April 29, 2012

Meeting Mr Miandad

How a fan came to write the story of the Pakistani great's life
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Like all Javed Miandad fans, I had waited patiently to read the story of his life. I assumed it would appear soon after he retired. Yet years passed and nothing emerged.

Pakistan's cricket stars are not known for their written output, but there was a feeling that perhaps Miandad would be different. He had never been at a loss for words at the crease, and rumour had it that he was much the same in private.

Early in 1999, three years after he played his last international match, Miandad was back in the spotlight as Pakistan's coach on a landmark tour to India. Around this time, I was preparing to relocate to Pakistan, after having lived for a decade in the United States. Tired of waiting for Miandad's book to come out, I wondered if I might be able to do the job myself. Although I was a doctor and not a writer, I enjoyed writing, and loved cricket. How hard could it be?

Soon after settling back in Karachi, I began looking for a way to contact him. Thanks to a resourceful friend, a telephone number was obtained. One afternoon, after spending several minutes building up courage, I dialled it nervously. Before long, Miandad's unmistakable high-pitched brogue came on the line.

"Is this Javed Miandad?" I asked tentatively. "The Javed Miandad?"

"Who the hell are you?" was the reply.

My mouth, dry to begin with, suddenly felt parched. I tried to refer to some notes I had made, to stay focused, but Miandad was sharp and short and the conversation did not go well. He asked which publication I worked for, and I said I didn't. He asked about what I had written before; I had to say, "Not much." He was quick and dismissive. "Don't bother me," were his last words.

I was shattered. I had just spoken to my boyhood idol and he had treated me with indifference. I tried to see the situation from his viewpoint, realising that a call from someone like me would have felt a nuisance. But that was little consolation.

My wife analysed the matter dispassionately. "You need a better angle," was her bottom line. Her suggestion was to write an essay on Miandad and use it to lure his interest. "And don't call him again," she advised. "Go through his wife."

At the time, Miandad lived in Lahore. He has married into one of Pakistan's wealthiest families, and had a centrally located address that was commonly known. Armed with the opening chapter of what I hoped would become a biography, I flew in from Karachi. A friend drove me to Miandad's house, where I stood in the pleasant Lahore spring and rang the bell. It was March 2001. Miandad at the time was the national coach, on duty in New Zealand.

A servant appeared at the gate. I introduced myself and handed him a sheaf of pages stapled together. After several anxious minutes, the servant appeared again, and this time the news good. Mrs Miandad would see me. We had never met before, but she was most kind and welcoming. They had been trying to arrange Miandad's autobiography, she said, but the legend himself had been rather disorganised about it. "So, what's next?" I asked. "Leave it to me," she said.

Tahira Miandad proved true to her word, and a few weeks later I received the call I had been hoping for. Miandad was in Karachi and was barking directions to his mother's house. He said he had quit as the Pakistan coach and had some time on his hands. I dropped everything, bought a big cake along the way and arrived at his doorstep in quick time. My first words on seeing him were to praise his 114 in Georgetown, which I had wanted to do for years. Miandad completely ignored it. "Have you brought a tape recorder?" he asked. The abrasiveness was gone, but he wasn't too friendly either. His tone was all business.

We sat in a sparsely furnished room on the upper floor of a four-storey house, located on a street that has been named in his honour. I flipped on the dictaphone, and Miandad started to speak. He talked about his childhood and his early influences. He kept going off on tangents, but I quickly realised there was little point interrupting him. He talked non-stop and simply talked over you if you tried to speak up. Everything he said was interesting.

Over the next six months, I met him every week, sometimes twice a week. His manner soon became comfortable and chummy. He was witty and passionate, and frequently sarcastic, with a highly colourful tongue. Going over old memories, he found it easy to get into the moment and relive his emotions.

Miandad was sharp and short and the conversation did not go well. He asked which publication I worked for, and I said I didn't. He asked about what I had written before; I had to say, "Not much." He was quick and dismissive. "Don't bother me"

I had heard horror stories about his difficult personality but experienced nothing of the sort. Eventually the book emerged. Miandad did not prove too fussy about the finishing touches. He said he couldn't be bothered to read the manuscript, and asked me to show it instead to his sister-in-law, who gave final approval after a few minor tweaks.

In June 2003, the publishers held a book launch in Karachi. Five people were seated on stage: Miandad, myself, the CEO of the publishing company, Tauqir Zia (chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board), and Raju Jamil, a TV personality and fellow cricket devotee, who had initially referred me to Miandad, and was emcee for the occasion.

A few minutes into proceedings, Hanif Mohammad walked into the hall and quietly took a seat among the audience. Not many people seemed to notice but Miandad spotted him right away and immediately became restless. He stepped down, took Hanif by the hand, and brought him on stage. Everyone was moved by the gesture and both men received a standing ovation. Basking in spontaneous, thunderous applause, Hanif stood beaming. Miandad beamed even more.

That was just one of many delightful memories of working on Miandad's autobiography. Perhaps most entertaining was being in his company when watching live cricket on television. He was highly opinionated, with choice words for nearly every Pakistan player. The only one he showed respect for was Inzamam; everybody else was cut down to size, often with a variety of Urdu expletives.

It was also great fun to be with him in public. People would greet him and wave at him all the time. He always waved back and returned every greeting. At traffic stops, flower vendors would offer him garlands. He feigned reluctance but eventually accepted.

Throughout the project, I quietly wondered how it would feel to play cricket with Javed Miandad. One lazy November afternoon, a few months after the book came out, I was visiting him on Eid, and the ambience was highly convivial. Seeing Miandad in such a relaxed mood, I summoned the courage to ask if I could bowl to him. At first he acted as if he hadn't heard, but when I repeated the request, he eyed me up and down.

