Pakistan v England 2011-12

Beating England will cool anger over fixing - Ramiz

Umar Farooq

January 6, 2012

Comments: 62 | Text size: A | A

Misbah-ul-Haq could only make 20, Bangladesh v Pakistan, 1st Test, Chittagong, 2nd day, December 10, 2011
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq's form has been a major part of Pakistan's revival © AFP
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Ramiz Raja, the former Pakistan captain, has urged the players in the current national team to assume they are in a war when they take on England in the UAE. The last time Pakistan played England in a Test series, the spot-fixing scandal broke. Ramiz said winning the upcoming series would be the perfect way for Pakistan to seal their strong comeback from that embarrassment, and calm the anger among fans that arose from it.

"Players should assume themselves to be in a state of war in every match to maintain consistency in their performances," Ramiz said at a function arranged by the PCB to celebrate the team's impressive performance in 2011. "I think this is the best opportunity for the Pakistan team to avenge the disgrace of the spot-fixing scandal; all the frustration in the wake of that embarrassment should be exhibited in the form of performances on the field.

"England might be a strong opponent but beating a top team is the only way to become a hero. There is always room for improvement but there must be self-belief and strong body-language. The team must play hard cricket with no smiles or sympathy towards the opponent. Ultimately winning against England is the best way to cool down the anger and frustration that Pakistan fans felt after the spot-fixing scandal."

Ramiz said the current team should try to replicate the culture that Imran Khan had instilled in the team Ramiz was a part of. "During my era, Imran Khan, prior to every match, told us to assume we are in a war and never think about how powerful or depleted the opponent is; what is important is to go onto the field thinking only of victory."

Pakistan went through 2011 without losing a Test series, and go into this series after beating Zimbabwe away, Sri Lanka in the UAE and Bangladesh away. The PCB recognised the successful year by giving the players 300,000 Pakistani rupees ($3,307) each and the supporting staff 100,000 Pakistani rupees ($1,102) each.

In a low point for Pakistan cricket, Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were handed jail sentences for spot-fixing by an English tribunal in 2011. On the field, though, Pakistan won five of eight Tests, reached the semi-finals of the World Cup and won six bilateral one-day series. Ramiz said the team had already won back the fans. "Pakistan have already made a strong comeback in the world of cricket after the spot-fixing scam. They have won back the fans' faith and have regained credibility.

"We have outstanding new faces in the line-up and a heavyweight middle order. Our bowlers, both the pacemen and spinners, are among the best when it comes to taking wickets so I am not worried about that. Umar Akmal [the batsman who is returning to the Test squad after being dropped for two series] is the one from whom I am expecting a lot and I am hopeful he won't disappoint us."

Pakistan's recent success has come under the leadership of Misbah-ul-Haq, who was handed the Test captaincy in September 2010, after the spot-fixing episode. Misbah was not even a part of the squad who went on the tour of England but since returning to the side has averaged 75.76 in Tests and 49.75 in ODIs, a major factor in the team's success.

"The journey of the Pakistan team in the past year has been similar to the journey of my life," Misbah said. "It [not being in the side] was one of the toughest times not only in my career but in my life as well; but I never give up. Since I was called up to lead the team I obviously had to justify my position as a batsman too.

"The South Africa Test series in the UAE [that Pakistan drew 0-0 in November 2010] was when we realised we could do it. It was the series that actually gave us the self-belief and confidence that we can move ahead, leaving everything in the past; we never looked back.

"I think the success in 2011 was due to the fact that as many as 15 players in the squad fulfilled their responsibilities and I am sure they will keep up the good work in 2012. I am sure the boys will continue their hard work, show responsibility and play to their potential against England, who are the best Test team at the moment. We know how tough it is going to be, so we are ready for that."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by AbdullahShaikh on (January 9, 2012, 11:06 GMT)

if these guys will just hold the catches and field well, you will see that the England side is not that great.

Posted by   on (January 9, 2012, 8:48 GMT)

Hope that Pak appoints a fielding coach before any thing else.

