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The Pakistanis, paying their seventh visit to England, were a strong and experienced side, led for the first time by Imran Khan. England, who did well to beat them, were helped by an unsteadiness of temperament which tended at vital moments to be Pakistan's undoing. In terms of pure cricketing ability, Pakistan, man for man, were at least as good a side.
The tour began with their making a succession of large scores against understrength county opposition. Imran felt that this resulted in their going into the first Test match critically short of hard cricket, a not uncommon grievance among touring captains. His other complaint, which had become an obsession by the end of the third and last Test match, concerned the umpiring. In various unguarded statements, both Imran and the team's manager, Intikhab Alam, one of his country's most popular cricketers, blamed the umpires for Pakistan's defeat.
With two of the three Test matches being played on pitches which allowed much movement off the seam, the bat was regularly beaten. This led to a lot of frenzied appealing by the players of both sides. The failure of England's batsmen to distinguish Abdul Qadir's googly from his leg-break meant that he, too, was forever rapping the pads and letting forth an impassioned appeal. The Pakistanis felt they had the worst of the deal in the first and third Tests. Imran's opposite number, Bob Willis, refused, wisely, to be drawn on the subject, as did Gower when, at Lord's, he led England in Willis's absence. The consensus here was that if either side benefited more than the other from close decisions it was Pakistan.
From the start of the first of the two one-day internationals, at Trent Bridge, it was clear that Pakistan could expect a lot of rowdily vocal, expatriate support. This added to the somewhat disputatious nature of an exciting Test series. The days have long gone when Pakistan came meekly to the slaughter. Imran is one of the world's outstanding all-rounders. He led a fine, if volatile, batting side, and in Qadir he had the best leg-spinner in the game. The rest of the bowling was not quite good enough. Unluckily, too, by the time of the last Test match Sarfraz Nawaz and Tahir Naqqash were both injured. Although slightly past his best, Sarfraz had played a useful part in Pakistan's victory at Lord's, while Tahir had bowled effectively in the first Test at Edgbaston. Ehtesham-ud-Din, who was summoned from the Bolton and District Association to make up the side of Headingley, was, hardly surprisingly, hopelessly unprepared.
Although Zaheer Abbas, Mudassar Nazar and Javed Miandad all scored almost at will outside the Test matches, only Mohsin played a big Test innings. His 200 at Lord's was a brilliant piece of cricket, raising him to the top rank of Pakistani batsmen after being unable, for several years, to get beyond the fringes of the Test side. He is a fine stylist, upstanding and correct. For such a prolific scorer in English county cricket, Zaheer's Test failures were a big disappointment. The extravagantly talented Javed, who was run out in two of his first three Test innings, has yet to make more than 54 in a Test in England.
Majid Khan, another with his best days behind him, found runs hard to get. Wasim Raja, an accomplished all-rounder, rather lacked opportunity, especially in the early days when runs were flowing freely. Mudassar, on the other hand, son of Nazar Mohammad, also a Test cricketer, proved himself a most spirited all-rounder, his bowling spells in the second and third Tests, at a friendly medium-pace, taking everyone by surprise.
Jalal-ud-Din, not a member of the original party but sent for when injuries began to diminish it, was himself injured by the time of the third Test. Iqbal Qasim was kept out of the Test side by Qadir, who, for the first month of the tour, carried all before him. If less deadly in the Tests, Qadir's mysteries still unsettled England's batsmen. His wickets in the Lord's victory were an invaluable contribution.
Imran, though, was the commanding figure of the tour. If he had a failing, other than picking out the umpires for criticism, it was in trying to do too much of the Test bowling himself. Being so much the most dangerous of the faster bowlers, the temptation was obvious. He led from the front, never sparing himself in any of his bowling spells, batting with more application than those higher in the order, and handling his side with authority. It is much to be hoped that the hint which he dropped after the last Test match, that he might not still be playing in 1986, when Pakistan tour England next, does not materialise.
Test matches - Played 3: Won 1, Lost 2.
First-class matches - Played 15: Won 5, Lost 4, Drawn 6.
Wins - England, Derbyshire, Glamorgan, Sussex, Worcestershire.
Losses - England (2), Hampshire, D. B. Close's XI.
Draws - England B, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Middlesex, Somerset, Surrey.
Non first-class matches - Played 4: Won 1, Lost 2, Drawn 1. Win - Minor Counties. Losses - England (2). Draw - Scotland.
Note: In addition to the matches listed above, the touring team played two non first-class games of 40 overs each side which were not included in the original itinerary. The first, at Swansea on July 4, the Sunday of the first-class game v Glamorgan, was rained off after 23 overs when the Pakistanis were 74 for four. The second, at the Scarborough Festival, was on September 3, the third day scheduled for the first-class match v D. B. Close's XI, and the Pakistanis won by 83 runs.
Match reports for
Tour Match: Middlesex v Pakistanis at Lord's, Jun 23-25, 1982
Tour Match: Sussex v Pakistanis at Hove, Jun 26-28, 1982
Tour Match: Hampshire v Pakistanis at Bournemouth, Jun 30-Jul 2, 1982
Tour Match: Glamorgan v Pakistanis at Swansea, Jul 3-5, 1982
Tour Match: Glamorgan v Pakistanis at Swansea, Jul 4, 1982
Tour Match: Somerset v Pakistanis at Taunton, Jul 7-9, 1982
Tour Match: Worcestershire v Pakistanis at Worcester, Jul 10-12, 1982
Tour Match: Leicestershire v Pakistanis at Leicester, Jul 21-23, 1982
Tour Match: Derbyshire v Pakistanis at Chesterfield, Jul 24-26, 1982
Tour Match: Minor Counties v Pakistanis at Slough, Aug 5-6, 1982
Tour Match: Surrey v Pakistanis at The Oval, Aug 7-9, 1982
Tour Match: England B v Pakistanis at Leicester, Aug 18-20, 1982
Tour Match: Lancashire v Pakistanis at Manchester, Aug 21-23, 1982
Tour Match: DB Close XI v Pakistanis at Scarborough, Sep 1-2, 1982
Tour Match: DB Close XI v Pakistanis at Scarborough, Sep 3, 1982