"Played any first-class?' he said.

"No," I replied.

"One of the registered clubs?"

"No."

"School team?"

"Tried, but didn't make it."

"Listen," he said finally. "It's best to stick to what you're good at. That's what I've always done, and you should do the same."

Saad Shafqat is a writer based in Karachi

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on May 2, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    Good batsman, bad captain, worse coach.

  • dadvoc on May 2, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    the most interesting piece you have ever written, and it takes some courage to write about the attitude he has had shown you earlier. Overall I enjoyed it right from the start. Would've loved to see some excerpts from the biography though.

  • Meety on May 2, 2012, 2:11 GMT

    @nlambda - just like with the persons who bag Sachin to make Miandad look good, I don't like bagging of javed to make Sachin look good. IMO - there is plenty to nit-pick with both men - for example Miandad only played 3 tests against Zim & only averaged 28, & never played Bangladesh, whereas Sachin has over 1700 runs against at an ave of around 100. However, Javed never played against the Saffas, to which Sachin has played 25 tests against. Comparisons are very interesting, but I try (emphasis on try - not always successful) to maintain the high ground! Bear in mind Javed did take on the FULL might of the WIndies through the 70s & 80s, they caused many averages to dip through those years!!!!

  • Umms on May 1, 2012, 2:28 GMT

    He was among the best of the best.

  • PakPacer on May 1, 2012, 0:50 GMT

    He was the craftiest, most clever player Pakistan has ever had and his mental toughness was only rivaled by Imran Khan. When Miandad was on the pitch Pakistan always had a chance, they dont make batsmen like him anymore.

  • nlambda on May 1, 2012, 0:40 GMT

    To the predictable insulting of Sachin, here is one stat: http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/469919.html

    Miandad's average outside Asia is 46 which is 5 whole runs inferior to Sachin's.

    There was another analysis I am trying to find which looked at performance against difficult and easy attacks and I remember Miandad was one of the players with very high average against the weak attacks and 29 against quality attacks. Tendulkar managed to average around 45 even against the strongest attacks. Miandad is not in the league of Tendulkar at all!

  • Meety on May 1, 2012, 0:06 GMT

    @getsetgopk - I watched that 100 on the internet, it was underwhelming, & I like many others prefer to remember the other 99! It does NOT sum up his career at all. "...he has the highest no of hundred in losing causes," - Lara has the most 200+ scores in losses, does that make him not great? Perhaps this is reflective of other attributes in the Indian team, like the lack of genuine pace bowlers near all time great status? The fact is Srinath made the Indian all time greatest team, a bowler who would struggle to make an Ozzy state team, (no disrespect intended to Srinath fans). But compare Srinath to Waqar, Akram & Khan & you start to see why Pakistan has a far superior win/loss record & why Sachin was never going to win as many matches. Winning matches is a piece of a much bigger picture on an individuals record. If winning was the only thing, Ponting would be the all time greatest batsmen, (I'm a fan), but he is not!! People shouldn't bag a great to make "their" player look better!

  • Meety on April 30, 2012, 23:58 GMT

    @KiwiRocker - "...There is no comparsion between Tendulya and Javed as Javed actually won more matches for Pakistan than Tendulya..." FACT #1 During Javed's career Pakis win/loss was 1.64, over their complete history 1.15, Javed's era coincided with a 42% "more successful" Pakis side. FACT #2 Tendulkar's Test career coincides with a win/loss ratio of 1.18, against an entire history of .76, which translates to India being 55% better during SRTs era. FACT #3 - W/Cup wins Javed ONE, SRT - ONE, FACT #4 Matches per 100, an excellent 5.3 (world class), Tendulkar 3.7 (better than Javed's) FACT #5 Sachin's ave in Oz = 57, Javed's 38. I can go on, but I do not wish to tarnish Javed's obvious greatness to prove a point. I will leave it at Javed Miandad was a great batsmen - arguably Pakistan's finest. Tendulkar was AND is a great batsmen - arguably India's finest. Sledging Tendulkar to make Miandad look good is unnecessary, as Javed's stats hold up well in their own right! (pls publish)

  • on April 30, 2012, 23:16 GMT

    Miandad's class needs to be judged from the fact that he brought wins for the team when team's back was against the wall, he used all legit means possible to bring glory to his nation. The last ball six was not a cricket shot, it was a gauntlet thrown at the competiton that Pakistan belonged at the top. Plus , the fact he played most of his cricket on RTs not FTs,

  • screamingeagle on April 30, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    Lol, it is strange that people always make arguments not on the subject of the article, but about something else altogether. This was just an insight into the mind of a straight talking, brash and opinionated person, who also happened to be an excellent bat, shrewd tactician and completely naive about politicking. Now how the (add expletive here) does that have anything to do about SRT, Sunny and (lol) Chappel (!) is beyond me. Read the article, enjoy it and try not to make these forums sound like youtube comments section. Some comments make him sound like a messiah (:S) Thanks.

  • on May 2, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    Good batsman, bad captain, worse coach.

  • dadvoc on May 2, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    the most interesting piece you have ever written, and it takes some courage to write about the attitude he has had shown you earlier. Overall I enjoyed it right from the start. Would've loved to see some excerpts from the biography though.

