ODI Debutant
Feb 19, 2005
1. Would you care to tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is amjad, I’m 19 years old, soon to be 20 and I’m a student currently at the University of Southampton and inshallah will go on to work in the ENT profession. I actually live in Buckinghamshire, near oxford.

2. I believe you are interested in quite a few sports, what draws you to Sports? What kind of inspiration or energy do they provide you with? or simply put, what do you love about sports?

I am very interested in sports, I enjoy watching and I also enjoy participating in many sports. I represented my school at Cricket (of course!), football, rugby and basketball. Also I like to watch spots like American football and tennis. The reason why I like participating is the competitiveness they involve and I just like to win and do the best I can. Also the team effort required, after all most of these are team sports, there is a camaraderie between team members – helping one another to further yourself and achieve the ultimate goal.

3. You have been advocating the cause of a few of the young untested pakistani cricketers for a while now. While there is talk in the circles that you are competing with Muddy on that account, I am inclined to think that that is not the case, so would you care to tell us a bit about this?

There is no competition between muddy and I, we both like to keep an eye on the domestic scene. Every time I have been to Pakistan I have been to see games, I just enjoyed that so much as do my family in Pakistan who are close followers of the game over there and like to keep me updated on players progress. A lot of the time I have noticed that things do turn stale and a fresh face can help change things like that. I always feel that the one day team is where the experimenting should go on, e.g. Australia did it with Clarke, England with Strauss and I would like us to do the same, let players get a feel of the international scene, if they perform over a certain period then they can be considered for full test honours. That is why if u take a sufyan munir, a very correct batsman with a solid technique, he is a typical no3, a guy that can anchor the innings and paces his own innings very well and in end typically ends up with nearly a run a ball. I really like the guy coz he just seems to have that maturity which others in our domestic game are lacking. Sialkot and Pindi are the sides that I have watched when I was back in Pakistan and one Lahore game, that is why I really like the two previously mentioned sides coz they are both very talented in their own respect.

4. What cricketers in your opinion are worthy of being tested for the national team and why do you think that. What do you see in them? Would you say youre a newspaper selector or the naked eye selector?

Considering players for Pakistan is a tricky issue, like I said previously I would like to see a player get a go in one day cricket before he makes the leap up to test cricket. Sufyan munir is the major one, he has the technique and the mental toughness to go with it, Mohammad irshaad is talked about a lot for his pace and where others have found him tough to play sufyan has played him rather well at times. There are many youngsters that we have that are developing nicely and that have looked good particularly for sialkot and pindi. Pindi in fact have two pacers who are on the up and fast – they are Rizwan Akbar(18) and yasin bari(20). Yasin in fact is being trained up by safraz nawaz and he rates the guy highly and rightly so. Rizwan is the one making ripples at the youth game, for his hostile bowling – swings the ball nicely and has nice control – inshallah these guys will be able to step it up in near future but the Pakistan A team is first for them I feel. There are other youngsters who are doing well like shahid yousuf, kamran sajjid and faisal khan whom I see developing into a very good opener – again another from sialkot which is a haven for talented players. I’m very much a naked eye selector – although I believe even after watching a guy play once u can see whether or not he has talent – even off form u can see whether the talent is there. Of course I like to listen to the opinion of well informed ppl like Noddy bhai and other ex cricketers who come out voicing opinions. I don’t really like imran that much(prefer javed!!) but I agreed with him wholeheartedly on the taufeeq umar issue and the fact is he is the best opener in Pakistan by a distance and was just lacking in confidence against India and u could see that by the tentative feet movement and feeling for the ball and taufeeq doesn’t do that normally.

5. BW's tenure is already under fire. What are your thoughts on the whole issue. How would you rate his coaching thus far and do you think the coach can compensate for a poor captain/team?

Bob woolmer is a fine coach in my opinion and does have a job on his hands. I can’t believe ppl are getting on his back already – I would like to see him given time up until end of wc 2007 – coz I reckon we have a good shout there. In odi we have made a vast improvement – he has lifted the boys which are great to see. Ppl have handed out undue criticism his way, ok so he sometimes is a little negative when we would all like our side to go in for the kill but our boys are learning and even inzi – he isn’t a great captain but give the guy time, he isn’t an authoritarian figure but I don’t believe u have to be to become a great captain. I do believe if given time woolmer can do a real job after all – he is a great coach – one of the best in our era. He has shown what he can do when he helped Donald fine tune his action. I just hope politics doesn’t interfere with him doing his job.

6. What cricketers inspired your interest in cricket? Any particular cricketer that you hold above all?

The cricketer that I hold above all and that I admire is Mr Javed Miandad. When I was starting out playing the game – whether it was in park or school matches that guy was simply amazing with the bat and I tried as best as I could to try and copy his style of batting. He is the man I look up to when it comes to batting. In bowling terms it is Wicky bhai.

7. Wasim or Waqar? No you cannot say Imran .

WAQAR ALL THE WAY!!!!!! The guy was ruthless in his prime and even when ppl said he was finished he came back and shut them up. It is a shame that the waqar and wasim feud was evident as it undoubtedly didn’t do pak any good and we could have really done more for instance at wc 99 – if we had have had waqar,wasim, shoaib - how formidable was that with razzaq and saqi as well – we would have walked that I really believe we would have – of course azhar would have been the fall guy there.

