19 August 2013
Q&A with Pakistan cricket legend Waqar Younis
Matt Richens caught up with the now 41-year-old former fast bowler and found out what Pakistan needs to do to win a second Antipodean tournament, why Dale Steyn is still better than Jimmy Anderson and who Younis' favourite scalp was.
L to R, Stephen Fleming, John Key, Richard Hadlee and Waqar Younis pose with the ICC Cricket World Cup during the official launch of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
Q - Where's home for you now and what involvement do you have with cricket?
A - I'm in Sydney, I live there now and I do a lot of broadcast jobs.
Q - You overshadowed your partner Wasim Akram that day, are you two close, there were rumours of a falling out?
A - We don't really see each other because I live in Australia and he works for a different television channel. But when we do see each other, we cherish that time. And when you live together for so many years, you're bound to have some issues, but that's all sorted.
Q - Career highlights?
A - Winning against England in a couple of series is right up there. The [2-1] series win in 1992 was one of the top series I played in. That really sticks out. A couple of series in Pakistan were excellent too, against the Aussies, winning against them was brilliant.
* Then 20, Younis was the leading wicket taker with 22 scalps in the '92 series against England.
Q - You took 373 Test wickets and 416 ODI scalps (third of all time), do you have some favourite victims?
A - In our era I thought there were a couple of really good batsmen like Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Steve Waugh, (Matthew) Hayden, (Adam) Gilchrist. For me, if I have to pick one, I'd say Brian Lara was the top of the list. I got him a few times, but he got me a few times too.
Q - Who's a better bowler, Dale Steyn or James Anderson?
A - I'll probably say, because I've worked with Steyn just recently in the IPL, I think he may be half a step ahead of Anderson. Anderson hasn't really proved himself to be the best in the sub-continent and Steyn has done really well in the sub-continent really recently. Steyn for me, but no doubt, both of them are class, they're a different class.
Q - Which other speedsters do you like?
A - I used to like (Shane) Bond, he was pretty good in his time. Otherwise, we've got a couple that are going well in Pakistan, Mohammad Irfan, the tall fella, a seven-footer, he can be very handy on his day. Ishant Sharma too, he's good, there are a few around. It's good, there are always a few around, in any era.
Q - Any favourite Pakistan-New Zealand cricket moment?
A - I played in a few good series, but, even though I didn't play in it, the ICC Cricket World Cup 1992 was pretty special, beating New Zealand twice to make the final.
Q - You do realise that made Pakistan the baddies for a lot of New Zealand cricket fans?
A - Yes, they were very much the baddies, but it was a matter of form I think. Pakistan hit form at the right time. We started the tournament pretty poorly, but as the games started progressing, we started playing well. We beat Australia, beat the West Indies then beat New Zealand. We peaked at the right time which is key in any tournament.
Q - It's still 18 months away, but who do you like for the tournament here, can Pakistan repeat its 1992 victory?
A - If Mohammad Irfan stays fit, because he's so big it will be hard to keep him on the park and Pakistan Cricket has to be careful with him. But if he stays fit on these bouncy pitches he'll be very, very handy. But Steyn and Anderson could play a big part for their countries too. Every country will be targeting it obviously and coming ready, it's going to be a great tournament.
Article Courtesy The Press - Fairfax Media NZ
Face to face with cult heroes
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