  • Meety on May 2, 2012, 2:11 GMT

    @nlambda - just like with the persons who bag Sachin to make Miandad look good, I don't like bagging of javed to make Sachin look good. IMO - there is plenty to nit-pick with both men - for example Miandad only played 3 tests against Zim & only averaged 28, & never played Bangladesh, whereas Sachin has over 1700 runs against at an ave of around 100. However, Javed never played against the Saffas, to which Sachin has played 25 tests against. Comparisons are very interesting, but I try (emphasis on try - not always successful) to maintain the high ground! Bear in mind Javed did take on the FULL might of the WIndies through the 70s & 80s, they caused many averages to dip through those years!!!!

  • Umms on May 1, 2012, 2:28 GMT

    He was among the best of the best.

  • PakPacer on May 1, 2012, 0:50 GMT

    He was the craftiest, most clever player Pakistan has ever had and his mental toughness was only rivaled by Imran Khan. When Miandad was on the pitch Pakistan always had a chance, they dont make batsmen like him anymore.

  • nlambda on May 1, 2012, 0:40 GMT

    To the predictable insulting of Sachin, here is one stat: http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/469919.html

    Miandad's average outside Asia is 46 which is 5 whole runs inferior to Sachin's.

    There was another analysis I am trying to find which looked at performance against difficult and easy attacks and I remember Miandad was one of the players with very high average against the weak attacks and 29 against quality attacks. Tendulkar managed to average around 45 even against the strongest attacks. Miandad is not in the league of Tendulkar at all!

  • Meety on May 1, 2012, 0:06 GMT

    @getsetgopk - I watched that 100 on the internet, it was underwhelming, & I like many others prefer to remember the other 99! It does NOT sum up his career at all. "...he has the highest no of hundred in losing causes," - Lara has the most 200+ scores in losses, does that make him not great? Perhaps this is reflective of other attributes in the Indian team, like the lack of genuine pace bowlers near all time great status? The fact is Srinath made the Indian all time greatest team, a bowler who would struggle to make an Ozzy state team, (no disrespect intended to Srinath fans). But compare Srinath to Waqar, Akram & Khan & you start to see why Pakistan has a far superior win/loss record & why Sachin was never going to win as many matches. Winning matches is a piece of a much bigger picture on an individuals record. If winning was the only thing, Ponting would be the all time greatest batsmen, (I'm a fan), but he is not!! People shouldn't bag a great to make "their" player look better!

  • Meety on April 30, 2012, 23:58 GMT

    @KiwiRocker - "...There is no comparsion between Tendulya and Javed as Javed actually won more matches for Pakistan than Tendulya..." FACT #1 During Javed's career Pakis win/loss was 1.64, over their complete history 1.15, Javed's era coincided with a 42% "more successful" Pakis side. FACT #2 Tendulkar's Test career coincides with a win/loss ratio of 1.18, against an entire history of .76, which translates to India being 55% better during SRTs era. FACT #3 - W/Cup wins Javed ONE, SRT - ONE, FACT #4 Matches per 100, an excellent 5.3 (world class), Tendulkar 3.7 (better than Javed's) FACT #5 Sachin's ave in Oz = 57, Javed's 38. I can go on, but I do not wish to tarnish Javed's obvious greatness to prove a point. I will leave it at Javed Miandad was a great batsmen - arguably Pakistan's finest. Tendulkar was AND is a great batsmen - arguably India's finest. Sledging Tendulkar to make Miandad look good is unnecessary, as Javed's stats hold up well in their own right! (pls publish)

  • on April 30, 2012, 23:16 GMT

    Miandad's class needs to be judged from the fact that he brought wins for the team when team's back was against the wall, he used all legit means possible to bring glory to his nation. The last ball six was not a cricket shot, it was a gauntlet thrown at the competiton that Pakistan belonged at the top. Plus , the fact he played most of his cricket on RTs not FTs,

  • screamingeagle on April 30, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    Lol, it is strange that people always make arguments not on the subject of the article, but about something else altogether. This was just an insight into the mind of a straight talking, brash and opinionated person, who also happened to be an excellent bat, shrewd tactician and completely naive about politicking. Now how the (add expletive here) does that have anything to do about SRT, Sunny and (lol) Chappel (!) is beyond me. Read the article, enjoy it and try not to make these forums sound like youtube comments section. Some comments make him sound like a messiah (:S) Thanks.

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on April 30, 2012, 19:31 GMT

    @Kiwirocker your stats are risible and would be laughed out of court by any respected panel charged with overseeing the integrity of the sport. Surely making a "winning" contribution to a game as a batsman requires that your side has bowlers who can bowl the other side out - which is a lot easier when the bowlers in your side are wasim and waqar rather than manoj prabhakar and an ageing kapil dev! I don't know where you get your stats from on Sachin's record against the two w's and mcgrath but can we have the full figures please (i.e. total number of runs scored against dismissals)? Sorry but your record as an unimpeachable and disinterested witness to the truth lies sadly besmirched by prejudice. McGrath and Wasim are both on record as saying that Sachin is the greatest they have bowled to - I think statements like that mean rather more than your conjuring tricks with figures. Javed's greatness is indisputable and does not require belittling other countries and cricketers.

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on April 30, 2012, 19:15 GMT

    @Muhammad Eusha says "Chappel scored in WI, Pakistan, England everywhere. He scored runs against SA in SA too." Which Chappell? Greg never played a test match in SA. Ian played 9 tests in SA - and never reached 50.

  • Witty_Cricketer on April 30, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    Guys what is this fascination with Tendulkar bashing, this article is about Miandad, lets enjoy that, whether Tendulkar is great batsman or not is completely irrelevant here, and by the way, Tendulkar is still an active player, when he retires his legend will grow and for all Rahul Dravid supporters (I'm one of them), Rahul himself does not think he is better than Sachin, I will take his word for it.

