Waqar Younis March 19, 2011

'People get tired of me, but I have to keep going'

A year into his job as Pakistan coach, Waqar Younis is still standing. He has applied himself to the task of keeping one of cricket's historically most fractious teams going and has done better than most would give him credit for
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Last year, in the run-up to his appointment as coach of Pakistan, I asked Waqar Younis why he would want to give up a life in Sydney and the post-retirement comfort of a broadcast career for a position with little comfort and zilch security. Financially, too, it eventually turned out, he didn't stand to gain.

A degree of patriotism acceptable to Samuel Johnson - that is, not enough to be scoundrelous - was involved. But within the response was also a piece of reflective honesty. He had just completed a second, brief stint as Pakistan's bowling coach on a legendarily malfunctioning tour of Australia, which could sit easily alongside the most riotous tours by any rock band anywhere.

Waqar had played through, and contributed to, plenty of fractious, clique-ridden days himself, when team-mates went years without saying a word to each other off the field. "I just want to tell these guys," he said with the resignation of a lapsed preacher, "that they are going to regret a lot of this when they get older and look back at their careers. I know because I've been through it. They are going to regret it."

On March 3, as Pakistan struggled and then raced past Canada at the Premadasa in Colombo, Waqar completed a year in a job that takes far more out of you than it gives back. In some cases, as of Bob Woolmer, it takes life and gives back a red-brick wing at an academy. There is no scale of despair left on which to grade the last five years but the one just gone would stand tall by any measure.

Waqar has lived through it. He's still working on the players, to make them understand his regrets. "That culture has been there a long time. In my time, probably before my time as well. You start disliking other people, you start blaming them. It's an old illness and it doesn't go so quickly." But remarkably for the year, there is silence around him and his position, and silence in Pakistan cricket is beautiful.

THROUGH SRI LANKA, in Hambantota, Colombo, Kandy and then Colombo again, Waqar Younis has overseen practice sessions of mostly frightening energy. In large part he has created that force, channelling it through younger players and key senior men. On some occasions I suspect he has forgotten he is a coach, getting so involved in fielding routines, he could still be bowling.

"If I don't do it, they won't do it," he says. "The masla [issue] is, they have no threat. Either this or you have such a system of academies where you are producing guys and there are guys behind each guy threatening his place, so that he has to do it on his own anyway, without needing extra motivation."

He isn't military in his manner of coaching - not fully anyway. He cracks jokes in Urdu and Punjabi but has also cracked the whip with some younger players, whose heads sometimes get bigger than their games. He likes "the technical side of it, showing them their game on the laptop", but he isn't John Buchanan and it wouldn't be surprising if he errs on the side of Shane Warne in his opinion of such coaches. He is very much an Action Jackson kind of guy.

"I'm probably more practical and hands-on, just wanting to get into it, go out there on the field and do it." The job description of non-playing captain, or an off-field one, maybe says it best, though that is not to apportion to him any greater or lesser influence in matters.

If we're being perfectly honest about it, the early Waqar - the headband, from which mushroomed a poor impersonation of an Afro, the moustache, and the single-minded push for pace - would not have made any kind of coach. "Someone said, 'Bowl quick', so I did. My aim was to bowl quick. Imran Khan used to give me the ball and tell me, 'Phaar do, jaake.', blow them away."

Waqar is still modern enough but more significantly, he is now worldly enough without being from another world. His time in county cricket and his years in Sydney - where he usually lives with his wife and family - place him as a useful species: a local foreigner, or a "glocal" in Pakistan

But it was his later resurrection, from injury and politics and every whim on which Pakistan cricket turns, that forms much of what he is now. His impact as bowler lessened as the pace did, but he picked up smarts in return. Time, he says, taught him as much as coaches did. The action changed, a handy outswinger emerged, some books were ingested and, years later, here we are. The person, he acknowledges himself, also changed, mellowing and shedding the early starriness as he has grown older, as the fortunate ones do.

He has no coaching qualifications of any level, and in a way that is quite endearing. That he knows about bowling has long been apparent from his broadcast stints, when he talked specifically about the art, about actions and wrists and the exertions on a body. His first stint as Pakistan's bowling coach, in late 2006, when he worked under Woolmer and with bowlers such as Umar Gul, was instructive and beneficial to all; Waqar learnt from Woolmer and Gul, and others from Waqar, and we that there might be a coach inside Waqar.

