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What Pakistan Gave Cricket

It is the independence month. As a nation, if at one end we have been suffering from some big blows like the dictatorship and its off-shoots, at the other end we have been, every now and then, having reasons to smile as nation. Our people valiantly worked in the field of education, health, technology, social work and sports. Who can stop us from feeling proud on Imran Khan, Qadeer Khan, Jahangir Khan, Arfa Kareem, Edhi, Shahbaz Senior, Dr Abdul Salam, and the scientist who are working in the CERN.

This article sheds light on the innovations the Pakistani brought about into the cricket arenas. As a nation, we should be feeling proud on our players for their creative brilliance that added value to the sport.

Pakistan has been phenomenal in bringing innovation to modern cricket. What Pakistan has contributed to the world of cricket is more than what any other nation has. Let’s review the contribution of Pakistani cricketers to this game:

DOOSRA

Legendary off spinner Saqlain Mushtan invented the Doosra and delivered it successfully at an international level. No one could even think of delivering a leg spin from the middle finger of the right hand without changing his bowling action but Saqlain did.
Saqlain invented, mastered and then delivered it successfully at the highest level. The Doosra’s effectiveness is appreciated all over the world. Now, one cannot imagine an off spinner without the Doosra, in modern cricket.
After Saqlain, every off-spinner, including Muralidharan, had to be excellent in delivering this ball for his survival.
Saeed continues the tale of innovation and creativity in cricket, after the successful invention of the Doosra by Saqlain Mushtaq.
Saqlain, however, was not the first Pakistani cricketer who introduced something new to the world of cricket. Pakistan has few other good inventors in all the departments of cricket.

REVERSE SWING

From Fazal Mehmood to Muhammad Amir, Pakistan has always produced exceptional fast bowlers. Who can forget 7/1 by Sarfraz Nawaz (he took 7 wickets and gave just one run) against Australia with an old ball? Moreover, Mudassar Nazar’s golden arm and a post-tea session, which earned 5 wickets for just 28 runs, was spectacular. Imran Khan’s exceptional spells against super powers like West Indies and Australia, too cannot be overlooked.
In addition to this, the Ws’ of Pakistan, Wasim and Waqar were masters at bowling toe breakers and swinging yorkers with the old ball. And now, every Pakistani fast bowler including Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Muhammad Amir, and even the latest entry Junaid Khan has mastered the art.
The truth is this that the reverse swing is synonymous with Pakistan in the world of cricket. Fast bowlers from the rest of the world have just followed in the footprints of Pakistani fast bowlers.

INDIPPER

The Indipper belongs to Imran Khan, who not only invented, but mastered the delivery and used it effectively against world’s best batsmen.
Mastering the Googlie, slow delivery and reverse Sweep:
Can you forget the ‘ball of the tournament’ of  the World Cup of 1992, which was delivered to Mark Greatbatch in the first semi-final? Do you remember dancing batsmen while playing a dancing leg-spinner and shocked bowlers on getting punished even on a ‘well bowled’ delivery?
The story is all about Pakistani cricketers. Although the Slow Delivery, Googlie and Reverse Sweep were not invented by Pakistani players, they mastered it so well that their names have been attached to these skills forever, i.e. Googlie means Abdul Qadir, Reverse Sweep means Javed Miandad and Slow Delivery means Aqib Javed.
Legendary off spinner Saqlain Mushtan invented the Doosra and delivered it successfully at an international level. No one could even think of delivering a leg spin from the middle finger of the right hand without changing his bowling action but Saqlain did.
INTRODUCING SPINNERS TO ODIS
All credit for this goes to Abdul Qadir, who performed so well in One Day Internationals that the whole world started using spinners in limited over games. Before Qadir, spinners were not used in ODIs. Qadir is also known as world’s most creative bowler. He would deliver 33 different types of effective and wicket taking deliveries, which were never named and could never be reproduced. Even Shane Warne admires his variety and considers him the best spinner the world has ever seen. Great Vivan Richards once said:
‘Give me Abdul and I will reduce my fast bowlers in one day cricket.’

USING FIRST 15 OVERS

It was Pakistan who used field restriction for the first 15 overs for the first time at an international level. There is a misconception that Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharna introduced this technique.
If one sifts through history, one will find two brave openers Saeed Anwar and Saleem Yousuf who were used for this same technique in the late ’80s. The rest of the world, including Sri Lanka started using the same strategy later. Shahid Afridi’s hundred runs in 37 balls is the best example of using opening overs.
USING LAST OVERS
Pakistan’s Ws with their reverse swing, and Saqlain with his Doosra used the last 10 overs as death overs for the opposition. They made five hat-tricks in these overs and caused a major dent to the opponent’s strong batting line up.

FIGHT BACK

Who can forget Javed Miandad’s last-ball sixer at Sharjah? Moreover, the 22 runs against favourites of the 4th World cup, West Indies, by tail-enders Abdul Qadir and Saleem Jaffar was just spectacular.
The philosophy of fight back was given by Pakistani cricketers who have a long history of winning nail-biting matches.

TEESRA NOW:
Lately, a Pakistani cricketer was working on a new invention. Saeed Ajmal planned to deliver the Teesra against the world’s number one test team, England.

By: Ahmad Fuad

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