Interview of Cricket Fans – 91 – Pakistan
Jay – Thank you for your participation in this interview, tell us your early memories of this sport.
Thank you, Jay. My earliest memories of cricket involve every single day when my elder brother literally forced me to watch cricket until I fell in love with the sport. I think we both haven’t discussed anything more than cricket and anyone more than Younis Khan. He isn’t in Pakistan now so I think those memories are always going to stay in my heart forever.
Jay – What has been the positive impact of cricket in your life?
I think personally for me cricket has always been an escape from all those things I needed to avoid for the peace of mind. It has been that fresh breath of air that always kept me away from all the toxicity I had to face at times. Cricket is beautiful and I completely admire the way it connects you with the people who love the sport just like you.
Jay – Which cricketer’s story inspires you the most?
There are so many actually. But to be honest, Amir’s story stands out for me. He is not the bowler he was expected to be, once. But that fixing scandal, his ban, his comeback, rejection from teammates, dropped catches during that English tour after the ban and finally the CT17 final spell. Yeah that story, I am definitely going to tell this to my kids.
Jay – So tell us your views on Pakistan cricket in the present scenario.
I think it’s hard to put them all here. But Pakistan Cricket is going through a massive change and when things like that happen you have to be patient with them. Apart from a few obvious things that need to change, I think we are quite in the right direction after many years. Youngsters are getting chances, cricket is truly back here and I am quite satisfied with that. But above everything, Wasim Khan’s appointment has done wonders. I really appreciate that.
Jay – We have seen a bit of Babar Azam in the captaincy role, will it affect his batting in the long term? Also share few words on Babar Azam.
Well, I have so many issues with Babar’s appointment as a captain. I think it was quite clear always that he is not the kind of player who would be a good leader. But my biggest concern is his batting. He has been good overall since being a captain. But in the longer run, I am not sure about that. Also, he has just started scoring runs in the longest format and it worries me how he is going to deal with the new role. Captaincy in Pakistan is not an easy thing.
About Babar, he is a gem honestly. Apart from his textbook style and classy cover drives, it’s his hunger for runs that amazes me. A country who is struggling to produce quality batsmen for some years now, his consistency is unreal at times. He is surely on the path of being the greatest Pakistani batsman ever. For now, we call him the Crown Prince of the Pakistani batting lineup.
Jay – Were you surprised when Mohammad Amir announced retirement from the longest format of the game? How much will Pakistan miss his services in this format?
I think it was his personal decision. He was not really doing well in test cricket. But what hurts me is that everything we predicted about Amir when Pakistan toured England in 2010, it just never happened and is never going to happen now.
He wasn’t in a very good form so I am not sure if Pakistan is really to miss his services now especially with the young talent coming in. But I wish that he gains his form back in the white-ball cricket. He is still a very good bowler, if in form and has many years left in him.
Jay – Share your memory of that victory against India in the Champions Trophy 2017.
Oh that day, I am never forgetting that ever. Pakistan was really going through a very tough phase, the qualification for the tournament looked impossible at one time. We reached finals, everyone thought that India would easily walk over us but then it was Pakistan. Mercurial Pakistan, also winning against India in a final was a huge one.
Jay – Pakistan-India rivalry has gone off in the last couple of years for obvious reasons, what are your thoughts about this rivalry?
I think it has both positive and negative aspects associated with it. For all the banter, memes, and the mass coverage it brings, it is pretty exciting. But on the negative side I feel like we both nations claim to love cricket but little we have done to appreciate each other’s players. I think acceptance and appreciation is not there. Also the lack of chances to see both countries playing each other in all the formats especially test cricket hurts me.
Jay – Pakistan is always known for producing fearsome bowlers, how do you rate today’s generation of fast bowlers from this part of the world?
Well, I think we are not in the ’90s anymore but we are still producing some of the very exciting talents at the moment. I would definitely like to mention everyone here. Cummins is a beast in the longer format, Archer and Shaheen both probably two best new-ball bowlers in the white-ball cricket at the moment, Boult, Rabada and then you have Naseem who has just entered the world cricket. Our future is in good hands.
Jay – Share your all-time Pakistan-India XI.
Well, I would like to pick the all-time ODI XI.
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