  • Frankspeaker-USA on April 30, 2012, 15:26 GMT

    I am an India but I agree there cannot be another Javed Miandad truly a legend of Pakistan Cricket. I wish you could write about Imran Khan the most flamboyant and inspiring.

  • v_giri on April 30, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    I never understand why every article not referring to Sachin ends up as a discussion if Sachin is great or not. For every cricketer there are always examples of greatness and failures. Why bring in Sachin everytime? Why bash Sachin everytime to prove other cricketers great? If Sachin is so bad, how can any cricketer be great by just being marginally better than Sachin. Yes I am a Sachin fan but I would NEVER say he is No. 1 on batting. Different circumstances bring best out of different cricketers. I do feel Lara and Chanderpaul but blaming them for not winning several games is not fair at all. Cricket remains a team game and I feel bowlers can win games without batsmen supporting but rarely the other way around

  • CricketFirstLove on April 30, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    Who said he was not elegant and compared him to Chanderpal. It is not correct. Let me recall Vijay Merchant when Pakistan was visiting India in 179/80, in Bombay Test who had said: "He plays every stroke in the book and out of it and gets away with it." That was his control and command. A batsman of his caliber are rarely produced. He was a class apart.

  • CricketFirstLove on April 30, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    We must judge his as a cricketer and shines all the way through.

  • on April 30, 2012, 13:07 GMT

    Good cricketer watched him in 92 wc and 96.was past his prime Could have handled his career better.Imran was the more flamboyant and inspiring.

  • KiwiRocker- on April 30, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    Meety: There is no comparsion between Tendulya and Javed as Javed actually won more matches for Pakistan than Tendulya and Sehwag combined. When England won Rugby world cup in 2007, they were not the most glamorous outfit but what defined their success was that they actually won matches and 'winning ugly' term was asscoiated with English team. For me winning is a criteria of greatness! I mean what is point of scoring 18K runs if team does not win? Tendulya has a 4th inning record of 34, and averaged mediocore 33 runs against Wasim, Waqar and McGrath. I am afraid, I do rate him a good actor but not a great batsman in the same class as Javed Miandad, Inzemam Ul Haq( scored 25 centuries and won 15 times). India's top batsman without a doubt was Rahul Dravid as he played to win. I also disgree with you that Javed left captaincy etc..He did left captaincy as he realised that Imran Khan had more acceptance among senior players. Javed was one of the best tactician on cricket field.

  • honey-lotion on April 30, 2012, 10:21 GMT

    He is the best example to display that 'People are made of characters'. Never say die attitude, fearless in crunch moment, not elegant but dictatorial and challenging the impossibles. Many cricketers scored more than him but few like the way he did. One would be Viv. The other could be Ponting. There cannot be another Javed Miandad.

  • smalishah84 on April 30, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    Such a nice article related to the best Pakistani batsman ever. NEver a dull moment when he was around

  • getsetgopk on April 30, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    And yes Javed wasn't a great man manager BUT he never refused captaincy, unlike SRT who flat out refused to take the job as if captaincy was nothing but a waste of time, Javed rather let Imran take charge as you rightly said that Imran was a natural leader and an ideal position for him.

  • on April 30, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    The author has obviously been very frank and there is no attempt to glorify one of the most dependable batsman the game has ever seen. The man has not changed, for better or for worse. As a batsman Miandad was highly effective against any opposition but was never easy on the eye, like Gower, Zaheer Abbas or Inzy. To compare him with the current lot one can say he was like Chanderpaul, dependable and solid but ugly to watch. Javed lost quite a few fans when he chose to hob nob with people like Dawood. His son/daughter is married to Dawood Ibrahim's son/ daughter and that explains the brusque manner and arrogance. A very great player but was never popular even with his own team mates. Pakistan has always overflowed with talent but most of the great cricketers are sullen and ill mannered, the few exceptions being Abdul Quadir and the late Wasim Raja. He must never have taken up the coaching assignment or any other cricket admin position, he tends to be crude and insulting.

  • gimme-a-greentop on April 30, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    The first World Cup I ever watched was 1992 in Australia. I'm not surprised Miandad has respect for Inzamum, they both batted brilliantly in the knock out matches, especially their partnership in the semi-final vs New Zealand. I have always wondered what would have happened if he had actually hit Dennis Lillee with his bat...would have been interesting. Merv is a fat bus conductor!

  • on April 30, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    Being a perfectionist, I would judge Miandad with his average against the Australians in away tests. It is 38 which is mediocre. He scored heavily against the weaker sides and at home. And of course he scored a lot in India (talk about dead pitches). Had he toured South Africa, he would have had a lower average too. He is lucky he never played against them. Batsmen like Kallis, Chappell etc. score runs everywhere. Compare their away averages at difficult venues. Pacy, bouncy, spinny - no matter what the wicket is like they score runs. Chappel scored in WI, Pakistan, England everywhere. He scored runs against SA in SA too. Miandad had a clear problem against quality pace bowling. Pakistan loses almost every test match it plays against South Africa and Australia in away tests. Guess what the reason is. Their batsmen ain't good enough to play quality pace bowling. You must remember that I'm an avid Pakistan fan.