Posted by haq33 on (January 8, 2012, 11:37 GMT)

I have no idea what certain posters are blathering on about when they say that Ramiz seeks revenge on England or that he is asking for revenge on England. Did they read the article at all???? He specifically states "to avenge the disgrace of the spot-fixing scandal"......in other words, he wants Pakistan to prove their worth and to seek revenge against the damage done by the spot-fixing itself. He TWICE in that sentence referred to the spot-fixing itself (NOT England) negatively - "DISGRACE" and "SCANDAL" - words which apportion blame on Pakistan if on any nation. How can it possibly have been a "scandal" or a "disgrace" for England. As many have said already, England have done Pakistan many favours including exposing these guys. In no way do any of those words suggest vengeance against England or seek to attribute some kind of blame on England. Some cricinfo readers will always seek to malign Pakistani greats by blatantly lying.

Posted by Raisur on (January 8, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

It is heartening to hear about Aamir!! he needs to be back on the field and deliver his hidden talent and the punishment is a recipie for all the players not to be lured. The differnce between money and honour is, money is a short term gain and if it is, in a way of wrongfull act, it brings disgrace to the nation and self. Honour is something where one can be evaluated with self achivement which brings joy and pride to the nation and self.

Aamir come back and bowl with vengenace to show the world your hidden talent.

the nation and the game itself.

Posted by MeAsFan on (January 8, 2012, 6:00 GMT)

I have no doubt this Pakistani team can beat England in UAE, whatever ranking they have whole world knows that they badly they play in subcontinent; their blowers are not effective in subcontinent condition and their batsman cannot play spin well; last their tour to India already prove my statement. Same time I am saying this because I remember last England tour of Pakistan where England are coming with ashes win and 8-10 back to back win but also they lose against Pakistan. Good luck Pakistan team.

Posted by   on (January 8, 2012, 4:56 GMT)

To the writer, "Umar Farooq" ... Please stop repeating the England-fixing instance again and again in every article. World has forgotten it and moved on but you are still on the same day and repeat." try to mention new and good things, chap!

Posted by rawcrickettalent on (January 8, 2012, 2:39 GMT)

yeah agree with Ramiz...what he means that Pakistanis will prove that they are a force to be reckoned with if they beat England!! and the war mentality is good cause it will help them to play aggressively and give their all!!

Posted by   on (January 7, 2012, 22:05 GMT)

I believe Pakistani team has shown a lot of character after the match fixing scam that jolted the team and fans! Since then the team kept their head down even when likes of disastrous Butt was in the midst of their board affairs and toiled as a single unit to bring about the best which was always there to express...the scam and the punishments that saw one of the genius bowler that would take years to appear in the cricketing arena behind the bars but trust me that thing do good to Pakistan for the team has been put under the strict scrutiny by every possible mean by ICC and rest of cricket boards. Now every member of the team has finally come to the terms that the canker of match fixing at different extents is present in other cricket teams cant be replicated so the only way out is to work their way to glory....thanks for the all discrimination and making Pakistan Pariah because it did good rather than to harm the team!!

Posted by   on (January 7, 2012, 21:48 GMT)

its utterly bewildering to even hear what the die hard supporters of English team have to say regarding Pakistan's bleak chances to win against the so called juggernaut of English team..Let me remind them that Pakistan remains the only team that always come up with the x-factor that surprises many formidable sides in the course of cricket history. yup its true that Pakistani team and fans had to endure the painstaking saga of match fixing that tormented in and out but one should not forget how the team reacted right after that disaster...one would agree that the canker of match fixing isn't only associated with Pakistan only but over the years players across the cricketing world happen to be in deep shit..just that Pakistani players don't have the advantage of leniency that other teams enjoy...so What!! really this very thing helps Pakistan to be the number one team when such discrepancies that long arrests Pakistan progress to be the true number team of the world. LONG LIVE PAK

Posted by JustIPL on (January 7, 2012, 18:50 GMT)

@Abdullah Shaikh, i agree with you. they were the world champions had they not dropped tendulkar and taylor four times each.

