Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq feels his nomination for the ICC [ Images ] cricketer of the year award is an answer to his critics.
Misbah, who is now captain in all three formats of the game after the retirement of Shahid Afridi [ Images ], said the nomination had come at a right time in his career.
"It is satisfying to know that all your hard work does eventually payoff and is recognized," Misbah said.
"Although it's just a nomination, it still boosts your confidence and inducts new energy in you," he told daily newspaper Express Tribune.
"It's a positive sign as it also drives you to strive harder, to improve on your current show and reach further.
"As far as the criticism is concerned, I think this is an ongoing practice by some individuals and analysts who a player should not be afraid of. Hard work is the simple reply to all sorts of criticism."
While Misbah is his country's lone representative for the Cricketer of the Year Award, youngsters -- Azhar Ali, Adnan Akmal and Wahab Raiz -- have been shortlisted for the Emerging Player of the Year category.
Misbah said he would try to work harder on his game and reckoned that the next six to eight months were crucial for him and the national team.
"We are going to play against some really tough oppositions in Sri Lanka [ Images ], England [ Images ] and perhaps India [ Images ] and I and the team need to do well to improve Pakistan's rankings in all three formats," Misbah said.
Hafeez, who has performed better than most of his teammates since his return to the squad last year, said he was happy to be nominated for the ICC award.
"I worked very hard in last three years for the comeback and I think this nomination tells me I'm heading in the right direction," said Hafeez.
"Everyone apart from us has been playing in their home conditions but we still have been able to make an impact, playing away from home and deprived of home conditions.
"Still, we managed to have nominations which is something great and I am very delighted for everyone," he added.
Hafeez performed well on the tour to the West Indies [ Images ] this year scoring 267 runs in five matches with an average of 53 while taking six wickets at an average of just over 23.
He made his second One-Day International century on the tour as well, scoring a fluent 121.