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Younis, Misbah among Wisden cricketers of the year

Pakistan’s experienced batting duo of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq have been named among prestigious Wisden Cricketers of the year.

The pair of 42-year old Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Pakistan’s leading Test runs scorer Younis Khan are added in the list of five players of the year for their role in Pakistan’s 2-2 series-levelling performance against England last summer.

English trio Ben Duckett, Chris Woakes and Toby Roland-Jones have joined the Pakistani pair to complete the list of five Wisden Cricketers of the year 2017.

This is the first time since 1997, and only the third time ever, when two Pakistani players are named among Wisden players of the year in the same year. 20 years ago, Pakistan’s opening batsman Saeed Anwar and spinner Mushtaq Ahmad were featured as Cricketers of the year in the annual edition of Wisden.

First Pakistani duo to feature in a year’s Wisden Cricketers of the year list were Hanif Mohammad and Asif Iqbal, who were named among the five Cricketers of the year by Wisden in 1968.

Wisden editor Lawrence Booth has termed Misbah’s celebratory push-ups after an unbeaten century in the first Test at Lord’s as one of the motifs of the year.

“Misbah-ul-Haq was central to one of the most riveting series in England for years, a 2-2 draw that left fans longing for a decider. His century in the First Test at Lord’s set a benchmark for his team-mates, while his celebratory push-ups became one of the motifs of the year. Against the odds, he led Pakistan, without a home Test since 2009, to the top of the rankings – and all at the age of 42.” writes Booth.

“With the pressure on, Younis Khan delivered. His classy 218 in the final Test of the summer, at The Oval, helped Pakistan square the series after successive defeats had left them in danger of squandering their win at Lord’s. It was his 32nd Test hundred – and a reminder that his struggles earlier in the series had been a blip rather than part of a decline.” he added.

Meanwhile, India captain Virat Kohli was named leading cricketer in the world, while Australia’s Ellyse Perry was declared the world’s leading women’s cricketer.

Fazal Mahmood was first the Pakistani to be named among Wisden five Cricketer when he was named to the prestigious list in 1955.

Mushtaq Mohammad was named player of the year in 1963, Hanif Mohammad and Asif Iqbal in 1968, Majid Khan in 1970, Zaheer Abbas in 1972, Javed Miandad in 1982, Imran Khan in 1983, Saleem Malik in 1988, Waqar Younis in 1992, Wasim Akram in 1993, Saeed Anwar and Mushtaq Ahmed in 1997, Saqlain Mushtaq in 2000 while Mohammad Yousaf was named among Wisden Cricketers of the year in 2007.

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