What kind of work might happen with batsmen is not as apparent. With the range of problems that Pakistan's batsmen suffer from, it might need more than just Waqar, as a good bowler, having "a fair idea of the batsmen, what they do, pick up their strengths and weaknesses".

But these are also the concerns of normal teams, with normal coaching requirements. At the best of times we've not known what kind of normal works for Pakistan: foreigner, local, doer, thinker, analyst, ex-player? And at this most delicate moment in their existence - iss naazuk mor par Pakistan Television would say - what is needed?

Shahid Afridi said something striking about Waqar the coach last year, back when Afridi had just become Test captain. "The best thing about him is that he lives outside Pakistan and so he doesn't have an angle on anything. All the guys are the same to him. Nobody is from Sindh or Punjab - they are all one. He doesn't give examples of his own time either, that I used to do this, or used to do that. He talks of this time."

In a way, this is the heart of it. Waqar is still modern enough but more significantly, he is now worldly enough without being from another world. His time in county cricket and his years in Sydney - where he usually lives with his wife and family - place him as a useful species: a local foreigner, or a "glocal" in Pakistan. In a country and a cricket culture increasingly left to its own, removed from the rotation of the world outside of it, it might be the best way to be: a detached but informed observer.

"I understand this culture and I understand the other culture as well," he agrees. "That's why some of the players find it hard, because I say, 'This is your job. I do my job I get paid for it, now you do your job.' It is a simple, professional interaction. Forget friendships and matey-ness. Let's make it professional. 'My job is to tell you, teach you and so on. Your job is to do it. You do it. If I make you do something and you don't get results, then you come and tell me, "You said this and it didn't happen."' But then you have to put your head down and do it properly. But this culture will not change overnight."

That is why he understands that Pakistan responds to a kind of overpowering, immense individualism, but that it might also need fresh input and thought. "We have had foreign coaches as well. I have played under them, I have learnt from them. But I think in our culture a big name makes a difference. Here, players are sometimes bigger than the game. That is a reality. To suppress that, you need a bigger name from on top.

"Westerners help because they make fine coaches. Richard Pybus was great at man management. Bob Woolmer did a wonderful job, and I think you still need a few foreign people to come in because they bring different ideas and are more professional. Whatever they need to do, they just do. But you need a bigger name on top to handle it."

PAKISTAN HAVE BEEN FASCINATING to watch over the last year. It is not the same fascination we have attached to them in the past. They are flawed; some were corrupted; and they are hurt and unsure, defensive. But they are trying, one day to the next, to move on, not sure where they are going, but somewhere less dark than where they have been.

They have had no business taking Tests off Australia and England, drawing with South Africa and losing two close ODI series in the deciding fifth game. Even beating New Zealand seemed a bigger deal than it usually does, and they have - with no disrespect - done it often enough. They have gone further and won more games in this World Cup than the last two combined. Some pride in all this is understandable.

"The biggest satisfaction I have got," Waqar says, with great care, "is that we went through a lot of crises and I still managed to pull these boys out and got something out of them. It was very difficult, very tough.

Some days I didn't feel like getting out of my room, thinking: 'Another controversy? Today that guy has run away, some other scandal has happened, another match-fixing thing.' It just becomes harder and you don't feel like getting up, asking, 'What am I stuck in?' But the most satisfying thing is, I keep it going. I just make sure, 'Okay, if I have taken this job, I have to keep doing it. I have to keep getting up and working at it.' People get tired of me, but I have to keep going."

"Going" is officially till next March but it could just as well be, as Waqar knows only too well, till tomorrow. Each of the last three World Cups has cost Pakistan a coach. If there is failure - and not winning the World Cup will not be a failure - then who can say whether all this will be worth anything? Sticks will be found to beat him with. The ethnicity card is bound to be played. Perhaps people will note a strange defensiveness as coach - and when he was captain - and its contrast with his aggression as a bowler.

Maybe not enough people will see it as pragmatism, an adjustment to frailties and to a time that does not offer the same weight of match-winners as Waqar's era. "We had about seven, eight match-winners. In that time we had fights, but at the end of the day when someone went on the field, their personal goals were so big that the team goal automatically was developed because of that. Now you don't have that. You don't have big match-winners as such, so you have to develop teamwork."

