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Cricketers on their milestones

Intikhab Alam

A sleepless night, and praise from Sobers

When you dismiss a legendary allrounder in your first over, you don't forget it quickly

Interview by Ijaz Chaudhry

September 7, 2013

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Intikhab Alam bowls for Surrey, 1976
Intikhab Alam: specialised in legspin on the advice of his brother Aftab © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Intikhab Alam
Teams: Pakistan

First sleepless night because of cricket
The night before the last day of the Headingley Test in 1971. Pakistan was in an excellent position to win the Test [25 for no loss, chasing 231] and hence a Test series outside Pakistan for the first time.

First piece of cricketing advice I got
It was from my brother Aftab Alam, a first-class cricketer himself: "There are no good legspinners in Pakistan. So you stand a good chance. Work hard." At that time I also bowled medium pace, but after the advice I stuck to legspin.

First time I thought I was good enough to play a Test
During the 1959 tour of England with the Pakistan Eaglets, I got more than 100 wickets. That gave me the feeling that I was ready for the big time. A few months later I got my first Test selection.

First compliment I got from an international cricketer
During the same tour, I was invited to play in the Fazal Mahmood benefit match. Sir Garry Sobers was playing for the opposition. I bowled him in the first over. After the match, he came to me and praised my bowling.

First memorable catch I took
It came during my first tour with Pakistan in 1960-61. In the Calcutta Test, I dived at gully to dismiss the Indian wicketkeeper [Naren] Tamhane off the bowling of our captain Fazal Mahmood.

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

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Posted by   on (September 7, 2013, 6:36 GMT)

Wonderful interview of Intikhab Alam, a legend of our country. I can never forget his image in 1992 when Pakistan lifted the World Cup, his contribution as a player and administrator cannot be discounted.

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