  • getsetgopk on April 30, 2012, 8:08 GMT

    @Meety If you had seen his 100th 100, cost India that match and the cup with it, sums up his entire career, kiwirocker has a fair point such a talent that is used for personal gains can never be labelled great, he has the highest no of hundred in losing causes, the record again speaks for itself, Dravid is considered a better team player than SRT by India fans themselves for his sheer desire to win for India and not decorating his record. Gave up captaincy so he could focus of scoring more hundreds, the whole indian team seems to be playing for supporting SRT score hundreds rather than help India win, at this age he pick and choose matches he wants to play, what does that tell you about future of young indian batsmen, you either play or dont play, I dont see anything great about SRT.

  • Agnihothra on April 30, 2012, 7:45 GMT

    Javed was truly world class and greatest and one of the batsmen ever. Hated him ever since that fateful late afternoon in April1985 till that fateful late evening in March1996. No Pak team was unbeatable(at least in the fan's mind) AFTER Javed left...

  • Pathiyal on April 30, 2012, 5:52 GMT

    nice to read about him. hated him when he used to play but that was due to the ignorance of being a kid. its a different story now :-) miss him esp. since there are not many cricketers like him at present.

  • on April 30, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    Really plaesant to see matter on Javed Miandad, one of my favourites - on cricinfo which is - despite my reservations on some of its aspects - my almost daily visited site.. and one of my reservations is scarcity / too obvious absence of a true legend of cricket i.e. Javed miandad in cricinfo...you can count on fingers (and that is of only one single hand) the article(s) published here on him...lol... any way it was a inetersting piece from Mr. Saad Shafqat whose articles are usually worth reading..about Miandad, i think no one ever has been better to handle pressure situations which is obvious from his well-earned tag of "Mard e Bohraan" (Man of crisis) as literally almost always he had to come out bat in crisis for pakistan...n u could feel relaxed seeing him come into bat at that moment... wht a cricketer

  • mujtaba87 on April 30, 2012, 4:16 GMT

    The greatness of a player is not entirely up to the stats. Rather a player is great if he has performed consistently over a long period of time, has performed against most of the best in the business and earned their respect, and most importantly his team depends on his performance and he is dependable. Great players are like flowers in the garden each brings his own beauty and aura to the garden.

    What would be fun if all the great batsmen were Don Bradman? We would miss the disdain with which Viv played, the determination & passion of Steve Waugh, the lazy elegance of Big Easy Inzy and the like.

    And finally with regard to Javed Miandad and him the player who maintained a career average of above 50 visit the following link

    http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/40879.html?class=1;template=results;type=allround;view=cumulative

  • thinktank1 on April 30, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    What is this.. the total first half of this article has no matter at all..

  • Desihungama on April 30, 2012, 2:40 GMT

    @screamingeagle - Not Sunny, not Tendulkar and not even great Bradman were able to achieve the feat what Miandad did and that is to begin the Test career with an average of over 50 from the very first game until the last.

  • Meety on April 30, 2012, 2:23 GMT

    @Behind_the_bowlers_arm - good one! == == == I couldn't stand Miandad, but I have always admired his mercurial talent. He truely was on of the top 4 or 5 batsmen of his era & there were some greats. I think had he been born say 15yrs later - he would have a test average around 55 to 57. == == == @MaruthuDelft - Greg Chappell was one of the best batsmen to have played the WIndies pace battery, he is undoubtably great. Judging players like Gavaskar & Miandad on scoring rates is quite narrow minded, particularly as rpo's in their day were around 30% slower than today's norm. @KiwiRocker - Imran ended up with the captaincy because he was the greatest leader of men on a cricket field EVER. Miandad although great, was poor at man management, as can be seen in his post playing days as a coach or manager. I think it is quite poor form that you constantly bag SRT with every chance you get. Sachin is a great batsmen regardless of any needless bagging from you! (cricinfo pls publish)

  • avmd on April 30, 2012, 1:47 GMT

    Very interesting, refreshing and enjoyable reading, thanks Saad.

  • ToTellUTheTruth on April 30, 2012, 1:47 GMT

    I am a die-hard Indian Cricket fan and I am an Indian. But growing up I had five posters put up in my room. One of SG, One of Kapil Dev, One of Mr. Miandad, one of Mr. Imran Khan and one of Mr. Akram, all action shots. I hated Javed for starting AND establishing the Pakistan domination of Indian Cricket team in early to late 80s. But never could find fault with this great street-fighter. People who talk about Sehwag today, should watch Sir Miandad's technique. I loved this legend, but hated him at the same time, coz, he would never let India win...boo hoo! His exploits in Australia, NZ, WI were phenominal. He is my true idol, sans his antics.

  • Bobby_Talyarkhan on April 29, 2012, 22:02 GMT

    @KiwiRocker - chauvinism is ugly and some of us India fans (like some fans in all countries) are guilty of that - but so is prejudice against particular countries - in fact they are as bad as each other. This well written article is a celebration of a great cricketer - let us not spoil it with petty and snide asides against other cricketers and countries.

    @Dinesh Vishwanathan- Dawood is from India as you should know and there is no shortage of Indians who have accepted his patronage - think Mumbai and Bollywood - so please stones and glasshouses and all that......also think of the children who have married each other and deserve the privacy to get on with their lives without having the sins of their parents visited on them.....

    @MaruthuDelft everyone has their own opinion - please do not preach.....

  • tryarun on April 29, 2012, 21:54 GMT

    It is a thrill to read of the great man again! Would love to have his bio, if only it were available in Hyderabad, Deccan. Will always remember the strange combination of agony and elation I experienced whenever he batted against India - and devastated our bowling. May he live long and happily, and may Pakistan produce many more like him.