Posted by malickabdul on (January 7, 2012, 15:55 GMT)

Swan had always troubled pakistan.=1 Anderson will have his work cut out no swing for him in UAE.=0 Finn and broad wont get the bounce out of these tracks.=0.5

cheema cant get cook and strauss he dosent have an indiper=0 gul is not a test bowler his pace diminishes with time = 0.5 ajmal and hafeez will trouble barmy army = 1

1.5 = 1.5 my perception says this series will be a draw like the south african series. for both teams junaid ( if played ) exciting prospect and bresnan (if played) with his all round abilities can make this series some thing like 1/nil for either side. the side that shows attacking approach by playing 4 bowlers and an allrounder can win this series.

Posted by   on (January 7, 2012, 12:12 GMT)

Pak players just need to hold on to the catches. their bowlers are one of the best in the world and their batsmen are not bad.

Posted by   on (January 7, 2012, 11:47 GMT)

advice is good. but to implement it correctly they must get the team combination right. Umar Gul and Wahab Riaz floundered in the West Indies, even though the West indian fast bowlers were getting wickets on the same pitch. later on even the indian bowlers (ishant sharma and praveen kumar) got wickets on the same grounds. it was the spinners that bailed them out in WI and also against Sri Lanka and Banladesh. I hope this time they pick up J.Khan, A.Cheema/Mohd.Talha. Rest of the spin department is doing gr8. regarding batting i hope they persist with Asad Shafiq.

Posted by zarasochozarasamjho on (January 7, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

A timely advice by Wasim Raja; but the aggression started by Mushtaq Mohammad, has already re-started when Misbah took over. First step, stopping the downward slide of continous losses, second step to start winning (as opposed to scoring fast - let's be realistic here) and now to continue being aggressive and start beating the top teams such as South Africa and Australia. Thrashing England thoroughly would be a good start INSHALLAH.

Posted by Adeel-Raza on (January 7, 2012, 10:21 GMT)

It's all a matter of pride...

Posted by   on (January 7, 2012, 9:50 GMT)

Sincerely wish Pakistan the very best against England.Amidst all the turmoil,it is so heartening to note how wonderfully the Pakistan cricketers have regrouped and galvanised themselves,thanks to the superb leadership of Misbah-Ul-Haq and the senior statesmanlike chastening influence of Younis Khan. Shahid Afridi should be persuaded to play Tests-he gifted

Posted by   on (January 7, 2012, 6:45 GMT)

Players should assume themselves to be in a state of war in every match '" totally agreed with ramiz raja :P

Posted by   on (January 7, 2012, 6:13 GMT)

A clean series will also help to sooth England fans who were not very happy about the events of the last few series against Pakistan.

Posted by   on (January 7, 2012, 6:10 GMT)

We love you Misbah as a captain. No doubt he is far much better than afridi and malik. He has wonderful Batting avg in test and odi. Now he should focus on his Strike rate even in test matches now a days it matters alot if you want results.

Posted by landl47 on (January 7, 2012, 5:44 GMT)

Imran Khan was a great player and a great captain. He also had some great players in his team. Misbah has done very well with what he has against weak opposition. Now we'll see what he can do against a strong side. Good luck to both teams for a series that is played well and in the spirit of the game.

Posted by   on (January 7, 2012, 5:31 GMT)

I wish you all the team for the success thanking the PCB for the back of both Afridi & Malik Good luck for this year Insha Allah

Posted by   on (January 7, 2012, 5:27 GMT)

Just go on and paly your natural game.and pls inslude Umar akmal in test 11 also as he is aggrasive plyer and can take on opposition. best of luck for upcoming series Team Pakistan

Posted by veerakannadiga on (January 7, 2012, 5:06 GMT)

pakistan beating England .ha.ha.ha.ha.

Posted by Faizan-Ul-Haq-Fareedi on (January 7, 2012, 4:21 GMT)

I wish all the best to Pak Team :) Its Right as Rameez Said: Dont think who ever is standing infront of you just think that u r the Best and can beat any one :) Go Ahead Misbah XI :)

Posted by   on (January 7, 2012, 3:38 GMT)

commmmon pakistaaaaaaaaaaaaan ...............

