Islamabad - Former Pakistan fast bowler and coach Waqar
Younis has heaped praise on Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq, saying the skipper is
the reason the side has become the number one Test side for the first time in
Pakistan claimed the top spot on Monday after the fourth
Test between the West Indies and India ended in a draw, thus overtaking India,
who had held top spot for little over a week.
Pakistan's recent good form, including a recent two-all
series draw in England, one of the tougher places to tour, meant that Misbah's
men shot up the rankings, and Waqar was fulsome in his praise.
In the six Test series that Waqar was in charge during his
recent coaching stint, which ended in April this year, they won four of the
six, drew one and lost one. But he said it was all down to Misbah's leadership.
Waqar told Cricinfo: "It's a proud moment for the whole
nation. It's a huge moment for Misbah and for the entire team, as all the hard
work finally paid off.
"It's always the ultimate dream to become the No. 1
team in the world, and there is no team other than Pakistan that deserves to be
at the top. They suffered a lot in last seven-eight years but they have played
outstanding cricket all along.
"There were a lot of problems in the background - those
controversies and especially cricket not being played in the country and the
boys being always on the road and away from home.
"So that is the major part I feel the team should be
proud off. We kept moving forward after every hurdle, never stayed down and
kept on fighting against all odds. That struggle makes this a remarkable moment
for the country."
"I am honestly touched and, no, it's not about taking
credit for what I have done. I would rather give full credit to Misbah-ul-Haq,
who has shown resilience against his critics and never spoke a harsh word when
things were going wrong.
"People were crushing him down because of his style of
play, but now I think those people should be proud as Pakistanis. What else
could you want from him?
"He did everything in his own way and, whether or not
people like his way, it is working for the country and has taken us to the top
of the world. What else do you want to achieve?
"It was Misbah's honesty and good intent that made a
huge difference. His positive intentions and his characteristics are
outstanding. His calmness - I have never seen him cursing his critics.
"Even though former and current players let him down,
he never responded. But look what he has achieved. This is the kind of thing
that made him the best. Pakistan is the team that deserves to be the No 1 side."