There is only one fear now, he says, which is driving him. "I don't want cricket to go the way hockey has gone. That is my real fear, that it gets into so many problems that you can't lift it again. But I believe in myself, that I can do it and make things better. Deep down inside, if I look at the last year, and I look at the ups and downs we have gone through, we've done a good job."

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • KiwiRocker- on March 22, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    A legendary fast bowler- At His peak, no one was as good was Waqar Younis..No one could bowl toe crushing yorkers as Younis did. I vaguely recall his first test match when he clean bowled Tendulkar who was also playing his first test match- Good stuff!

  • Ismail04 on March 21, 2011, 21:36 GMT

    Waqar is doing a fantastic job,seems to be without an agenda and is really trying his best. He would have had so many easier options available to him instead of this role,but to take on this huge responsibility and rise to the challenge takes a lot of character. Am very impressed with his commitment to professionalism, and the way that players seem to really be putting in an effort. As we know,this hasnt always been the case.

  • on March 21, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    With saad Shafqat you always lift us when we feel down. Thanks for another gem osman keep our morales high. May be the best of lot and a touching one. After reading this any Pakistani cricket lover's heart will feel warm

  • on March 21, 2011, 10:52 GMT

    Thanks for restructuring Pakistan Cricket. Waqar we stand by you. Keep the good work going.

  • AbubakrAziz on March 21, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    Very Nice Article, I Wish him (Waqar Younis) Particularly and Our Team Specially, Best of Luck..... Always Remember that Our Country Need Patriotism on and off the field from our Players......

  • on March 21, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    For whatever Waqar has gone through in his career, it takes an exceptional individual to come back and try to make it better. Sincerity that was so missing in Pakistan cricket has come back in the form of Waqar. I respect the guy who was disrespected many a times when he played cricket by bureaucracies in Pakistan cricket. They just need a new captain now to go with Waqar who is calm and doesnt believe in rush of blood as Afridi does. The best man for the job in the current team as I always thought is Misbah. Although the guy lacks skills, he has extreme sincerity towards the team unlike players who are full of talent - the afridis and akmals. In between, I am shocked that Saed ajmal is not in the team, he is by far packistan's match winner at any given day

  • on March 21, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    very nicely crafted article keep it up waqar n boys.u guys deserve big cheers

  • BrianCharlesVivek on March 21, 2011, 3:36 GMT

    Legendary bowler and now makeing into a legendary coach. I still feel he can fit into pakistan side purly as a bowler...

  • ij1608 on March 21, 2011, 3:25 GMT

    I have always admired Waqar as a crickiter and now as Pakistan's patriotic coach. I think he has a lot to offer to the Pakistani team. Keep up the good work Waqar.

  • Cricket_theBestGame on March 21, 2011, 0:47 GMT

    well done waqar. you were a great bowler and you are a great coach. i think you are a good coach because you never went to those silly coaching schools!!! so keep away from them! your approach is right about making pak cricket professional. we already see evidence of that when akhtar wasn't played against aust and razzaq is not given any favours from afridi in bowling or batting. although he should. and finally please drop akmal for good after w/c. you'll be a hero all over again for this deed. Osman, pls pass this message to Waqar.

  • KiwiRocker- on March 22, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    A legendary fast bowler- At His peak, no one was as good was Waqar Younis..No one could bowl toe crushing yorkers as Younis did. I vaguely recall his first test match when he clean bowled Tendulkar who was also playing his first test match- Good stuff!

  • Ismail04 on March 21, 2011, 21:36 GMT

    Waqar is doing a fantastic job,seems to be without an agenda and is really trying his best. He would have had so many easier options available to him instead of this role,but to take on this huge responsibility and rise to the challenge takes a lot of character. Am very impressed with his commitment to professionalism, and the way that players seem to really be putting in an effort. As we know,this hasnt always been the case.

  • on March 21, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    With saad Shafqat you always lift us when we feel down. Thanks for another gem osman keep our morales high. May be the best of lot and a touching one. After reading this any Pakistani cricket lover's heart will feel warm

  • on March 21, 2011, 10:52 GMT

    Thanks for restructuring Pakistan Cricket. Waqar we stand by you. Keep the good work going.

  • AbubakrAziz on March 21, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    Very Nice Article, I Wish him (Waqar Younis) Particularly and Our Team Specially, Best of Luck..... Always Remember that Our Country Need Patriotism on and off the field from our Players......