  • Syed_imran_abbas on April 29, 2012, 20:47 GMT

    Fighter and honest.. One of the Legends of Cricket game.. Great Player

  • screamingeagle on April 29, 2012, 19:51 GMT

    @Maruthudelft, and why should everyone toe your line? You obviously have your own beliefs and others will have their own. I do not consider Javed to be a great, personally, even though he was a good bat. I actually do consider Sunny as far better than some others you mentioned. For that matter I also consider Sachin as much better than many you mentioned. Point is, please do have your opinion, but do not try and force it down other's throats. Peace.

  • MaruthuDelft on April 29, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    @Muhammad Eusha, There is one redoubtable and 2 near great Sub-Continent batsmen we have seen so far. Only Tendulkar is redoubtably great even though he is not as high as Indians try to show. The nearly greats are Gavaskar and Miandad. I don't call them great because their rate of scoring was very slow. Unlike Gavaskar Miandad could lift the rate but still he was quite slow in tests. Dravid, Laxman, Vishwanath and Vengsarkar are very good. I don't know about Vijay Hazare. Zaheer, Inzy and Younis are not that good. Aravinda and Sanga too fall short. Your favourite GS Chappel wouldn't score quick against quality fast bowlers and would take a long time to get going like an old car but was solid to go onto make hundreds. Yes he is a great.

  • Zahidsaltin on April 29, 2012, 18:29 GMT

    From day one til the end of his career, his average never ever droped bellow 50.

  • Zahidsaltin on April 29, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    Miandad was one of only 4 batsmen of his era who averaged more than 50. Wickets were used to be fast and turning and international cricket was blessed with some of the top class bowlers of cricket history. Just to name a few Marshel, Garner, Holding, Hadlee, Lille, Thomsen, Ws, Imran, Kapil, Botham and a score of more were all playing their cricket then. To campare, today each and every team has about 3 or 4 batsmen who average close to or above 50 as the wickets are totally flate and there are only a couple of bowlers who can claim to be world class.

  • on April 29, 2012, 16:27 GMT

    Muhammad Eusha is better to first ressearch then speak .Miandad has scored 4351 runs from 64 tests with average of very respected of 45.80 with 9 centuries.in future please do your research first then write /speak / publish.

  • spellbinder76 on April 29, 2012, 15:57 GMT

    Miandad scored a century in every country abroad he played against. He was the master batsman and hailed by greats like Gavasker and Sir Richards.

  • MaruthuDelft on April 29, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    From late 1985 onwards and until he retired every batsman was vulnerable against Richard Hadlee and Viv Richards also looked fallible in the New Zealand tour. There was only one batsman during that time Hadlee couldn't disturb. It is Javed Miandad. @harshthakore, don't ever categorise Tendulkar with Viv Richards. Tendulkar is good but it is grossly unfair to equate Tendulkar to Viv Richards. A billion Indians tried to impose India was the best in tests when actually it was not; you know how the illusion crashed. Still a billion Indians try to maintain Tendulkar in the highest bracket as a batsman despite the facts Tendulkar doesn't play like a great player on the leg side, when there is a pressure situation, when the field is spread well to stop boundaries....and so on. Do not equate him to Viv Richards.

  • Vaxinated on April 29, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    Thanks Saad for such an entertaining article. Is there a reason that you were keeping this gem away from the readers?

  • on April 29, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    really @Muhammad Eusha? more than 4000 runs at nearly 46 in an age when barely one or two players averaged above 50 in international cricket is 'embarrassingly poor'. Your prejudice is showing.

  • on April 29, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    Miandad has an embarrassingly poor record in away tests. Anyone will see that with a little investigation in to his records. Compare that to GS Chappel's records. He has an exceptional record both home and away! Don't know any subcontinent batsman who could be called a great batsman, really!

  • on April 29, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    The first time I went to a cricket ground was the National stadium Karachi just before the start of the test match between Pakistan and Newzeland as my father was a contractor to give the national stadium pitches its first pitch covers. There I saw my hero very young Minandad finishing the nets with Asif Iqbal and coming back towards the pavilion carrying his kit bag. Amazed and shy asked him for his autograph and a hand shake. The smile and the comments he made are always in my mind I am nobody go and catch Asif Bhai. That nobody soon became somebody.

  • ultrasnow on April 29, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    Indian fan here. I remember Javed as a true artist, craftsman-like always involved in a sort of cat and moouse game with the bowler and the fielders around him. Never a dull moment. Why can't he be in charge of coaching the current Pakistani batting line-up?. Talking about Javed, how can any Indian fan forget that last ball six? I remember myself as an avid cricket fan in my early teens. THAT shot had us shattered and psyched and in a daze and sort of lingered in our memories like a bad bad dream for days to come.....LOL!

  • KiwiRocker- on April 29, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    I shall also point out that there is an urban myth that Javed was not given LBW out in Pakistan's home test matches. It is actually totally untrue. Steven Lynch had done some excellent analysis re: that a while ago and it confirms that Javed was actually LBW eight times in home test matches. Pakistani umpires even in those days were excellent ( even now top umpire in world is a Pakistani and another one is eqaully good). The real problem in those days was umpiring in India that was even worse than now. Furthermore, Pakistan was a clear winner in 1988 West Indies series but home umpire made some clear errors that prompted Imran to champion neutral umpires. As far as Javed, he was also the ONLY batsman in history of cricket to now drop his average below 50. One must understand that despite his competative nature Javed is/was a humble man who left captaincy for Imran Khan numerous times. No wonder Tendulya still calls Javed for an advice from time to time! Javed was a real match winner!

