PakPassion Presents an Exclusive Interview with Shahid Nazir

Saj

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Here's the interview with the Habib Bank and former Pakistan bowler.

The full text can be found in the opening post in this thread and the audio can be located in the second post.

PakPassion.Net: How did you start your cricket at Faisalabad?

Shahid Nazir: I was interested in playing cricket since childhood. That interest was ignited by watching the likes of Imran Khan, Waqar Younis, and Wasim Akram play. Nobody in my family had played serious cricket before me.


PakPassion.Net: You are from Faisalabad. How high is the standard of local cricket in Faisalabad?

Shahid Nazir: Faisalabad has a lot of talent. Four or five Test players have emerged from Faisalabad, and we play regional cricket from Faisalabad as well. We have won the regional competition twice, in addition to playing a final once. Faisalabad cricketers are very talented.


PakPassion.Net: You made a comeback in 2006-07 when Bob Woolmer was coach. Everyone says that Bob Woolmer was a great influence on Pakistan players. How was your relationship with him? How good was he as a coach?

Shahid Nazir: I had a good relationship with Bob Woolmer. He was a very good coach, and in his era our team was pretty settled.


PakPassion.Net: Which one was your fastest spell?

Shahid Nazir: I don’t remember exactly but there are many matches where I bowled well. In fact I think on most occasions my performances were good. I don’t remember my best spells in terms of speed though.


PakPassion.Net: You played the second final of Carlton & United Series in 1997, and dismissed Adams, Simmons, and Lara. Lara also praised your bowling after the match. How do you remember that match?

Shahid Nazir: I bowled well in that match. My figures were 3 for 14 in 10 overs. And even later, when I played against WI in 2006 during the WI tour to Pakistan, I bowled well in three Test matches, bowling long spells to Lara.


PakPassion.Net: There was a time when we had the services of the likes of Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar Younis, and Muhammad Zahid, but we are not producing really fast bowlers any more. What do you think is the reason behind this?

Shahid Nazir: Actually for the last few years very little cricket is being played in Pakistan due to non-cricketing reasons. Therefore we always advise our board to place emphasis on domestic cricket and improve its standard, so that good bowlers come out of it.

International teams not visiting Pakistan has taken its toll, but I hope that we again start producing good fast bowlers in the coming years, inshaAllah.


PakPassion.Net: What changes do you propose for domestic cricket? What’s wrong with it at the moment? Is it the pitches? Is it the balls being used?

Shahid Nazir: The biggest problem is that domestic cricketers are not taken care of financially. The difference between international cricket and domestic cricket in terms of money as well as standard is huge. Then, the ball being used in international cricket is not the one being used in domestic cricket – which is a much harder ball. When batsmen and bowlers grown up on this ball suddenly face a different ball when they play at the international level, they obviously find it hard.

You must keep in mind that most cricketers don’t hail from wealthy families. Their utmost concern in many cases is feeding their families through playing cricket. But there is not enough money in domestic cricket. Most players are now aiming at playing a few matches and then going on to play league cricket in countries around the world. If our board can somehow make sure that our domestic players get even half of what the international players enjoy in terms of remuneration, I am confident that the domestic cricket setup will produce very good players. That’s because then the players will focus on their cricket all the time, instead of having to run around finding deals for playing league cricket in other countries.


PakPassion.Net: Ever since Saeed Anwar and Amer Sohail left the scene, Pakistan has failed to find a good opening partnership, especially in Tests. So many players have been tried in such a long time, but nothing doing. What do you think is the reason behind this state of affairs? Who do you think are our best openers for Test matches?

Shahid Nazir: I have never understood the thinking behind selection. Players who are at ease in ODIs are asked to play in Tests, and those who are by nature Test match openers are selected in ODIs. Then, they don’t give the batsmen, especially openers, a reasonable opportunity to prove themselves. They take a batsman for one series and play him in a match or two, only to replace him with somebody else. Then they replace the latter after a couple of matches with the former. They should give a reasonable time (two or three series) to the openers before deciding on their fate. The impulsive and trigger-happy way in which they have been doing it will never succeed.

Imran Farhat, who has made a comeback after a long time, is a good opener. I hope he will settle down at the top of the order. There are a couple of others too – Salman Butt comes to mind, who is a very good Test player. I hope these two can solve this opening problem for us.


