Haroon Rasheed April 17, 2014

Impressing Viv and Greg

Former Pakistan batsman Haroon Rasheed on the compliments he received from two batting legends, and his admiration for Gavaskar

First piece of cricketing advice I got
My school coach told me that while batting, your back foot should always be on the ground. It should not leave the ground. That helped me a lot.

First time I lost my cool while playing
In 1981, I was captaining United Bank in a Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match. At the start of the last day, we required less than 50 runs with all the wickets intact. I came to know that Nasir Valika, one of our top-order batsmen, had not brought his kit bag. He had the audacity to tell me, "I won't be needed to bat today." In the event, we lost six wickets and Valika had to come at No. 8 after borrowing some kit. We managed to win by four wickets, but I gave him a piece of my mind.

First time I felt I belonged at the highest level
I had scored more than 850 runs at an average of 57 in the 1975-76 domestic season. Haleem Ahmed and Gul Hameed Bhatti, Pakistan's most celebrated cricket writers, wrote highly about me. "A future batting star on the horizon," they called me. That made me believe that I could play at the top level.

First batsman I wanted to bat like
When India came to Pakistan in 1978-79, I was greatly impressed by Sunil Gavaskar. I really liked his technique and temperament. His judgement about leaving balls was extraordinary. Despite the absence of any outstanding fast bowlers in the Indian domestic circuit, he played Imran Khan and Sarfraz Nawaz so well. He became my role model.

First compliment I got from a famous international cricketer
At the end of the day's play, after I had got a hundred against Queensland in 1976-77, Majid Khan told me that Greg Chappell and Viv Richards wanted to see me. I went to the Queensland dressing room, where the two batting legends had words of praise for me. They especially admired my technique against the fast bowlers.

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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