  • harshthakor on April 29, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    Miandad was at his best from 1987-1989 when he conquered bowling from the sub-continent pitches ,to the seaming English tracks ,and to the bouncy Calypso wickets.He also scored 7 consecutive 50's in one day Internationals.In one day cricket he was at his best in Australia in the 4 nation tournament in 1986-87.

    Ina crisis,with Alan Border he was the best batsman of his time and surpassed Border as a match-winner.I categorize Javed with Ian Chappell and Rahul Dravid in the modern day.In his era no batsman posessed Javed's grit and determination.He was a master in chases in one day internationals with his great innovative ability.

    Overall just a notch below the Tendulkar or Viv Richards class but likely to be in the top 15 test batsman of all time.In one day cricket arguably in the best 5 batsman of all.Miandad was a batting genius in his own right.

  • on April 29, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    Interesting article. The book was actually published as an autobiography - which is a little misleading if the subject "couldn't be bothered to read the manuscript". He was undoubtedly a brilliant cricketer and a complicated man. I'd love to read an objective biography. Autobiographies (ghost-written or not) tend to be excessively self-serving.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on April 29, 2012, 8:43 GMT

    Always loved Javed as a player as he was skilful but added to that a toughness and a desire to win. You could tell how much winning for Pakistan meant to him. You could also tell why Lillee wanted to hit him though as he must have been an infuriating opponent. I also suspect that the introduction of neutral umpires may have been at least partly brought about by Javed's ability to keep the dismissal Javed Miandad lbw Someone out of the scorebook in Pakistan home Tests by sheer force of personality.

  • nawwab on April 29, 2012, 7:45 GMT

    very dangerous and sharp cricketer.master of playing games with close fielders and bowlers...not an stylish player but a true match winner..a very tough nut to crack

  • umairasgharbutt on April 29, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    "It's best to stick to what you're good at. That's what I've always done, and you should do the same." Golden Words by a Living Legend !!

  • harshthakor on April 29, 2012, 7:34 GMT

    When the chips were down the ultimate batsman was Javed Miandad.No batsman in his day had greater nerves and his last ball six to win the 1986 Australasia cup semi-final was a testimony to this.In the late 1980's the best batsman in the world,overtaking even Sir Viv Richards.He had brilliant improvisation skills which made him one of the best one day international batsman of all time.Instrumental in Pakistan capturing the 1992 World Cup and the unofficial title of joint test world champions with West Indies in 1988.

    Overall Javed was the greatest batsman to have played for Pakistan,even if he lacked the artistry of Zaheer Abbas or the match-winning flair of Inzaman Ul -Haq.Amongst the 5 best test batsman of all time in a crisis.

    At his best when executing 135 at Perth in 1978-79.

  • on April 29, 2012, 7:30 GMT

    Wonderful article. Miandad was really a fighter and match winning batsment, he keeps the team wicktory first in his mind unlike other selfish batsmen like Sachin etc.

  • on April 29, 2012, 7:20 GMT

    Nadeem1976, your comments are as brilliant as this article. In my view Pakistan has produced three of the 10 greatest cricketers to have ever played cricket. They are Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, and Javed Miandad. Imran Khan will easily make it to the top 5 and Wasim and Javed Miandad will make it to the top 10, or may be Miandad into top 15 or 20. But purely as a batsman Mianadad should make it to the best 5 or 10 batsmen the world has ever seen. Imran Khan is the greatest cricketer from Asia. Wasim Akram will come at 2, and Javed Miandad somewhere in the top 5 if we make a list of greatest Asian cricketers. These three cricketers should make it to any World XI.

  • on April 29, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    Out of curiosity, is there any reference to the Dawood connection in the book? Or was that after 2003?

  • bluefunk on April 29, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    wonderful article, doc. will look up the book now!

  • KiwiRocker- on April 29, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    Nadeem1976- I have come accross a lot of comments from you, and generally you do not make much sense. I am sorry but what is so street smartness about Dhoni? He has to be the most quiet, and passive captain ever captained on cricket field. If you want to mention a street smart cricketer from India then you could have mentioned Tendulya who is fooling Indian fans for 22 years!

  • on April 29, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    "Go thru his wife". LOL. Reminded me of my encounter with Mrs. Miandad in 1983. I was in Karachi and had to go to Lahore, and the friend I stayed with at Lahore gave me an autograph book asking me to get the autograph of cricketers as Indian team was in Karachi. I did not know how would I ever get to do that. One day I was visiting someone in Pearl Continental and discovered the cricket teams were staying there. Miandad was recently married and it was easy to spot Mrs. Minadad from the photos in news papers. I approached her and asked if she was Mrs. Miandad. She was very happy that someone recognized her, and asked if I am seeking autographs. I prompted handed her the autograph book, and the next day it was returned with autographs from the entire team. LOL again.

  • on April 29, 2012, 4:22 GMT

    Fun, yo! Enjoyed having a read of this. Well done.

  • on April 29, 2012, 4:20 GMT

    I rarely go over-board in appreciating an article and more often than not, don't just bother commenting at all. This however, was truly an entertaining read, thoroughly enjoyable. Hope to read more of the likewise from you.

  • Nadeem1976 on April 29, 2012, 4:17 GMT

    Wow Saad Shafqat really did a great job. Handling with miandad was not easy in his playing days or as a coach or as a cricket admin. He is out spoken guy.

    Miandad was street smart cricketer, all the shots which cricketers play today in T2020 , miandad used to play these shots 20 years ago.

    I have seen far less street smart batsmen in ODI cricket. May be three or four. Miandad, Bevan, Hussey, Dhoni. They can steal a single in ODI at any time and can win an ODI single handedly any time. Miandad was legend.

