zealand's Daniel Vettori (2012), Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardena (2013), Katherine Brunt (2014) and Brendon McCullum (2015). Misbah is the one to bag the award for this year. 

Official account of ICC cited Misbah's statements that the award was proof for any athlete that age was not a barrier when one wanted to accomplish feats. 

He said, "I feel honoured and humbled to have won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award. 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." 

Misbah said, "As a team, we have focused on playing within the rich traditions of the sport with a positive mindset and approach so that we can entertain the spectators and fans, and at the same time, challenge the oppositions. I am glad that this has been noticed and recognised by the game’s governing body."