  • on March 21, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    For whatever Waqar has gone through in his career, it takes an exceptional individual to come back and try to make it better. Sincerity that was so missing in Pakistan cricket has come back in the form of Waqar. I respect the guy who was disrespected many a times when he played cricket by bureaucracies in Pakistan cricket. They just need a new captain now to go with Waqar who is calm and doesnt believe in rush of blood as Afridi does. The best man for the job in the current team as I always thought is Misbah. Although the guy lacks skills, he has extreme sincerity towards the team unlike players who are full of talent - the afridis and akmals. In between, I am shocked that Saed ajmal is not in the team, he is by far packistan's match winner at any given day

  • on March 21, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    very nicely crafted article keep it up waqar n boys.u guys deserve big cheers

  • BrianCharlesVivek on March 21, 2011, 3:36 GMT

    Legendary bowler and now makeing into a legendary coach. I still feel he can fit into pakistan side purly as a bowler...

  • ij1608 on March 21, 2011, 3:25 GMT

    I have always admired Waqar as a crickiter and now as Pakistan's patriotic coach. I think he has a lot to offer to the Pakistani team. Keep up the good work Waqar.

  • Cricket_theBestGame on March 21, 2011, 0:47 GMT

    well done waqar. you were a great bowler and you are a great coach. i think you are a good coach because you never went to those silly coaching schools!!! so keep away from them! your approach is right about making pak cricket professional. we already see evidence of that when akhtar wasn't played against aust and razzaq is not given any favours from afridi in bowling or batting. although he should. and finally please drop akmal for good after w/c. you'll be a hero all over again for this deed. Osman, pls pass this message to Waqar.

  • waqasnaeim on March 20, 2011, 23:48 GMT

    Osman, we all know thats not what "'Phaar do, jaake" really means. hahah Great Article!

  • Guduji71 on March 20, 2011, 22:58 GMT

    Well done Waqar and Pakistani team, we do need a batting coach & a better wicketkeeper, though.

  • on March 20, 2011, 22:13 GMT

    Amazing Article... Go on Waqar

  • baigbaig2011 on March 20, 2011, 20:03 GMT

    thankx for such an informative and realistic article about Waqar and pak team ,,, your analysis is commendable ... keep it up .. thankx

  • on March 20, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    we would love to see pindi express may b last n best run? or is it urs n aquib javed ego not lettin shoeb akhtar his last hurray?

  • on March 20, 2011, 19:15 GMT

    well done osman.........one of ur few patriotic articles.....and waqar as always is wonderful.....luv u waqar.......and ur straight forward attitude.....bring us the cup

  • Glydeslope on March 20, 2011, 18:56 GMT

    Well said Osman! You described Waqar in the best light possible. The man has it all and doesn't need to be a Pakistan coach. But he was, is and will always remain a true patriot. Good luck Waqar and Pakistan!

  • KingKashi on March 20, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    Waqar, you have been there when days were very bad, you are still there when days are getting better. I believe if you will be there for a while, we shall be back one of the best cricket nations in world! You have done a very good job so far, keep it up!!!

  • on March 20, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    BEST OF LUCK COACH YOU HAVE THE GREAT CHANCE NOW TO PROVE YOUR SELF AS A COACH

  • saifkhan786 on March 20, 2011, 17:34 GMT

    waqar will take us to the world cup !!

  • sohail.k on March 20, 2011, 17:06 GMT

    PAKISTAN team needs someone like him in dressing room... calm n capable...

  • on March 20, 2011, 14:51 GMT

    Ah! Thanks cricinfo for this article. Waqar is my all time favorite player.. I have always gone through magazines and journals looking for articles about him and his stats. A truly outstanding player. The best ODI bowler ever!!! As a coach, he has brought calmness to the job. So much has changed in pak cricket off late but thankfully, he has persevered.. Wish Waqar and team all the best and i pray the team reaches its glorifying heights..

  • on March 20, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    very well written & Waqar bhai keep going.. ur doing a great job. well done :)

  • Meety on March 20, 2011, 8:31 GMT

    Whatever the formulae is Pakis need to bottle it. All the turmoil & they top Group A @ the WC. THey have quite a bit of technical deficiancy in their batting which I doubt Waqar can fix - but the attitude is right. Afridi had the boys pumped in the field which is a massive achievement. Pakis tnd to match anyone in bowling & have the ability to bat well, but against non-subcontinental teams they give it all away in the field. THe buzz they should against Oz, makes me feel they deserved their place at the top of Group A. Need to keep that up!