8. Your thoughts on the forthcoming Indian tour? What should we be aiming for and how should we go about it?

I am very much looking forward to the Indian tour – I think we can do well - my aim for the boys would be a drawn test series(1-1) and a win in the one day series(4-2). In my eyes that would be a success with injuries we have to our main strike bowlers. The way we have to go about it is we must attack the Indians – not give them an inch to work with – be aggressive coz I have serious doubts about the Indians when they have pressure exerted on them – they are found wanting imo. Without akhtar it will be tough but I see a more united Pakistan and inshallah I can see sami spearheading the attack and he must step up and rana with the new ball will provide them problems. I mean the new Zealanders went over there and caused them huge problems and they don’t exactly have the greatest of attacks but a smart captain – inshallah bob and inzi will have taken note from that series. We can’t just look to coast – we have to force the pace and put them on the back foot!!!!!

9. I believe that politics interest you, what are your views on Pakistani political scene if you follow it that is, or the English one for that matter. Do you think Musharraf is too secular for a country like Pakistan?

I am a keen follower of politics, don’t know a great deal about Pakistan scene but from few facts I know and they indicate musharraf is a good leader – far better than the corrupt nawaz sharif and benazzir Bhutto. In economic terms musharraf is helping Pakistan exploit its potential and our federal reserve is now at a respectable value – WE WERE ALMOST BANKRUPT AS A COUNTRY UNDER SHARIF – so in those aspects he is doing well. What I would like to see him do is unite the different sects of the country – I don’t get this – why the bickering between Muslims? WE ARE ALL MUSLIMS – be it shiaa or Sunni we must help one another. Islam had a glorious past and I believe it will have a glorious future and that can be achieved if only we help one another. On the British scene I am very much pro euro – it is of great benefit to Muslims – infact it was written down that Europe would be an ally to Islam and these prophecies are coming true I believe. I really dislike labour, there is a popular name banded about for mr Blair and that is “ phoney Blair”. I believe it was good to get rid of saddam hussain but there were far better ways in which many innocent lives would have been saved. After all guys remember Mr Blair said before war,” I will let saddam stay in power, all he has to do is give up his WMD..” that was an actual quote from prime ministers question time and now his justification for war,” at least we got rid of saddam – that is enough justification itself” – what a liar, Howard is no better but he is more eloquent and a superior public speaker. My vote will go to lib dems – even though I don’t agree with many of their policies but the fact is on the important ones they are the best(war, euro etc). Pakistan is an Islamic republic and as such should not accept secular views I believe. Also I don’t see why we all cant get along – Muslims, Jews, Christians – we all should just strive for peace and cease this killing of many innocent children, women etc.

10. Speaking of Politics, what are your thoughts on Democracy. I for one am as anti democracy as they get so I was wondering what a young man of your age thinks?

Interesting that u r anti democracy umar, I feel whatever works in that country is best – no body has right to impose their system on others. China, Cuba is communist and if they are happy with that then why bother them – democracy has flaws – serious ones and there have been cases where this has lead to serious problems. I personally aint a great fan of democracy myself.

11. Should a player's offpitch activities be used against him, if it is not proved that they do not affect his game?

I believe players that represent his/her’s country are ambassadors and thus there is a particular way they should conduct themselves on and off the pitch. Mr akhtar is a famous one here. I still remember that jet ski incident – pulled out of odi against nz and was on front page of national newspaper in nz – he couldn’t use the fakes argument there so said it helped him relax – infact that would make a hamstring worse – need rest and recouperation!!!!so I would take into account an off field misdemeanour – the person has to behave as a le model.

12. Do you think we're becoming an ODI side more and more and losing our Test stature slowly and surely? If so , why? Whom should we blame for it? No we cannot blame Akhtar for it :)

We are playing too much odi cricket I must admit – we must strike the right balance after all test cricket is the ultimate game. It is all about our set up at home we must get that right first of all to spark the interest for the test game.

13. Finally, would you care to expound on any topic of your interest? It has to be non-sport ;)

My view on man utd? – well I must say I don’t much like man utd fans they are very arrogant – they aint even viewed with much respect across Europe – ppl over here must realise this – man utd isn’t seen as a “great club” over in Spain!!!! In fact I remember reading about in Spanish newspaper where that said when is van nistelerooy actually going to move to a big club? LOL – they quoted arsenal and Liverpool as the clubs he should move too. Same in Italy – arsenal and Liverpool on particular are seen as HUGE clubs but man utd not so.

1. I first became interested in Barcelona when I saw a match on TV and man utd went to nou camp – man utd were outplayed by likes of stoichkov and hagi and ROMARIO!!! They were made to look like little boys – they were chasing shadows and barca won 4-0 and I was like WOW!!! Barca have a certain way of playing the game, a way that I admire of free flowing fast football and arguably we are the best side in Europe at the minute.

2. Imran khan is very forthcoming on views on how to improve our domestic scene interestingly he wont have anything to do with it himself – I find this quite ironic – he has a gift and he isn’t willing to help our cricket set up when we need him the most.

3. When everyone is fit my test side would be
T umar
S Butt
Y Khan
A Kamal
K Akmal
S Akhtar
U Gul/M Sami
S Ahmed
D Kaneria


T Umar
S Butt
S Malik/s munir
A Razzaq
K Akmal
S Afridi
U Gul/saqi
M sami

4. I think saqi can return but to aid his rehab he must be tried out in that odi team of ours – he must be given a fixed role and not messed about!!!