PakPassion.Net: You have played a lot of cricket with Umar Gul. He is obviously an excellent T20 fast bowler, but why do you think he has failed to repeat those performances at the Test level? What would be your advice to him?

Shahid Nazir: Umar Gul is at the moment among the top three or four bowlers in Pakistan. He is exceptionally talented. I feel he has not been fully match fit lately, and hence has been struggling. If he regains his fitness, he should be a very good Test bowler in addition to his proven limited over credentials. I also think that Shoaib Akhtar should be recalled.


PakPassion.Net: You played under Wasim Akram as well as Inzamam. How did you find their respective captaincy styles?

Shahid Nazir: Both were good captains. If the question is who was better, then Wasim Akram I rate higher. It doesn’t mean Inzamam was not good though.


PakPassion.Net: A lot has been written about Inzamam’s captaincy, the veracity of which I think you would know as you played under him. For example, it’s alleged that he was very strict, an authoritarian, seldom sought the council of other players, etc. Do you agree with these?

Shahid Nazir: I wouldn’t call him strict, but as for the perception of his being authoritative goes, well a captain should be authoritative. A team is led on the ground by the captain. True, selectors select the players, but a captain should be part of that selection as well, as it is going to be the captain who is supposed to lead them. No doubt Inzamam made sure he got the players he wanted in the team, but I think that is a good thing. The perception that he was very strict with the players though is wrong. He was very friendly with the players.


PakPassion.Net: You performed very well in 2006 against England and at home versus West Indies. Then you went to South Africa in 2007, where were very unlucky when some obvious decisions went against you. Did that affect you mentally in that you lost confidence?

Shahid Nazir: I played a three day side match and took five wickets in the solitary innings. Then I accidentally sprained my ankle while playing a practice football match. Despite the swelling and pain, I was reluctant to declare myself unfit as I had just made a comeback after six long years. So I played two Tests - in spite of the injury - and bowled reasonably well. Unfortunately I didn’t get to bowl a lot. Besides, my ankle wasn’t fully fit. Finally, a couple of decisions also went against me. Overall, it wasn’t that bad though.


PakPassion.Net: Now to the infamous Oval Test. You were there with the squad at the time of the Darrel Hair controversy when the situation became completely out of control. Do you think the team was justified in walking out, or do you think the situation could have been handled better?

Shahid Nazir: The umpire’s decision was a strange one. Kaneria was hit for a six – I was standing at mid off – and when the ball came back, there was a mark on it due to it hitting the stand hard. The umpire examined the ball and without giving a warning or talking to our captain he straightaway called for replacement balls, and changed the ball. That’s not how it is done. I have never seen something like this in my sixteen years of cricket. He should have taken our captain into confidence, and tried to find out what had happened. In fact, when the ball was changed it was our captain who asked him what the matter was, as he had no idea what was going on!

The decision to walk out was a collective one. Inzi bhai called each and every player and they all assured him of no foul play. And it was not the first time that such allegations were leveled against us. In fact, if we had kept playing as if nothing had happened, it would have been tantamount to admitting that we had tampered with the ball. So we all agreed that we will only go back onto the field if the umpire took his decision back. This too was the whole team’s decision.


PakPassion.Net: It seems Darrel Hair had already made up his mind that ball tampering had taken place. That’s why he didn’t take the ball hitting the stands into consideration. And all this without even talking to the players or Inzamam! Is this right?

Shahid Nazir: That’s exactly what happened.


PakPassion.Net: You have played a lot of cricket with Younus Khan for HBL, and he is a good friend of yours. What do you think about his resignation from captaincy and the current controversy about his playing/not playing the ODIs against Australia? Should he make a comeback to the team?

Shahid Nazir: I don’t think he should have resigned in the first place. He should have faced the situation bravely. Now that he has done so, if the team wants him he should certainly go and play in Australia. If the selectors feel that the team needs him, they should call him because he is an established player. In Test matches especially, his record is very good. I think he should certainly be included in the team.


PakPassion.Net: During the tour to South Africa in 2007, when there was a controversy between Shoaib Akhtar and Bob Woolmer at the balcony, conflicting reports came out in the press. The first reaction from the team was that there was nothing. Then it was conceded that some pushing did happen. What happened really?

Shahid Nazir: I was there. It was nothing big. Shoaib was playing the Test and had bowled in the first innings before declaring himself unfit for the second. They were discussing the same thing and perhaps the camera was on them. Suffice it to say that whatever happened between the two, it wasn’t anything big. The media exaggerated the whole thing into a big issue.


