Ian Chappell picks the best performances on cricket's biggest stage
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'It takes a great leader to pick his team up from a low point'

Ian Chappell on how Imran Khan's inspirational captaincy took Pakistan to the world title in 1992 (00:00)

February 19, 2011

Transcript

Great World Cup Performances

'It takes a great leader to pick his team up from a low point'

February 19, 2011

Imran Khan and Inzamam-ul-Haq celebrate the World Cup win, England v Pakistan, World Cup final, MCG, March 25, 1992

In the 1992 World Cup, Pakistan were down and out. If it hadn't been for a rained-out match against England, their hope of getting to the semi-finals would have been gone. They had reached the point of no-return when they got to Perth to play against Australia.

I will never forget what their captain, Imran, who I thought was a terrific leader, said to Wasim Akram, his most important bowler. He said, "I want you to stop worrying about no-balls and wides, I want you to just run up and bowl fast and take wickets." He said that to him before they went out. He then came out for the toss against Australia. He had the Pakistan trousers on, but he had a black t-shirt with this magnificent photo of a tiger on the chest. I remember asking him at the toss, "What's with the t-shirt with the tiger?" He said, "I have asked my team today to play like cornered tigers." And they did.

They won that match against Australia, and to me that was the real turning point for Pakistan and for Wasim Akram. Akram got wickets in that match, and when they went on to play England in the final, the most crucial player in that final was Wasim Akram. Javed Miandad and Imran Khan scored steady runs, but it was Inzamam-ul-Haq and Akram, at the end, who scored quickly and took the total to set up a decent chase for England.

England were going along reasonably comfortably, and then Akram produced two magnificent deliveries. One got rid of Allan Lamb and the next one got rid of Chris Lewis, the allrounder. That decimated England and Pakistan went on to win the match.

But to me it was the leadership of Imran at the point where Pakistan were down and out. It takes a great leader to pick his team from that point. Imran did that and it contributed greatly to Pakistan winning that final.


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