‘We fought as one to win 1992 World Cup’ Akram, Raja recall

From Zeeshan Mirza

Karachi: 1992 World Cup-winning cricketers Wasim Akram and Ramiz Raja recalled the fond memories of their journey from nowhere to be crowned as World Champions. Both cricketers-turned-commentators credited their captain Imran Khan for being a strength for all the players throughout the mega event.
“Imran Bhai led the team from the front. He was confident to win the title which roped in a lot of positivity in the players. And when a leader believes in his players then he also knows how to plan things. The skipper played a big role in our triumph and then obviously every single player who was a part of our squad,” Raja said in a video interview released by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on 28th anniversary of 1992 World Cup victory.
Akram highlighted the performances of Ramiz Raja, who struck a century against New Zealand in a must-win last round match, and Inzamam-ul-Haq, the man-of-the-semi-final. “It was a team effort,” the legendary pacer recalled. “I wouldn’t take anyone’s name prominently as for me everyone contributed to the team’s victory. Yes, I would recognize the role of Imran Bhai and not only me but every player knows how keen he was to win the tournament. To be honest, he inherited a winning approach in each player and in the end we all were equally confident to win the world title,” he maintained.
They both also revealed how the whole team was unaware of the intensity of achieving such an important milestone. “We were excited but didn’t know how big this achievement was. When we reached Lahore and people came in numbers to welcome us then we realized that yes it was something extraordinary,” they recalled. “People still ask us to share those moments when the world cup was in our hands,” Akram added.
It must be noted here that 28 years ago on March 25, Pakistan lifted World Cup at Melbourne Cricket Ground by defeating England in the final by 22 runs.
Meanwhile, Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram, was one of the key figures in helping Pakistan to lift the 1992 cricket World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) against England.
Swing of Sultan 3-49 spell in final was instrumental to Pakistan lifting the world cup. His teammate Aamir Sohail explains in a video released by the ICC on what made him one of the impactful players in world cricket.
“When you talk about Pakistan history, he is arguably the best ever. One of the best left-arm bowlers because he had everything, quick-arm action, doing so much with the new ball, bouncers were lethal and with the old ball we all knew what he could bring to the table,” he said.
“We always knew Wasim had the ability to deliver at the right time and that’s how Pakistan cricket was based on, other bowlers used to do the holding job from the other end. There was a partnership going on between Allan Lamb and Fairbrother and all the other bowlers were asked to do the job of taking the required run rate slightly higher, and then Wasim and Aaqib were asked to do the job for us,” he added.
Pakistan’s current head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq revealed that despite the left-arm pacer being at the tail-end of his career he never liked facing Akram in the nets.
“When you talk about Wasim, I think one of the best cricketer, amazing talent, a kind of bowler you don’t want to face. I was just starting my career and he was at the retirement stage but still, he used to take a two-three yard up in which the pace was at its peak,” he said. “He was ahead of his time, he bowled left-arm over the wicket, around the wicket and not so many bowlers can do that and then allowing the ball to swing in both the directions,” Former England cricketer Vic Marks said. “In my opinion, Wasim was the best left-arm that ever graced the earth. He had it all, reverse swing, phenomenal with the new ball and he knew when to be aggressive at the batsman,” Bazid Khan, former Pakistan batsman said.
“You go back to the 92 World Cup final, big stage and he comes up with two dramatic deliveries. Deliveries that are forever entrenched in the memories of everyone,” he added.