  • Syed_Yasir on March 20, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    Nicely Written Osman Waqar is a legend, he is trying his best to keep pakistani team together. I dont know why pakistani cricket is always involved in controversies. Such a talented team. They need to be honest, respectful to each other and be united like any other team.

  • sabee66 on March 20, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    you are doing a great job mate, dont worry, Pakistan's ground will be again full of people it wont be like Hocky and we are cricket lover nation, we will support you guys, bring us the world cup and we promise we won't ask u anything else..lol well done, Pakistan Zindabad

  • on March 20, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    Good Job Waqar.....Keep it up....Excellent Article Osman U r no the best editor on Cricinfo....We r in Quarter Finals Waqar Develop another good Pacer along with Umar Gul from the available lot.....and please Waqar don't let Cricket go the way Hockey or for that matter Squash has gone.....

  • Himayun on March 20, 2011, 3:28 GMT

    I am inspired by this article. Glad to hear WY has been learing from life and using his acquied knowledge to good use. Being a Pakistani American I fully agree with his interest, integrity, honesty and hard work toward his "job". In other countries people take pride in their professional work and successes. It is not like Pakistan where only "low grade or young" are supposed to work hard. The more sussessful or rich with big head do not even like to move. Hence the problem of fitness and bad fielding.

    All these players be forced to run a few miles in the morning and another few in the evening. The video game and chat culuture be done away in the athletes.

    I am proud of the "development" of WY and his contribution to the team. Hope Afridi could learn after 300 matches not to throw away his wicket!

    Thanks WY, you are an honest and hard working professional.

    Mirza, USA

  • wc1992 on March 20, 2011, 3:12 GMT

    i realy like Waquar as coach ..... he is completly differnt person as coach and i must it is the loyality that he took that coaching job and that MUST be Mention ...it was geat who he got the team to jell and foucsed for aussie game and to beat Aussie is a great success for hos coaching career as most of the cricket thinker thought Aussie will just walk over PAk

  • on March 20, 2011, 3:08 GMT

    Awesome stuff...Great going Waqar!

  • the4thelement on March 20, 2011, 0:43 GMT

    Well this article has a lot to say about the affairs of Pakistan Cricket, that culture has always prevailed during his time and even before his time. Where the politics brings ruins the careers of promising guys like Jawaid Miandad, Basit Ali, Rashid Latif, etc. Pakistan have been hurt badly by the likes of Political Icons within the cricket and even in the presence of strong evidences nothing has been done against them. The Waqar's statement explicitly portray his feelings, how much hurt he is and the height of regret he is experiencing.

  • pakspin on March 19, 2011, 23:53 GMT

    This is a slap on Ian Chappelle's face

  • couchpundit on March 19, 2011, 23:12 GMT

    I have been wondering how remarkably this team has been performing between non-stop controversies. Kudos to Waqar and Pakistan Team to have put down their head and worked hard no matter what the results has been. way to go.

    Glad to see an article without India being metioned.

    Way to go

  • LittleFinger on March 19, 2011, 23:03 GMT

    As an Indian, in his playing days I intensely disliked Waqar for his naked aggression. Back in those days, Wasim Akram seemed like the only likable guy in the Pakistani team. Bur like Osman hints, we all grow up. Waqar has shown a lot of class and maturity in steering the Pakistani ship. Great job and all the best!

    I have a sneaky feeling that Pakistan will finally fix that other record, of never having beaten India in the World Cup, and they will do it at the Wankhede. They will break Sachin's heart in his hometown. Some of us will cry with him, but prima donnas like Dhoni and Yuvraj will carry on with life as if nothing happened. Wish they would learn something from Waqar, some patriotism, and how to care about something bigger than yourself.

  • Z.Saleem on March 19, 2011, 23:01 GMT

    YEs we have to give credit to Waqar and he is very right about some guys that they really think of themselves bigger than the game!

  • Zahidsaltin on March 19, 2011, 22:27 GMT

    For me Waqar is to cricket what Osman Samiuddin is to cricket reporting.

  • on March 19, 2011, 21:29 GMT

    Waqar Younis has always been a very patriotic Pakistan. Imran Khan who discovered him and was his mentor differentiated between him as Wasim Akram by saying Waqar worked very hard and kept coming back after falling.