Posted by LillianThomson on (January 7, 2012, 3:27 GMT)

England showed Pakistan great hospitality in allowing them to play their "home" series v Australia in England in 2010, and the fixers abused that hospitality horribly. Mohammed Amir will be released from prison during this series. The PCB should ensure that he gives a high profile public apology, and that he publically dedicates himself to the anti-corruption cause. In doing so he can repair the England-Pakistan relationship - everyone in England accepts that he was a foolish 18 year old - but he can also keep the other youngsters in the team on the straight and narrow. And he can give himself a chance of an early amnesty from the ICC for his crimes. Put differently, if he just goes to ground and gives the ICC and PCB nothing he should serve every day of his 5 year ban.

Posted by Sprit_of_Cricket on (January 7, 2012, 1:22 GMT)

I think that England is no dout has upper hand of pakistan. Both sides have match winning players. I believe if Pakistan shows the extra ordinary effort in fielding and keeping department then their is a hope for Pakistan. But if u drop catches and runout chances then I m afraid Pakistan will not be in position to threat England at all. I know that Pakistan bowlers will creat chances easily and if Pakistan take all chances positivly then England will be restricted to achievable target which help Pakistan batsman to play their natural game without any pressure ...... This could only happend if Pakistan show their class in fielding department ..... And I m telling if...........? So good luck Pakistan winning or losing is a part of game I rather see the result instead of draw series.

Posted by sirvivfan on (January 7, 2012, 0:30 GMT)

Ramiz well said and so true. That's the I feel. I hope the boys see it as challenge and and opportunity. I just hope bit of luck also goes there way. Pressure is on England to prove they number 1 side with all their mercenaries. Riaz

Posted by   on (January 7, 2012, 0:10 GMT)

best of luck to Pakistan, first time seeing there was too much hype about a Pakistani series

Posted by ramps2000 on (January 7, 2012, 0:00 GMT)

Play with "self-belief" - absolutely agree. Try your absolute hardest - be the best you can be. Go for it and good luck to you.

Play with "no smiles or sympathy toward the opponent" - strongly disagree. If you can't play cricket, or indeed any sport, with a full measure of grace and good spirit then you're doing it very wrong.

Sorry to perhaps overreact. I don't know Rameez Raja as a person. I dare say he's a perfectly decent bloke and I get the gist of his message. In fact, I quite strongly identify with his comments about Imran's approach that encouraged his team to be focused on producing their best regardless of who was against them. But I really, really dislike this increasingly prevalent notion, expressed in that one phrase, that you can't play your best unless there is some implied or express disrespect of the opponent. England themselves behave rudely at times. I hope the series will he played extremely hard and competitively but in a friendly and comradely spirit.

Posted by alex100024 on (January 6, 2012, 23:58 GMT)

comon guys this is the best chance to beat england and take revenge just manage how ever in tests then afridi and razaq will take on them in ODIS

Posted by Kak-mal_Khan on (January 6, 2012, 23:58 GMT)

Mr Raja, please be ready to assume 5-day Test matches to take place. I have resented many comments recently about Pakistan slow scoring rate. Please show some patience as the batsmen have shown, I know you have been used to Pakistani style 3-day Tests - this would allow Mr Raja 2 days of chill out time in Dubai Malls. I would also like to see Umar Akmal in the Test team, but at the moment as a fan I am willing to sacrifice my enjoyment, as it is important to groom Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq, reason being that their technique is more consistent towards demands of Test match cricket. Well done Pakistan team so far - but remember this is not just about beating England but continuing to win battles againts all cricketing nations, only then can an overall WAR be won!

Posted by coolitbaby on (January 6, 2012, 23:21 GMT)

@Alpuri : If this is wise advice, then god bless your country and your cricket team.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2012, 23:13 GMT)

I hope this series will live up to the hype it has created. Even Austrailia vs India hasnt made so much news than this one. Both Pakistan and England has some points to prove. Pakistan will be out there to validate the progress they have made during the last year or so and England will try to prove that they are the best team on all surfaces.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2012, 23:09 GMT)

There is an old saying in english "Dont repair if it aint broken" Asad Shafiq had shown the perfect temperament and talent when it was required most and that problem was created by the reckless & unrepentant ways of U.Akmal. Now that Asad is doing well, i dont think he should be disturbed. Regarding the Akmal brothers i dont understand why is the board so indulgent towards them. look at U.Akmal's average in Test, it is pathetic. Unnecessary he is getting this attention, he has done nothing to earn it.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2012, 22:46 GMT)

the middle order of pak team without u akmal will lack intensity, so make sure he makes the starting eleven...