PakPassion.Net: You said that Waqar is a very good choice as bowling coach. Do you think there should also be a batting coach, or do you think the Intikhab-Waqar setup will be sufficient for our team?

Shahid Nazir: My personal opinion is that batting and bowling coaches are not exactly needed. In the off season (when the team comes home or when there is a gap of a week or two), yes the players should work-out with batting and bowling coaches. On tours though, I don’t think so many people are needed. A coach is already travelling with the team. I don’t think there’s an additional need of a batting coach or a bowling coach. There’s already an academy in place, and Aqib Javed is a very good bowling coach working on the bowlers there.


PakPassion.Net: You are a legend at Benwell Hill cricket club. I am also from that area (near Newcastle). Many PakPassion members are also from that area. You played there for many years. Everybody from there praises your long service to that club. What are your thoughts about Newcastle and that area?

Shahid Nazir: I enjoyed my time there and playing in that League. I also played a couple of seasons in Sunderland and there are many decent players in that area and the overall standard of cricket is very good.


PakPassion.Net: Many thanks for your time Shahid
 
The total audio is about 20 minutes :-

Part 1

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Part 2

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Many thanks to Shahid for his time.

A real gentleman and someone who I believe should have played a lot more cricket for Pakistan than he did.

Also many thanks to Momo and dblock for doing an excellent job with the typing up of the interview and adding it to Youtube.
 
I also think that Shoaib Akhtar should be recalled.

PakPassion.Net: During the tour to South Africa in 2007, when there was a controversy between Shoaib Akhtar and Bob Woolmer at the balcony, conflicting reports came out in the press. The first reaction from the team was that there was nothing. Then it was conceded that some pushing did happen. What happened really?

Shahid Nazir: I was there. It was nothing big. Shoaib was playing the Test and had bowled in the first innings before declaring himself unfit for the second. They were discussing the same thing and perhaps the camera was on them. Suffice it to say that whatever happened between the two, it wasn’t anything big. The media exaggerated the whole thing into a big issue.

:D :D :akhtar :akhtar :akhtar

Quotes of the interview for me
 
Shahid is very skillful bowler, with the ability to move ball in and out. He should've been given more chances.

By saying that Shoaib Akhtar should be recalled, maybe he is suggesting he himslef should be recalled (2+ years younger than Akhtar).:)
 
Saj....haha love your punjabi man...didnt think i will ever meet someone whose punjabi sounds same as mine...lol (J/K)
 
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PakPassion.Net: A lot has been written about Inzamam’s captaincy, the veracity of which I think you would know as you played under him. For example, it’s alleged that he was very strict, an authoritarian, seldom sought the council of other players, etc. Do you agree with these?

Shahid Nazir: I wouldn’t call him strict, but as for the perception of his being authoritative goes, well a captain should be authoritative. A team is led on the ground by the captain. True, selectors select the players, but a captain should be part of that selection as well, as it is going to be the captain who is supposed to lead them. No doubt Inzamam made sure he got the players he wanted in the team, but I think that is a good thing. The perception that he was very strict with the players though is wrong. He was very friendly with the players.


PakPassion.Net: Now to the infamous Oval Test. You were there with the squad at the time of the Darrel Hair controversy when the situation became completely out of control. Do you think the team was justified in walking out, or do you think the situation could have been handled better?

Shahid Nazir: The umpire’s decision was a strange one. Kaneria was hit for a six – I was standing at mid off – and when the ball came back, there was a mark on it due to it hitting the stand hard. The umpire examined the ball and without giving a warning or talking to our captain he straightaway called for replacement balls, and changed the ball. That’s not how it is done. I have never seen something like this in my sixteen years of cricket. He should have taken our captain into confidence, and tried to find out what had happened. In fact, when the ball was changed it was our captain who asked him what the matter was, as he had no idea what was going on!

The decision to walk out was a collective one. Inzi bhai called each and every player and they all assured him of no foul play. And it was not the first time that such allegations were leveled against us. In fact, if we had kept playing as if nothing had happened, it would have been tantamount to admitting that we had tampered with the ball. So we all agreed that we will only go back onto the field if the umpire took his decision back. This too was the whole team’s decision.





What a dictator, mean, and Hitler re-incarnation personified...made a mockery of Pakistani cricket at oval and destroyed Pak cricket for good!