  • on March 19, 2011, 21:02 GMT

    Great article, However why all the comments on how it was written, Mr Samiuddin is a journalist, I am sure he doesnt need us to tell him how well the article was written.

  • on March 19, 2011, 20:12 GMT

    He is THE most underrated bowler of all time...along with saqlain mushtaq....a great competitor....he never gave up....nd he was! one of the fastest nd the greatest bowlers of all time....

  • AamirTramboo on March 19, 2011, 19:56 GMT

    gr88 job waqa n congrzz to pakistani team for a big win agnst kangroos.u guys make us proud.com'n Green shirts 3 more to win to repeat history.u deserves the glory!!!

  • shehanpj on March 19, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    an unsung hero! i like sAfridi's comment on him, great philosophy. glad that, finally someone felt that he hase some moral obligation to write about wYounis to give due recognition to all that behind the scene hard work. nothing will atop, if Pakistan wins this world cup for him, ( i won't be surprised ) & good luck.

  • on March 19, 2011, 19:20 GMT

    well done waqar bhai i pray u win this worldcup as a coach.....

  • PAKISFANI on March 19, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    only ONE word can describe this article from Osman --- PRICELESS

  • chatto on March 19, 2011, 18:18 GMT

    Great article, Osman, as always! And kudos to Waqar - great to see a stalwart player like you can be a great coach as well, not many have done it. Even though I am an avid Indian fan, I would like to see Pakistan team to do well and bring some greats like Akram, Imran, Waqar himself, and many more! From what I have seen so far, maybe Waqar can guide some of these talented youngsters to that path to glory. Good luck for the world cup and congrats for defeating Oz, finally!

  • on March 19, 2011, 17:52 GMT

    I love this man a lot, he was always true, honest and loyal person, even Wasim akram was nothing as compare to the caliber of Waqar Younis

    The article put me in tears, as such he was telling, "I have born with Pakistan and I will die with Pakistan...

    Down to earth, in history and in his team he was many times revenged by others, if only the superiors of those time were true to him, then sure he would have been Top One day wicket taker with around 700 to 800 wickets.

    Love You Waqar Younis!!! San Lizas Airen

  • on March 19, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    Outstanding writing piece about a solid subject. I had a wish that Waqar and Wasim, who were the top bowling duo at that time, to continue playing together for a while, but that did not happen coz of their differences, and now Waqar confirms how infighting is a perpetual inside handicap for the Pakistani team. Waqar has correctly termed that as an 'illness' which needs to be overcome..

  • justjonty on March 19, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    Kamran Bhai, every time I read a piece of yours, some part of me dies (this in itself is a borrowed quote, but I cant help it.) One day I will write like you. Brilliant piece. You have chronicled the entire year for Pakistani cricket in one interview. Really interesting interview

  • jawana on March 19, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    Excellent interview... Great job by Waqar...

  • on March 19, 2011, 16:47 GMT

    OSMAN...tremendous job once again...great article and huge congrats to VIKI!!

  • MTA82 on March 19, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    Well Waqar Yonus, if team is winning then who want you to leave. Keep doing good work and beside that we want our players at the highest level of responsibility at every ground so that they can really be called national heroes.

  • on March 19, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    a fluent article with facts and findings. hats off to great waqar. we grew up seeing him ravaging opponents batting line up, our childhood hero. now its pleasent to see this cool man uniting diverse pakistan cricket team, which was so long fighting with grouping and local issues. i liked waqars point that u gona regret on many issues as u grow older like i am regretting. great philosophy

  • NP_NY on March 19, 2011, 15:17 GMT

    Waqar (and Wasim) were both great competitors and good men. They played cricket with a lot of heart but still played it like a game and not a war (like some of the young cricketers in most teams do today). Good to see Waqar doing well as a coach. Maybe India can learn something from this - local coaches can be very effective. Why not someone like Robin Singh!

  • Vindaliew on March 19, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    After a long time, I only started liking and supporting the Pakistan team last year. Something about the way they kept trying hard with limited resources (and worse when their most-liked captain for a while and best opening bowler combo were cruelly lost to them), and refused to give up when hit by so many scandals and crisis which would have made lesser men give up.. they earned a good measure of respect from their fans (and the neutrals) last year, and a lot of credit goes to Waqar in the way he has taught them. Captains came and went, but he was still there, and his contribution to the team cannot be ignored.

