Abdul Razzaq August 9, 2014

'I want to teach players to become big hitters'

Former Pakistan allrounder Abdul Razzaq talks about his biggest six, his best coach, and the toughest bowlers he faced

It's your first year playing league cricket. What have you found most difficult?
You have to perform. Every match, you have to perform.

You played for five counties - which was the best experience?
This is a good question. My intention always was wanting to do well for my team; doesn't matter whether it's in the league, county or whatever. I had sympathy with my counties, but they didn't treat me as well. At Leicestershire and Hampshire we won the T20 and they didn't give me another contract, which is very painful. I wanted to do well, and I did. We were successful. But they didn't give me respect for that. They released me.

What was your happiest day on a cricket field?
The happiest day is whenever you perform, when you get the Man of the Match. Everybody is praising you. Your name is in the newspaper. I had a Man of the Match against India in Hobart in 2000. They had a good team at that time. It was my lucky day, and that really kick-started my career.

And your worst day?
I belong to a very poor family. Our bread and butter is cricket, you know. We take it very seriously. So any day you don't perform, or it's not your day, that's very painful. So you have to be committed. You have to say, "Razzaq, come on. Show your talent."

Who was the best catcher of a cricket ball you played with?
I played for Pakistan. Pakistan doesn't have good catchers! But I suppose you can say Younis Khan was a good catcher.

Who was the best coach you played under?
I'd say Bob Woolmer. He was a good motivator. He was very friendly with the players. When you coach, you should give confidence to the players. If you're friendly with the players, they will tell you everything, they will never come under pressure, and they will perform.

The best captain you played under?
Wasim Akram.

Why, given the amount of talented cricketers Pakistan has had during your career, has the team regularly underperformed?
I will blame the PCB, all the chairmen who have come. They don't understand the feelings of the players. They don't know how to respect the players. That's where we're lacking. That's why we're not creating many good players nowadays.

What was the biggest six you hit?
It was in Karachi, against Balaji, in a series against India in 2004. It went out of the park - over the stands - and it's a huge ground.

Were you more a batsman or a bowler?
I started as a bowler, but I'm a good observer. I watch very closely when the match is on. As time went on, batting gave me more enjoyment.

Who was your room-mate when you were with Pakistan?
Shahid Afridi, most of the time.

"The PCB don't understand the feelings of the players. They don't know how to respect the players"

Who was the joker in the Pakistan team?
Mohammad Yousuf was very funny. Also, Shoaib Malik.

Do you play other sports?
I like badminton, but I don't have time to play other sports. Cricket is my passion.

Who was the toughest bowler to face?
Shane Warne and Muralitharan. Of the fast bowlers, I was really impressed by Damien Fleming. Australia had world-class bowlers - McGrath, Brett Lee - but I felt comfortable against them. Fleming swung the ball. Very good bowler.

And the quickest?
Shoaib Akhtar, in first-class cricket in Pakistan.

If you had to survive the final over of a Test, who would you rather face: Wasim or Waqar?
Waqar Younis.

Who was the fittest player in the Pakistan squads with which you were involved?
Younis Khan.

Which individual statistic gives you the most pride?
I have 279 wickets and over 5000 runs in ODIs, but I missed 70, 80 one-day matches because of problems with the PCB chairman from 2007. So if I could have played those games, I might have been able to break a lot of records.

If you were picking a Test World XI, which would be the first three names on the team sheet?
Dale Steyn, Saeed Ajmal, and AB de Villiers.

And for T20?
Dilshan, Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Jos Buttler, Aaron Finch, de Villiers…

Where's your perfect holiday destination?
England. I like the cold weather, rain, everything. England has discipline, law and order. It's a perfect lifestyle for me.

What advice would you give to youngsters?
If you've got talent, don't spoil it, don't waste it. Talk to the right people. I'm doing Level 2 coaching and want to teach players to become hard hitters. I hope I will make more Abdul Razzaqs.

Who practised the hardest in the Pakistan team?
You cannot say one person. What matters is quality practice that you enjoy. With Pakistan we had an eight-hour session when Javed Miandad was coach, and that was ridiculous. Eight-hour session!

The Lahore terror attacks, the spot-fixing by Butt, Asif and Amir - it's been a tough few years. What's the way forward for Pakistani cricket?
You know, you need a good man as PCB chairman. If you're not bringing them on merit, these kind of problems will come out. Everybody is out to become famous, not to help Pakistan cricket. They don't have good intentions for cricket. They want to help themselves.

Scott Oliver tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 11, 2014, 1:16 GMT

    Gr8 player.. Decent man

  • on August 10, 2014, 4:53 GMT

    Legend cricketer

  • on August 9, 2014, 17:44 GMT

    great match finisher , honest and hard worker. amazing hitter down the ground.

  • on August 9, 2014, 9:15 GMT

    He could have been great, unfortunately, he was always overshadowed by Afridi. One of favourites still

  • on August 9, 2014, 6:48 GMT

    wonderful player who give lot of joy and excitement to pak fans

  • on August 9, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    why all pakistani cricketers fight hard for bread and butter.you can take anybodies interview there will be poor childhood story.

  • on August 11, 2014, 1:16 GMT

    Gr8 player.. Decent man

  • on August 10, 2014, 4:53 GMT

    Legend cricketer

  • on August 9, 2014, 17:44 GMT

    great match finisher , honest and hard worker. amazing hitter down the ground.

  • on August 9, 2014, 9:15 GMT

    He could have been great, unfortunately, he was always overshadowed by Afridi. One of favourites still

  • on August 9, 2014, 6:48 GMT

    wonderful player who give lot of joy and excitement to pak fans

  • on August 9, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    why all pakistani cricketers fight hard for bread and butter.you can take anybodies interview there will be poor childhood story.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on August 9, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    why all pakistani cricketers fight hard for bread and butter.you can take anybodies interview there will be poor childhood story.

  • on August 9, 2014, 6:48 GMT

    wonderful player who give lot of joy and excitement to pak fans

  • on August 9, 2014, 9:15 GMT

    He could have been great, unfortunately, he was always overshadowed by Afridi. One of favourites still

  • on August 9, 2014, 17:44 GMT

    great match finisher , honest and hard worker. amazing hitter down the ground.

  • on August 10, 2014, 4:53 GMT

    Legend cricketer

  • on August 11, 2014, 1:16 GMT

    Gr8 player.. Decent man