Asif Iqbal April 28, 2012

'I considered myself average before World Series Cricket'

Asif Iqbal on insomnia before a playing day, meeting Worrell, and losing his cool

First sleepless night because of cricket
The night before the last day of the Edgbaston Test of 1971. England had followed on and Pakistan were in a good position to win a Test against England after 17 years. [They drew it.]

First cricketing autograph
Sir Frank Worrell visited India somewhere in the mid-50s for the silver jubilee of Indian cricket. I was lucky to get his autograph.

First time I lost my temper on the field
In one of the Tests of the 1964-65 home series against New Zealand, their wicketkeeper claimed I was bowled. I was beaten and the ball had ricocheted off the keeper's pads on to the stumps and broken the bails. The whole New Zealand side made a real fuss. The umpire rightly gave me not out.

First cricketing gift
My uncle Ghulam Ahmed, the Indian Test cricketer, presented me with a brand new pair of gloves he had bought from outside India, predicting I would be an excellent batsman.

First realisation I belonged at the highest level
When Kerry Packer invited me to join World Series Cricket in 1977. Prior to that, I had considered myself to be only an average Test cricketer.

Ijaz Chaudhry writes on cricket and other sports. For more about him and samples of his published work, visit www.sportscorrespondent.info

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