  • on March 19, 2011, 14:17 GMT

    It seems in cricketing world, people / media doesnt like a BOWLER as coach. I truely Bowler as coach. Well Done, Mr. WAQAR. Hope this trend will start in India.

  • Hafiz on March 19, 2011, 12:43 GMT

    Very Good Article/Interview!

  • mouli.chandra on March 19, 2011, 12:38 GMT

    This is as good an article on Cricinfo as any. Very well written. Thanks.

  • cric_fanatics on March 19, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    look what exposure and education of life does to a guy...pak should focus on developing the young guys who come from poor back grounds...they need exposure and education

  • Regen on March 19, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    a job half well done without much of appreciation, go win wc and make it a JOB WELL DONE.

  • on March 19, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    My best wishes to Waqar and his team! I am routing for them to win this World Cup

  • safwan_Umair on March 19, 2011, 8:52 GMT

    Osman ...... reading ur articles brings us unbridled joy. This was a splendid piece, Waqar has withstood the most torrid times in our cricketing history. More importantly though, he has dragged the team along, and lifted them out of real apathy. What he nees is another 2-3 years atleast, and Pakistan cricket will not be a lost cause like field hockey.

  • Dystraction on March 19, 2011, 8:45 GMT

    What an interesting and well crafted article. I am an Aussie and watched Waqar and Wasim terrorize our batsmen over many years. Didn't really know much about Waqar the man until he began commentating. Instantly took a liking to his insight and humbleness. Now I am in an interesting position, I want Waqar to have success but I don't want Australia to end their great run of World Cup wins or non losses. So Mr Osman Samiuddin if you happen upon Waqar before tonights game please offer him good luck but not too much.

  • on March 19, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    I am routing for them to Win World Cup this year. It could make them forget all the travails the team and fan wen through. They have a decent coach and good talent to do this.

    With best wishes

  • wittgenstein on March 19, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    What a pleasing read.There was nothing in the young, fiery, tempestuous, fractious and arrogant Waqar that foretold the emergence of such a gem.He alone of all the coaches Pakistan has had and can possibly have, now has the right blend of glorious past deeds,knowledge, perspective and objectivity to make something of the mess that Pakistan cricket is always in.Let's hope he is allowed to continue undisturbed.

  • on March 19, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    Waqar Younis is a great man with wonderful record. He faced many pressure situations in international cricket..now his hat is changed. My personal suggestion to him would be to be more attacking in his approach. He has done a good job as coach, he can do better and best job by making our team corned tiger once again. Waqar, we need to drop one batsman and add wicket taking bowler in side. Please do it.

  • on March 19, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    OSMAN is dissapointing listening but definetily worth reading.

  • KarachiKid on March 19, 2011, 8:12 GMT

    Our team badly needs a BATTING COACH along with chief coach (Waqar Younis).

  • Farhan83 on March 19, 2011, 8:09 GMT

    Emotional article by Osman Samiuddin, well done Osman! Waqar Younis, an excellent bowler and surely my all time favourite One of the toughest job in Cricket world is to coach Pak and he is doing that wonderfully well, working hard, keeping it simple in mental approaches but i would love to see him approaching it the way he did when he was bowling that is to be aggressive........ For me Pak team is playing for "Not to Loose the game instead of playing to Win" if that changes everything changes Best of Luck Waqar and Pak! we are with you all the time

  • on March 19, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    Good work SIR WAQAR YOUNIS.

  • Pathiyal on March 19, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    however great this waqar younis is, the first thing i remember about him is the match against india in bangalore in which he got a special treatment by one of the bad boys of indian cricket. i have seen him being pelted by technically good batsmen all over the world while he was in peak form. and now he is doing the job as a coach....quite ironical.

  • on March 19, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    we like you waqar by.Good luck you and pakistani team!

  • on March 19, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    Imran Khan once discussed Wasim and Waqar thus - Wasim was the most naturally gifted cricketer ever! He learned quick, didn't have much to learn either. However, if things were not going to plan he could give up. Waqar was stronger - mentally and physically he kept coming back. Reading this interview you could see how well he assessed. Like the bowler the person has mellowed, grown older and smarter. He has learned to channel his raw energy, passion, even fears with wisdom, broader world-view and professionalism. But he has kept going at it when lesser men would've quit. He doesn't try to knock the door down, but this Waqar knows if he keeps chipping away he will usher in a better future. May the force be with him!

