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A well-deserved victory

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Misbah_ul_Haq_Pakistan_cricketWhatever happens from here on, whichever team finds success in future editions of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), whichever captain wins the most PSL trophies, it won’t matter. Islamabad United will remain the champions of the inaugural edition of the PSL. Misbah will remain the captain who led Islamabad United to victory in the inaugural edition of the PSL. Nothing can change that. This will stay forever. Misbah deserved it more than anyone. And he was the one who was destined to win it.

Many would think, why not the beloved superstar Shahid Afridi? The answer is easy.

Misbah has done a lot for Pakistan cricket. Misbah dragged Pakistan as high as the 2nd rank in the ICC Test Rankings. It was under his captaincy that Pakistan whitewashed Australia (2-0) in 2014 and England (3-0) in 2012, in Test series in the U.A.E. It was under his captaincy that Pakistan won their first Test series in Sri Lanka since 2006, winning the deciding game by chasing down a mammoth target of 377 runs, making their mark on the record books. It was under his captaincy that Pakistan chased down a target of 302 runs in 57.3 overs against Sri Lanka in Sharjah in 2014, which is still the fastest chase (in terms of run rate and number of overs) of a target of over 300 runs in a Test. It does not finish there. The list goes on and on and on.

Misbah gave Pakistan such joy when he equaled Sir Viv’s record of the fastest test 100, until Brendon McCullum broke it in his final Test match. Misbah led Pakistan to victories in away ODI series against India and South Africa, an achievement in itself.

 

Moreover, Misbah led the Pakistan team in a time of turmoil. He led the team when everything was faltering. He led the team when Pakistan cricket was surrounded by the weirdest of dramas. But he took responsibility and carried the team such that it did not lose its venom. He kept the team on the cricketing map. The team did not perish. The Pakistani nation cannot thank Misbah enough for that. Pakistan is forever indebted to him.

The megastar Shahid Afridi hasn’t been bad either. He has produced some magical wins for his cricket-loving nation. Afridi was the one who once scored the fastest ODI century, off just 37 balls, until Corey Anderson and ABD bettered it one after another. Afridi was the player of the match in the semi and final of the World T20 2009, and led the team to victory. That remains the brightest point of his career. He gave some more smiles to Pakistan when he won matches against arch-rivals India out of nowhere.

Now his achievements hold their own significance and Misbah’s achievments hold their own significance. The doings of both are loved by Pakistan. Both are the sons of their motherland and Pakistan is proud of them.

When it comes down to having someone as an idol, then it should be Misbah-ul-Haq simply because his is a more suitable personality to follow. Afridi has not been a good student of cricket, and yet has succeeded. There are some people who just succeed even without being good students.

Misbah never tasted the victory of a trophy, and now, at last, he has. He was so close in 2007 and 2011, and yet so far. He deserved this, and he won it. He even led his team to the quarter final of 2015 World Cup.

It was such a joy to watch Misbah go through to the final against all odds in the PSL. It was a joy to see his captaincy in the final. It was a joy to see him put pressure straight away on the opposition. It was a joy to see him pull out different tricks to tackle the opposition. In the end, it was a fitting end to see Misbah hit the winning run of the inaugural edition of the PSL.

Misbah and team lifted the trophy. It proved that Misbah is the best in Pakistan amongst the current lot, that Misbah is one of the best captains Pakistan has produced. Misbah never got anything on the international stage, but he did get to win the PSL, and he deserved it.



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