Who do you mean by ‘they’?
Mainly Waquar Younis. He was the one who wanted to get rid of me. He aspired to be the Pakistan captain.
The outside world would find this some what difficult to digest. Wasim and Waqar, we were given to understand, shared a deep friendship both on and off the field. What actually led to the split?
I wouldn’t know really. As fur as I am concerned, my conscience is absolutely clear. I always give him encouragement, whenever I went with him, be it Australia, West Indies, South Africa. I kept on promoting him. Kept on telling the press that here was the best fast bowler in the world…..
So all the recent happenings must have come as a bolt from the blue?
Not really. I always knew that Waqar was ambitious and that he harbored hopes of becoming the captain. It was known that he was not wholeheartedly behind me. The only thing I didn’t realize was that they had formed a clique.
Did you get the filling that Waqar and Co. stabbed you in the back?
Absolutely. I’ve been stabbed in the back;
What was his reply?
Well, he just nodded and said, “Sorry, we’re taking a chance. Please don’t mind.
You’re blaming people for stabbing you in the back. But Javed Miandad has leveled the same charges against you?
Miandad is like that. You can expect him to say anytime. What he said didn’t surprise me. He is a great player and has served Pakistan cricket tremendously. But what is beyond his understanding is that all good things in life end somewhere, sometime. He should accept the fact that he is finished as a player. Look at this performance since the last season: show me where he was performed? He hardly attended the national camp, batted just once and didn’t look fit. As it is I’ve been carrying him in the team for the last one year. How long can anyone expect such favors?
In other words, you’re accepting the responsibility plying a crucial role in the exclusion of Miandad?
Why single me out? The members of the ad hoc committee were there too.
If what you said is true, then how come Miandad was blaming Imran Khan for his exclusion?
Imran had absolutely no role to play. He is too busy with his cancer hospital project. It might surprise you, that though both of us are from Lahore, the last time we spoke to each others was last October and that too his Sharma’s. But than Mindad will always be Mindad. He will going on saying things.
You are obviously a bitter man today. How will you adjust and play with the same bunch of people who ‘plotted’ to remove you from the captaincy? Imran has suggested that you withdraw from the tour of New Zealand.
Hopefully I won’t have any problems. As a player I would still be the same. As an individual yes I’m very upset by the turn of events. But that won’t stop me from giving my hundred per cent. Even today (after hearing the sad news.) I went for my routine practice.
I love Pakistan cricket too much to stay away from the scene and because I care for the country’s cricket, I am equally concerned as to what kind of an image this incident will portray to the outside world. People will laugh ridicule us. All can tell you is that such things are unheard of in Indian cricket even though occasional ego clashes and strong difference of opinion have plagued the team in the past….
I marvel at the present Indian team. Look at how they’ve rallied behind their skipper. It looks such a formidable side today with the Tendulkars, Kumbles and Kamblis backing up Azharuddin. Then there is Kapil Dev. I was watching India play in the Hero Cup final on television. They looked such a spirited side with positive vibrations. You know after the last world cup people used to say the Indian team should learn what team spirit was all about from us. In less than two year’s time the picture turned upside down.