Lord’s humbling should remind ECB that it is easier to sell a winning teamFor the romantic rather than the English patriot, the Lord’s Test provided a wonderful outcome.
England were humbled by the pace trio of Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali and Mohammad Amir. Abbas is a former leather worker from Sialkot, who has been playing in the most uncharted domestic competition in the world for seven or eight years before an excursion as Leicestershire’s overseas player (maybe not the most glamorous of overseas gigs); Hasan’s parents wanted him to get a proper job as a lawyer so they apparently burned his cricket whites; Amir is the cricketing prodigal son, misled in his teens, who has tenaciously fought his way back into international cricket.Amir has a certain notoriety, though it was shaming to hear a group of drunken young MCC members chanting “cheat, cheat” when he was running in to bowl on Friday. The other two are unfamiliar to the casual cricket fan. None play in the Indian Premier League because Pakistan cricketers are not welcome there; none play Test cricket on their native turf because that is not possible.
They are unaccustomed to appearing in Test cricket with more than a few thousand spectators looking on. Yet here they were in front of packed stands at Lord’s clinically dissecting the best that England could offer. One of the best-resourced sides in the world were being thrashed by an itinerant band of resolute, proud cricketers, making light of their homelessness.
Waqar Younis, the great toe-crushing fast bowler, said this was Pakistan’s best performance at Lord’s, which is high praise since Waqar played in that epic of 1992 when he combined with Wasim Akram to take most of the wickets and produce a critical ninth-wicket partnership of 46 to give their side an enthralling two-wicket victory.
That Pakistan side were brimming with household names. Wasim and Waqar aside there was Javed Miandad, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed, Saleem Malik and Rameez Raja in the
Sport news, results, fixtures, blogs and comments on UK and world sport from the Express Sports News