Should be banned from having Biryani and Kebab's for life :inzi
 
As far as the Oval test is concerned we all know who came out worse for wear in that one and it certainly wasn't Inzi.

Darrel Hair was not only a pathetic umpire but a disgraceful human being as well.
 
Bouncer said:
Saj....haha love your punjabi man...didnt think i will ever meet someone whose punjabi sounds same as mine...lol (J/K)
My Urdu is what really needs working on. The Punjabi isn't too bad I think :)
 
^^ who needs urdu in UK man....if u know punjabi or Mirpuri....u r set, isnt that the case?.....at least thats what i experienced
 
Saj said:
PakPassion.Net: Now to the infamous Oval Test. You were there with the squad at the time of the Darrel Hair controversy when the situation became completely out of control. Do you think the team was justified in walking out, or do you think the situation could have been handled better?

Shahid Nazir: The umpire’s decision was a strange one. Kaneria was hit for a six – I was standing at mid off – and when the ball came back, there was a mark on it due to it hitting the stand hard. The umpire examined the ball and without giving a warning or talking to our captain he straightaway called for replacement balls, and changed the ball. That’s not how it is done. I have never seen something like this in my sixteen years of cricket. He should have taken our captain into confidence, and tried to find out what had happened. In fact, when the ball was changed it was our captain who asked him what the matter was, as he had no idea what was going on!

The decision to walk out was a collective one. Inzi bhai called each and every player and they all assured him of no foul play. And it was not the first time that such allegations were leveled against us. In fact, if we had kept playing as if nothing had happened, it would have been tantamount to admitting that we had tampered with the ball. So we all agreed that we will only go back onto the field if the umpire took his decision back. This too was the whole team’s decision.


When Ovalgate occurred I wasn't too sure about Inzi's decision to walk off the field, but after hearing Shahid Nazir's account of events, I think Inzi and the team were spot on.

No warnings from Hair, no discussions, no chance for the skipper to ask what was going on. Absolutely disrgraceful behaviour from a so called elite umpire.
 
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lol great interview pal

and nice geordie punjabi and translation work
 
Another player who probably should have played more cricket then he did but was treated unfairly by PCB and Pakistani fans who only want 90mph bowlers even if they are crap. Even now Sami gets a recall, i'd take Shahid Nazir over both Sami and Rauf.
 
Great interview, some very interesting and pertinent questions there! :14:
 
Honest chap, one of his best deliveries I remember was him bowling Kallis in a test match. Phew brilliant ball. Hard working bowler as well who gave it his all whenever he pulled on the Pakistan top.
 
Killer Instinct said:
Honest chap, one of his best deliveries I remember was him bowling Kallis in a test match. Phew brilliant ball. Hard working bowler as well who gave it his all whenever he pulled on the Pakistan top.
A hard working and honest cricketer. A good guy who I'm sure we'll catch up with again.
 
He's no longer got that yard of pace these days, but he's still a wily old fox.

A thinking cricketer and a very underrated one too.
 
Saj said:
He's no longer got that yard of pace these days, but he's still a wily old fox.

A thinking cricketer and a very underrated one too.

gr8 Job saj bhai...

Can you do an interview with fawad alam??
 
Saj said:
He's no longer got that yard of pace these days, but he's still a wily old fox.

A thinking cricketer and a very underrated one too.
he is Darren Gough of Pakistan!
 
Bump in respect of the Oval Test (5 year anniversary)
 
I liked his bowling from the little I saw of it (2006-07). Nazir was especially impressive along with Gulla in the home series v WI. Good bowler MashaAllah, and importantly Nazir comes across as a thoughtful character, his responses to some of the tougher questions (Oval, South Africa) were quite telling
 
Remember his big booming inswingers during that 97 series in Australia, had the potential to be a top bowler.

Very unfortunate to have played in that era.
 
So who is Shahid Nazir? Here is Saj talking to him in 2010
 
Did we miss out on utilising Malcolm Marshall's in his peak days ?

The guy was top wicket taker in 2004/2005 Fc Season with an Average of 12 and SR of 28 and had already played Int Cricket.


Yet Inzamam & Bob Woolmer selected a pacer who averaged 25 plus with a SR of 48 that season and was on 21st number in top wicket takers list.


Isn't it gross injustice and corruption ?


Is this Merit ?


Why did Woolmer & Inzamam pick rubbish Asif ?


Better close domestic Cricket and select players through Net Sessions.


In any other country Shahid Nazir would have taken 600 Test wickets.
 