    However Miandad last ball six in Sharjah in 1986 is still the greatest hit in ODI cricket history.

  • Umms on April 29, 2012, 4:06 GMT

    Great article on a truly great man. I followed Miandad and Imran cricket very closely and cherish every moment of golden days of Pak cricket. He played many memorable innings, but the best thing I like about him his presence on the field. The way he understand the game and helped Imran in building a Pakistani team. I remember his one innings against India in India, he was batting and constantly teasing a bowler. During batting he was asking whats your room number in hotel. He asked so many times that bowler irriated and finally answered something like 436....the next ball he hit for six and said go and get it from 436!!!!This was a wit of Miandad and he would always be remembered for it. Well done Saad.

  • on April 29, 2012, 4:00 GMT

    Haha, loved it! I love reading about my favorite cricketer of all time!

  • KiwiRocker- on April 29, 2012, 3:49 GMT

    Saad is a breath of fresh air amid these biased writers seemed to be praising mediocre players from India. This is such a fine article as it gives insight into a wonderful batsman who was a true match winner. I grew up in 80's and recall those days when Javed Miandad will often walk to the crease, and he will take Pakistan batting out of crisis. Javed was also very good with mind games! S.Waugh may have perfected art of mental disintegration in years to come by but Javed was the real founder.Javed's last six against India was a huge blow to Indian psychy, and it was more than a win. What it meant was that Indian team lost their belief to beat Pakistan for years.Javed had something what only players like Sir Viv Richards and Lara had..Its called swagger...He had such a fine cricket brain and he was the real tactician behind Imran! On field, no won has ever played spin bowling better than Javed. His no spinner of his era could ever dominate him. Shane Warne was lucky to not bowl him!

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  • KiwiRocker- on April 29, 2012, 3:49 GMT

    Saad is a breath of fresh air amid these biased writers seemed to be praising mediocre players from India. This is such a fine article as it gives insight into a wonderful batsman who was a true match winner. I grew up in 80's and recall those days when Javed Miandad will often walk to the crease, and he will take Pakistan batting out of crisis. Javed was also very good with mind games! S.Waugh may have perfected art of mental disintegration in years to come by but Javed was the real founder.Javed's last six against India was a huge blow to Indian psychy, and it was more than a win. What it meant was that Indian team lost their belief to beat Pakistan for years.Javed had something what only players like Sir Viv Richards and Lara had..Its called swagger...He had such a fine cricket brain and he was the real tactician behind Imran! On field, no won has ever played spin bowling better than Javed. His no spinner of his era could ever dominate him. Shane Warne was lucky to not bowl him!

  • on April 29, 2012, 4:00 GMT

    Haha, loved it! I love reading about my favorite cricketer of all time!

  • Umms on April 29, 2012, 4:06 GMT

    Great article on a truly great man. I followed Miandad and Imran cricket very closely and cherish every moment of golden days of Pak cricket. He played many memorable innings, but the best thing I like about him his presence on the field. The way he understand the game and helped Imran in building a Pakistani team. I remember his one innings against India in India, he was batting and constantly teasing a bowler. During batting he was asking whats your room number in hotel. He asked so many times that bowler irriated and finally answered something like 436....the next ball he hit for six and said go and get it from 436!!!!This was a wit of Miandad and he would always be remembered for it. Well done Saad.

  • Nadeem1976 on April 29, 2012, 4:17 GMT

    Wow Saad Shafqat really did a great job. Handling with miandad was not easy in his playing days or as a coach or as a cricket admin. He is out spoken guy.

    Miandad was street smart cricketer, all the shots which cricketers play today in T2020 , miandad used to play these shots 20 years ago.

    I have seen far less street smart batsmen in ODI cricket. May be three or four. Miandad, Bevan, Hussey, Dhoni. They can steal a single in ODI at any time and can win an ODI single handedly any time. Miandad was legend.

    However Miandad last ball six in Sharjah in 1986 is still the greatest hit in ODI cricket history.

  • on April 29, 2012, 4:20 GMT

    I rarely go over-board in appreciating an article and more often than not, don't just bother commenting at all. This however, was truly an entertaining read, thoroughly enjoyable. Hope to read more of the likewise from you.

  • on April 29, 2012, 4:22 GMT

    Fun, yo! Enjoyed having a read of this. Well done.

  • on April 29, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    "Go thru his wife". LOL. Reminded me of my encounter with Mrs. Miandad in 1983. I was in Karachi and had to go to Lahore, and the friend I stayed with at Lahore gave me an autograph book asking me to get the autograph of cricketers as Indian team was in Karachi. I did not know how would I ever get to do that. One day I was visiting someone in Pearl Continental and discovered the cricket teams were staying there. Miandad was recently married and it was easy to spot Mrs. Minadad from the photos in news papers. I approached her and asked if she was Mrs. Miandad. She was very happy that someone recognized her, and asked if I am seeking autographs. I prompted handed her the autograph book, and the next day it was returned with autographs from the entire team. LOL again.

  • KiwiRocker- on April 29, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    Nadeem1976- I have come accross a lot of comments from you, and generally you do not make much sense. I am sorry but what is so street smartness about Dhoni? He has to be the most quiet, and passive captain ever captained on cricket field. If you want to mention a street smart cricketer from India then you could have mentioned Tendulya who is fooling Indian fans for 22 years!

  • bluefunk on April 29, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    wonderful article, doc. will look up the book now!

  • on April 29, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    Out of curiosity, is there any reference to the Dawood connection in the book? Or was that after 2003?