Posted by leon7766 on (January 6, 2012, 22:14 GMT)

What a clever thing to say by people who live in such a country .Players should assume they are in a state of war You couldnt make it up

Posted by PAK-92 on (January 6, 2012, 22:12 GMT)

Test XI: Mohammad Hafeez, Taufeeq Umar, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah Ul-haq, Umar Akmal, Adnaan Akmal, Abdur Rehman, Wahab Riaz, Saeed Ajmal, Aizaz Cheema. 12th man: Umar Gul

Posted by   on (January 6, 2012, 22:12 GMT)

wish u all the best pakistan.no one can stop pakistan now.

Posted by PAK-92 on (January 6, 2012, 22:07 GMT)

I think the test series will ultimately come down to how the English batting will cope with Pakistans spinners. Also if Pakistan are to win then they will have to field well. We have the batsmen and bowlers to win a test but the fielding has to be top class. Recently, our fielding has let us down and has been the difference between a win and a draw. Remember the 1st test we should have won against Sri Lanka. Also i believe we must have a 2 spin and 2 seam attack because we all know England are not the best against spin. Also KPs difficulty to play left arm spin will make for a great match up against Rehman. Also Ajmal will be revealing the "special" delivery he has been working on. As for the seamers, any 4 of Gul, Cheema, Wahab and Junaid are more than capable of doing a good job. Personally, if we do play 2 seamers we should play Wahab and Cheema. The reason for this is that they can both bowl long demanding spells when required unlike Gul. Gul should only play if we go for 3 seamers

Posted by   on (January 6, 2012, 21:57 GMT)

as if that could ever happen ... england to win 3-0 :p pakistan just aint good enought , sorry

Posted by masterbla639 on (January 6, 2012, 21:45 GMT)

Dont understand the logic behind Ramiz's comment... Pakistani players did something illegal and they are paying the price for it.. this has nothing to do with the england cricket team...anyways, this is going to be walk on the park for the english players as pakistan cricket team may be slightly better than bangladeshi or west indians, surely no way close to winning the no.1 team. good luck to both!

Posted by   on (January 6, 2012, 21:16 GMT)

This Test series is the real test for Pakistan. Forget the Grade B victories, this English side is for real and not to mention number one in the world. So good luck boys hope you win the series.

Posted by iBilal on (January 6, 2012, 21:11 GMT)

"play hard cricket with no smiles or sympathy towards the opponent"... little weird on that one Ramiz...

Posted by GASyed on (January 6, 2012, 20:35 GMT)

Its a great chance for Pak team to take the revenge by winning the series. British team was hugely supported by their media that were over-strengthened than their abilities. This is now a real test of their skills and Pak to get recognition in top test teams. I wish the British team face the same additional challenge of media from their opponents.

Posted by AJLax on (January 6, 2012, 20:19 GMT)

I think the 'war' analogy is wrong. This would suggest Pakistan team is at war with England and that Pakistan has a score to settle with England. Troubles that Pakistan faced in 2011 were its own creation not England's. Pakistan cricket has been wronged by its own cheating players and its inept board (that is the kindest thing I can say about it). In fact England were gracious enough (though there may have been monetary reasons as well) to invite Pakistan to host their home series there. Furthermore, by exposing the cheats and punishing them England has done Pakistan cricket a favor. Therefore, a proper thankful response would be to play the upcoming series in a competitive but friendly manner. Pakistan team and board need to make an extra effort to repair the damage done by the tragic events of 2011.

Posted by Alpuri on (January 6, 2012, 19:36 GMT)

Great advice by a wise man.

Posted by PakiPassion on (January 6, 2012, 19:36 GMT)

Totally agree with Rameez Raja.. Umar Akmal could make a real difference ..

Posted by Alpuri on (January 6, 2012, 19:35 GMT)

Well done and best of luck Pakistan. I think they are now a complete package to beat any team. all bases covered. It will be an interesting series.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2012, 19:07 GMT)

The anger and frustration over match fixing? How is England involved in this? If anything, their anger should be on their own players and personnel for letting the country down. It seems like the accountability for the whole sequence of series is misplaced.

