No Pakistan cricketers named in ICC teams of the year

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LONDON: None of the Pakistan players made it to the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test and ODI teams of the year announced on Thursday.

Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq, however, made the nation proud by winning the ICC Spirit of Cricket award, becoming the first Pakistan player to be bestowed with the accolade.

Misbah was adjudged the winner for “inspiring his side to play the game in its true spirit, at the same time lifting the Pakistan cricket team from number-four to number-one on the ICC Test Team Rankings. Remarkably, this was achieved without playing any Test matches in his home country,” an ICC media release stated.

Alastair Cook was named as captain of the ICC Test team of the year despite speculation over his future as England skipper.

Cook, who has led England to only one win in their last eight matches, was selected to head the ICC side picked by former Test greats Rahul Dravid, Gary Kirsten and Kumar Sangakkara for the sport´s world governing body.

The trio based their decisions on player performances between September 14, 2015 and September 20, 2016, a period not covering England´s 4-0 drubbing to India, Cook´s fourth straight loss as captain.

Cook´s England lost a three-Test series 2-0 to Pakistan in October 2015. Overall in the period he led England in 14 matches, with six wins, three draws and five losses.

He has been picked alongside Joe Root, wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes.

Root has become the focal point of the batting order in recent years and averages 52.80 in his Test career while Yorkshire team-mate Bairstow broke a 16-year record for the most Test runs in a calendar year by a wicketkeeper in 2016.

Stokes´ performances with bat and ball have helped him to establish himself as England´s first-choice all-rounder.

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