Did we miss out on utilising Malcolm Marshall's in his peak days ?

The guy was top wicket taker in 2004/2005 Fc Season with an Average of 12 and SR of 28 and had already played Int Cricket.


Yet Inzamam & Bob Woolmer selected a pacer who averaged 25 plus with a SR of 48 that season and was on 21st number in top wicket takers list.


Isn't it gross injustice and corruption ?


Is this Merit ?


Why did Woolmer & Inzamam pick rubbish Asif ?


Better close domestic Cricket and select players through Net Sessions.


In any other country Shahid Nazir would have taken 600 Test wickets.

When Shahid first played in 96 he had a beautiful high action but in his later comeback his action was too low and hence he looked pretty average.
 
Haha...shoaib akhtar should be recalled and Imran Farhat to open...he looks a very simple lad.
Poor chap!
 
Did we miss out on utilising Malcolm Marshall's in his peak days ?

The guy was top wicket taker in 2004/2005 Fc Season with an Average of 12 and SR of 28 and had already played Int Cricket.


Yet Inzamam & Bob Woolmer selected a pacer who averaged 25 plus with a SR of 48 that season and was on 21st number in top wicket takers list.


Isn't it gross injustice and corruption ?


Is this Merit ?


Why did Woolmer & Inzamam pick rubbish Asif ?


Better close domestic Cricket and select players through Net Sessions.


In any other country Shahid Nazir would have taken 600 Test wickets.

Ha ha, I can see what you did there! :)

But this is the perfect riposte for those people who are saying "well Tabish Khan / Mohammad Abbas has taken more domestic wickets than Mohammad Asif."

Shahid Nazir was always going to take more domestic wickets than Mohammad Asif. Height and lift don't really apply in domestic Pakistan cricket, so Shahid Nazir's extravagant swing used to knock over lots of mediocre batsmen.

But as soon as they went up a level to the Test arena, they were suddenly two bowlers of similar pace bowling against batsmen who had the judgment and skills to leave those hooping Shahid Nazir swingers.

But because Mohammad Asif was 6 foot 4 and bowled an immaculate line and length with a high arm action, batsmen couldn't work out whether to go forward or back to him - like we comically saw with Ahmed Shehzad in the First Innings of the 2016-17 QEA Final.

Whereas Shahid Nazir could only get bounce by bowling too short and so was picked off on both the front and back foot.

Here are their records in South Africa at the time when Shahid Nazir had a much better domestic record:

Mohammad Asif: 19 South African wickets @ 18.47
Shahid Nazir: 2 South African wickets @ 94.00

For fast bowlers, I think Pakistani domestic cricket is a place to show their talent.

But as soon as the talent is clear, get them out of Pakistan domestic cricket and onto overseas tours. Even their fitness is better managed with the national team coaches.
 
Ha ha, I can see what you did there! :)

But this is the perfect riposte for those people who are saying "well Tabish Khan / Mohammad Abbas has taken more domestic wickets than Mohammad Asif."

Shahid Nazir was always going to take more domestic wickets than Mohammad Asif. Height and lift don't really apply in domestic Pakistan cricket, so Shahid Nazir's extravagant swing used to knock over lots of mediocre batsmen.

But as soon as they went up a level to the Test arena, they were suddenly two bowlers of similar pace bowling against batsmen who had the judgment and skills to leave those hooping Shahid Nazir swingers.

But because Mohammad Asif was 6 foot 4 and bowled an immaculate line and length with a high arm action, batsmen couldn't work out whether to go forward or back to him - like we comically saw with Ahmed Shehzad in the First Innings of the 2016-17 QEA Final.

Whereas Shahid Nazir could only get bounce by bowling too short and so was picked off on both the front and back foot.

Here are their records in South Africa at the time when Shahid Nazir had a much better domestic record:

Mohammad Asif: 19 South African wickets @ 18.47
Shahid Nazir: 2 South African wickets @ 94.00

For fast bowlers, I think Pakistani domestic cricket is a place to show their talent.

But as soon as the talent is clear, get them out of Pakistan domestic cricket and onto overseas tours. Even their fitness is better managed with the national team coaches.

SHahid Nazir was thoroughly mediocre at international level.

Still remember him during the 2006 tour of England where he was toothless despite bowling in friendly conditions.

Glad Asif, Rana Naved and even Rao Iftikhar were preferred over him a decade ago.
 
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