Posted by haq33 on (January 6, 2012, 18:43 GMT)

Ramiz Raja.....you are damn R I G H T.

Posted by spence1324 on (January 6, 2012, 18:38 GMT)

This is unacceptable @ramiz raja has failed to read the public mood of peace and reconciliation,when the england captain holds out his hand and asks everyone to move on ( even no spot fixing had nothing to do with england ),then ramiz raja should do the same.I ask england players to remain calm and to stick within the spirit of cricket in the face of these' inflammatory' comments.

Posted by GreenTeam-Elite on (January 6, 2012, 18:37 GMT)

I Feel Pakistan should Play Positive Cricket without thinking of any Revenge!!! After Spot Fixing Scandal in 2011 Pakistan Performed better then before and Players fought for Win!!! This is a Good Positive thing for future of Pakistan Cricket!!! My Best Wishes with Green Team!!!

Posted by 14.08.1947 on (January 6, 2012, 18:27 GMT)

Iam just proud how DISCIPLINED Pakistan is looking now. Honestly, which Person could say, that this team will get so much good reputation, after the SPOT FIXING thing???I hope Pakistan will show fight and will not be nervous, if any english player will sledge or insult them in the field or off the field..Just remember(Trott/Wahab Riaz)...England are not ANGELS, but have an united team. We hopefully too. But as Ramiz Raja said,the player have to think they are in a WAR. In this WAR they need to fight...Win or Loss is an other issue..But they HAVE TO show to the hole NATION and the WORLD ,the fight spirit!!!

Posted by shahid6995 on (January 6, 2012, 18:14 GMT)

"I think this is the best opportunity for the Pakistan team to avenge the disgrace of the spot-fixing scandal"

What kind of a comment is this? It sounds as if you are blaming England for the fixing scandal. Why should beating them "avenge the disgrace" of the scandal??? Your own cricketers did the deed, have been found guilty of it, why the hell would you blame England for it and try to "avenge the disgrace"???

Posted by   on (January 6, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

New year wishes,, to be honest Rameez raja is one of those who mess up pakistani cricket a lot..done nothing much during his days now talk big and try to pick word out of dictionary to do his commentating,, he and the other Russel Arnold both of them should first sit alone and try to commentate and see the much of miss use of english by them just be simple in speaking dont try to be extravagant with your english basically dont bring in words that are not relevent to cricket

Posted by   on (January 6, 2012, 16:49 GMT)

I wish misbah all the best. and ramiz is right. Go on the field only thinking of victory and the Cornered tigers of Imran Khan will once again be brougt back to life.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2012, 16:43 GMT)

As a Pakistani supporter, spot fixing was the lowest point in our cricketing history. But we have moved on and moved up which only a Pakistani team can do. The current Pakistani team is playing good but we have to beat England. It will give the fans more belief that our team is heading in the right direction. One thing must be made clear to every player - Absolutely no shady characters in our team. I would rather lose to Bangladesh with honest players than to win a world cup with shady and dishonest players. Integrity of the game and emotions of the fans should not be compromised with. Best of luck...we will be watching!

Posted by   on (January 6, 2012, 16:11 GMT)

Warm Up Boys .....................................

Posted by   on (January 6, 2012, 15:53 GMT)

For the first time, I do not agree with Ramiz as a Pakistani cricket fan. Yes the players should take this series seriously and there should never be sympathy for the opposition at this level, but I would like to see our boys smiling during the series. It is important that the series is played in the right spirit and the state of war is not the right atmosphere for any sport. Besides, raising the expectations too much from the young boys will put a lot of pressure on them which can backfire. Let the boys carry on doing what they have done most of 2011 and not upset them mentally which such declarations of war please.

Posted by cricketeria on (January 6, 2012, 15:30 GMT)

Good luck Pakistan. We are expecting only a good fight. It doesn't matter if we lose 3-0 as long as the team plays hard, plays clean, and plays to win.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2012, 15:26 GMT)

Inshallah Pakistan keep hard work.. Saeed Ajmal have special delivery... Junaid khan, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Talha and Aizaz Cheema are good fast bowler.

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