  • on March 19, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    Obviously look at the performance of the team under Waqar as coach and Shahid as a captain. They had sizzling games against Inida and Sri Lanka in Asia cup. They played really good cricket. Then won a t20 series against Australia in England. Umar Gul bowling Hussey out, who can forget that. Then beating Australians in the Test match after 15 years. Then losing a closely fought series 3-2 against England( had Strauss not been given not out in the 3rd one day when he was caught behind then result would have been 3-2 in Pakistan's favour). Then playing a memorable series against South Africa thought againt lost 3-2 but still a very nicely played series. Then drawing a test series against South Africans. Then winning test series in Niew Zealad and winning ODI series 3-2. This is a performance of a champion team. Very unfortunate not to win closely fought games but I think I am convinced with the performance. What do you say guys ?

  • on March 19, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    Kudos to waqar for keeping a sense of steadiness on the unwholly mess that is Pakistan Cricket. Talented and capable, but a mess.

  • proud2beApakiztani on March 19, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    Great Job Waqar, Keep the momentum going!

  • on March 19, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    very good article .I like Waqar Younis very much because of his calmness.He is really a cool guy

  • Huggakhan on March 19, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    Really well written article. The flow was really good, couple of typos here and there, but it was really well organized and captivating.

  • Saaalik on March 19, 2011, 5:47 GMT

    Amazing write ups!! from Osman Samiuddin, a classy writer...makes even mundane (not this one) articles enjoyable and a treat to read....lots of inspiration from your reports, yaar....keep it up!

  • WeeklyCHICK on March 19, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    Verry well written Osman!! i enjoyed it alot..hats off to Waqar Younis on doing a great job. The boys are finally together..as one team!!! PAKISTAN ZINDABAAD!!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • WeeklyCHICK on March 19, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    Verry well written Osman!! i enjoyed it alot..hats off to Waqar Younis on doing a great job. The boys are finally together..as one team!!! PAKISTAN ZINDABAAD!!

  • Saaalik on March 19, 2011, 5:47 GMT

    Amazing write ups!! from Osman Samiuddin, a classy writer...makes even mundane (not this one) articles enjoyable and a treat to read....lots of inspiration from your reports, yaar....keep it up!

  • Huggakhan on March 19, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    Really well written article. The flow was really good, couple of typos here and there, but it was really well organized and captivating.

  • on March 19, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    very good article .I like Waqar Younis very much because of his calmness.He is really a cool guy

  • proud2beApakiztani on March 19, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    Great Job Waqar, Keep the momentum going!

  • on March 19, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    Kudos to waqar for keeping a sense of steadiness on the unwholly mess that is Pakistan Cricket. Talented and capable, but a mess.

  • on March 19, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    Obviously look at the performance of the team under Waqar as coach and Shahid as a captain. They had sizzling games against Inida and Sri Lanka in Asia cup. They played really good cricket. Then won a t20 series against Australia in England. Umar Gul bowling Hussey out, who can forget that. Then beating Australians in the Test match after 15 years. Then losing a closely fought series 3-2 against England( had Strauss not been given not out in the 3rd one day when he was caught behind then result would have been 3-2 in Pakistan's favour). Then playing a memorable series against South Africa thought againt lost 3-2 but still a very nicely played series. Then drawing a test series against South Africans. Then winning test series in Niew Zealad and winning ODI series 3-2. This is a performance of a champion team. Very unfortunate not to win closely fought games but I think I am convinced with the performance. What do you say guys ?

  • on March 19, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    Imran Khan once discussed Wasim and Waqar thus - Wasim was the most naturally gifted cricketer ever! He learned quick, didn't have much to learn either. However, if things were not going to plan he could give up. Waqar was stronger - mentally and physically he kept coming back. Reading this interview you could see how well he assessed. Like the bowler the person has mellowed, grown older and smarter. He has learned to channel his raw energy, passion, even fears with wisdom, broader world-view and professionalism. But he has kept going at it when lesser men would've quit. He doesn't try to knock the door down, but this Waqar knows if he keeps chipping away he will usher in a better future. May the force be with him!

  • on March 19, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    we like you waqar by.Good luck you and pakistani team!

  • Pathiyal on March 19, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    however great this waqar younis is, the first thing i remember about him is the match against india in bangalore in which he got a special treatment by one of the bad boys of indian cricket. i have seen him being pelted by technically good batsmen all over the world while he was in peak form. and now he is doing the job as a coach....quite ironical.