On This Day: October 14, 1989 - Waqar Younis makes his Pakistan debut


Senior T20I Player
Oct 3, 2009

Some Chosen Lines about Waqar from Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1992.

Beyond doubt Waqar is an outstanding bowler, probably the finest to emerge from Pakistan since Fazal Mahmood. And yet his emergence owed something to chance, for though he was born in Burewala in the Vehari area of the Punjab, breeding ground of so many courageous fighters, on November 16, 1971, he was raised in Sharjah, where his father was a contract worker. Returning to Pakistan in his adolescence, Waqar played in obscurity until, in 1988, he was noticed by Imran Khan while bowling in a televised local knockout game. As fate would have it, the Pakistan captain was convalescing in his bed in Lahore and had turned on his television set to while away a few hours. Watching this vibrant if erratic pace bowler and immediately detecting talent, Imran saw in him the means of meeting Pakistan's need for a fast bowler to support Wasim Akram. He took the seventeen-year-old under his wing, and played him in Sharjah and in the Nehru Cup in 1989-90 before giving him his Test début against India. He also included him in the team for Australia, where his surging pace made an impression.

Bounding in on a fast, long run, reminiscent of Malcolm Marshall in his pomp, Waqar is an immensely physical bowler. There is about him the aggression of an impassioned warrior. At delivery he jumps high, and pulling his arm through rather in the manner of Andy Roberts, he hurls himself at the batsman, often finishing his follow-through just yards from his enemy and still breathing fire. However, Waqar is by temperament more docile than his Antiguan predecessor, besides which he is young yet and unversed in the subtleties of psychological warfare. Apart from pace and swing, his greatest assets are his stamina and a flexibility of body which allows him to bowl his fastest from the first delivery of every spell, no mater what the time of day or how many overs he has already bowled.

Score Card of his debut ODI


Career Highlights

Pioneers of Cricket documenty about Waqar
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The day a legend was born. Out of Wasim and Waqar, Waqar has always been my favourite. Seemed a little less egotistical and just generally enjoy his bowling more. His peak was probably better than Wasims but overall Wasim was more consistent in his career.
This match is also notable for being Waqar's debut for Pakistan :wy

I was a university student in London, but my parents lived in Manchester.

News of Waqar’s raw pace spread like wildfire, so the next time I went home for the weekend I went to the Curry Mile In Rusholme - Manchester’s Asian restaurant strip - and tried about three “Indian” video shops asking for a pirate copy of the video. Third time lucky I got it, on condition that I returned it by midday the next day!

They always used to laugh at a non-Indian buying or renting these videos. The same thing used to happen to me in London: I’d go to Southall to buy the Indian “Sportstar” magazine!

Waqar’s pace was impressive, but he was very raw. He played the 4 drawn home Tests v India and then the first couple of Tests in Australia and was impressively quick but didn’t know how to bowl batsmen out. By the end of the tour of Australia he’d bowled around 15 innings in international cricket with Imran Khan at mid-off, telling him after each delivery what to do next, and he had learned to think like a Test bowler.

Then he went off to the Australasia Cup, and took 5-20 and 6-26 in consecutive ODI’s.

And a world class bowler had arrived!
What a great day for Pakistan cricket!