Let’s face it, most of us were desperately were waiting for this day. But me? No, I knew this day would come, I knew it all along. Therefore I didn’t anxiously await its arrival because I knew that once it arrived there would be no turning back.
I chose to savor the sight of Misbah playing. Today many people have synonomised Misbah with ‘slow and steady’. But really, him being ODI’s highest scoring batsman in 2013, him equaling Viv Richard’s fastest half century record and constantly bring in the top 15 ODI batsmen says loads about his ability, which should have always been undoubted. I have come across many a people who cast a blind eye to his feats and simply say that he’s a slow batsman disregarding the fact that matches, not a match, make a player.
In an era of explosive batsmen and speedy run scoring it is difficult to come across someone of his patience and ability. At a time when we had the likes of Ahmad Shahzad, Umar Akmal and Shahid Afridi he proved to be the pillar of much needed support. He would balance the team and often lead us to victory single-handedly. He has won us some unforgettable matches –the Asia Cup, the Test series against England in the UAE, the tour of India 2012, the historical Test match against Sri Lanka in 2013, the match against South Africa in this World Cup and the list goes on. He was labeled as someone not good enough for the shortest and fastest format of the game –a label he threw off with his performances in the Caribbean League.
He truly is a gem in the crown, a feather in the hat.
It is the easiest of things to be ungrateful, to dismiss claims with facts and figures staring at your face. Doing this injustice to the man who is Misbah ul Haq. He took the reins of the team when it was at its worst –performance wise, emotion wise and image wise. That was then and this is now. Look at the way he has groomed them. Look at the way he picked up the pieces of the force that was once Pakistan. Look at how he polished our tarnished image. Look at how he took in every curse you threw his way without throwing one back, like most would’ve. Look at how he bottled it all up. Look at how he led by example. Look at how hard he worked to keep controversy miles away from the team. Look at how he picked up ground crawling creatures and put them up in the sky, showing them how far they could go. Look at how he made us Pakistan.
Yes, he made wrong decisions. Yes, he lost us games. Yes, he made wrong inclusions. But that is all part and parcel of the game.
People who talk filth about him without tasting their words should be ashamed. They should be ashamed at themselves for degrading a man who is unscarred by corruption and untouched by self pride. Humiliating a humble man is a most shameful act, worth only of being ignored.
As the flame his game flickers out. As he puts out his gloves to dry. As he hangs his boots. As he bids us farewell. Put ego aside and bid him the farewell he truly deserves –that of a hero and nothing less.
Misbah’s walk into the sunset marks the end of a glorious era never to be witnessed again by one day cricket. He is a man who has left his mark wherever he went. He is a man who has taught us a lot, through words and through acts. He is a man who endured the burden of captaining Pakistan without flinching. He is a man who stood by his team through their highs and their lows. He is a man who always faced the music –whether it be of his doom or boom. He is a man unlike any other to worn the green shirt. He is, was and will be an example of determination. He is Misbah ul Haq –the unsung hero of Pakistan cricket.
By: Fatima Arshad