Originally Posted by ,
It all started in 1947, when Pakistan was born(some insensitive souls would use the word broke away). At the time, I am told, we did not have many resources at our disposal and most of the cricketers that had decided to migrate to the great country(you notice, im a little biased towards my country) had already been playing in India but not at a seriously professional level and were for all intents and purposes, amateurs.
Finally, in 1952, Pakistan played its first test series (cricinfo stats page) and guess where and against whom, yep, India in India. To make a long story short, we lost the 5 test series 2-1. The team was led by the Great and by most accounts, Dictatorial Kardar. He was a ruthless and determined person, later on, you will note that this was to become a pre-requisite for all the great captains that Pakistan would ever have. Some would chalk it to the culture, others to God knows what.
Pakistan at the time had 2 main bowlers, Khan Mohammad and Fazal Mahmood and 2 main batsmen: Nazar Mohammad (who also fathered another great pakistani batsman - Mudassar Nazar) and Hanif Muhammad. No, they were not brothers.
After this defeat, it is said that they pulled up their socks and hauled their baggages to England. Everyone had written this team off with, shall I say, abandon glee. Hollywood decided to take its cue from there onwards. This team rose from the depths, stood upto the much established English team and from 1-0 after 3 tests, came back with a vengeance (Fazal Mahmood was the demon in this case) and Drew the series.
Lo and Behold! Kardar and his men of little recognised merit had put Pakistan on the map. The english press, wrote Omar Kureishi, fell silent. Did they have Chopin's Funeral March playing in the background, I am not sure.
I can certainly say that someone out there must have played Beethoven's 9th. It was historic, make no mistake or account for my prejudice, by all accounts it was a historic series for the country. Pakistan was on the map.
And now it was India's turn to tour Pakistan. Well guess what, these guys werent going to let it go that easily. They drew the home series, with neither side winning a match.
Time ebbed on and Australia came to Karachi for a solitary test. Mama sita, Pakistan won that test against a team that comprised of blokes like Benaud, Archer, Davidson and Miller. Karachi would later prove to be Pakistan's impregnable fortress and till 2000 or 2001, it wouldnt lose a single match.
Fazal mahmood had again played David to Australia's Goliath as he had done so against England a while back.
After that Pakistan toured WI and lost and then WI toured Pakistan and lost. The tour to WI is famous for the legendary innings that Hanif Muhammad played of 337. IT was a phenonemal innings and he later came to be known as the "Little master" (people have various theories for that but really it's not kosher to mention everything on a family forum).
It wasnt going to be that easy to make us the whipping boys, despite our alleged infancy and then Australia toured us and beat us, we toured England and lost badly (suddenly, I realise that I got carried away a bit there). Did I mention that in all this while, we had won two series against NZ? I guess that doesnt count. Back to the drawing board. The author will try to restrain from flying off on high notes from now onwards.
And, we kept on losing series (barring NZ) for quite some time, nearly all of the 60s and a good half of the 70s. No great captain, no great anyone really. However, this era did give us the rest of the Muhammad Brothers: Sadiq and Musthaq. Sadiq was a very good opening batsman and I believe the first to have worn the helmet(ofcourse after getting tonked in the head rather nastily) and Mushtaq was a, whats the word they use, wily leggie and a decent batsman. He was also considered a shrewd captain and Pakistan did win a few series under him.
This era produced some of Pakistan's greatest batsmen. Majid Khan, said to be one of the most sublime of all, sadiq a brilliant opener, Zaheer Abbas, a wristy and elegant middle order bat. All in all, this era wasnt a total loss.
You must have noticed that other than Fazal Mahmood, I havent really mentioned any great bowlers so far. Well the reason is simple, there werent any. Lets admit it, the times we face now are pretty much like the times of yore, only we dont have any great batsmen either at the moment. I digress.
Then came Imran and Sarfaraz and finally we had bowlers we could look upto. Sarfaraz came up with reverse swing, Imran figuratively sodomised India in 82 and so it goes. The rest of the story is pretty simple and short really. Not a whole lot to it and since some of us have wives who are beckoning, I will keep it short.
After Imran, came Wasim, personally speaking, a true genius of bowling if there ever was one. Then there was waqar, you had to see him crush toes with the red ball to believe it. Imran also brought Qadir, a leg spinner to the fore, who was responsible for bringing the 'art' of leg-spinning into limelight. We won the 92 world cup (finally)
and then he retired and as always there was infighting and alleged match fixing and retirements and come-backs. a regular opera really. Verdi would have been happy.
so all in all, our most prominents fools and horses are:
I have skipped over a bit but I think someone else can do that honor eh?