Interview of Cricket Fans (ICF) – 7
Pakistan has always had many passionate fans of Cricket and are proud to support their country through thick and thin. There are certain section of fans that may not like a particular country due to various reasons but at the same time, there are also certain fans that do not always mix their emotions when forming an opinion when it comes to Cricket. My next guest or should I say ‘Fan’ is from Pakistan whose views, I believe, are unbiased.
Q.1) Thank you so much for your participation in this interview, can you share your early memories of watching Cricket? What made you fall in love with this sport?
Thanks, It all started from the famous 2004 Cricket Series between Pakistan and India. Being a schoolboy, remember those Afternoon ODIs on National television when there was lots of hype about this game at school and in between other family members. Still remember growing up to listening to the elders that how Bigger players Sachin and Inzimam for their countries. There were the starting days of cricket when I fall in love with this game and most importantly I really miss Indo-Pak series which was my favourite at some point in time in the past.
Q.2) Have you been fortunate enough to watch a cricket match live in a stadium? If yes, mention the venue and the match that was going on.
Yes, recently the Sri Lankan team visited Pakistan for Test series and I went to Stadium to watch 5th day of the first test match in Rawalpindi Stadium. Though the match ended in a draw, Babar Azam and Abid Ali scored hundreds and made my day. While Gaddafi Stadium is located at 1KM away from my home in Lahore but it always hurts when you see teams haven’t visited Pakistan for a long time. Surely things are much better and waiting for the next series for more live-action to witness at the Stadium.
Q.3) Who is your favourite Pakistani Cricketer who has entertained you the most?
I really like Waqar Younis for his amazing bowling skills and his dashing run-up that has inspired many around the world. But I haven’t seen him playing because he retired before I started watching and understanding this gentlemen’s game. I like Babar Azam in this era due to his proper cricket performances at all levels which he has played.
Q.4) Apart from Imran Khan, who is the best Pakistan captain of all time in your opinion?
Imran Khan is the greatest Captain of all time. If I have liked anyone in Captaincy other than Imran Khan then he is Inzamam Ul Haq. I really liked Inzi’s decisions as Captain and his powers in selection. He always asked for players which he needed, unlike many other Captains. He was an amazing batsman himself and lifted the side to win. Unfortunately, he couldn’t win any mega-events.
Q.5) Wasim Akram is called Sultan of Swing for a reason, few words on him? Mention your favourite spell of Wasim Akram?
Wasim Akram is the Greatest fast bowler of all time. He was a magician with the ball in hand. His favourite spell was the 1992 CWC final. We needed at that time and he delivered at the right moment and those two balls were unplayable. What an amazing story of his career. He took Pakistan to 1999 final.
Q.6) Which knock of Babar Azam made you feel that he is going to be a future great for Pakistan?
Obviously, his hundred against NZ in 2019 CWC was the best knock by far. That was a do or die match for us and the pitch wasn’t to bat on with NZ bowlers steaming in. That Babar Azam emerged as a special player who can serve us long in all pressure situations. His hundred was applauded worldwide due to the quality and testing conditions that day.
Q.7) Do you think Babar Azam hype train should continue or do you think the media and the fans should restrict their expectations so that Babar himself doesn’t always feel the pressure of delivering performances?
India and Pakistan have a huge fan following for Cricket. Top players from both face immense pressure from millions of fans to perform in every match. Similarly, Babar Azam is the favorite player of this generation of most Pakistan fans. As far as his ability to perform under expectations is concerned he has done enough up til now and has performed everywhere if you take out his initial test cricket days he has been fantastic. His ability to concentrate on the game is immense and much better to tackle poor patches.
Q.8) Your thoughts on Pakistan vs India rivalry? Mention your favourite Pakistan vs India match irrespective of the format.
Pakistan and India cricket series needs to be revived because that is the blockbuster series in Cricket. I would rate it greater than AShes. Not only due to historic rivalry but also due to rich cricket history. The absence of a bilateral series has affected every aspect of both countries. Cricket is the solution to so many things including trade, culture, and economic goals. Hope Cricket revives soon as it will be the biggest series in terms of its hype and level.
Q.9) Create a dream team of only Pakistan players of any era and any format you like.
My dream ODI team of Pakistan post 1990
Imran Khan (C)
The best part about this interview for me was the revival of Cricket between India and Pakistan. I completely agree with his views on this matter as this generation is missing out one one of the biggest contest Cricket has ever seen. I still remember watching highlights of test series played between these two countries and the atmosphere that was created by thousands of fans from both the sides. Nowadays we get to see this atmosphere in the white ball format and only on two occasions – when there is an ICC event and during the Asia Cup. We as fans can only keep our fingers crossed and hope for something good to happen. Thank You so much for reading this article, hope you guys enjoy reading such interviews of passionate fans of Cricket around the world. Feel free to share your feedback in the replies section. And follow me on Twitter – @bhavsarJ2_0 for more content. THANK YOU!