Saturday, February 21, 2015

Pakistan Won 1992 World Cup After Losing to India and West Indies

Pakistan cricket team has drawn widespread derision after performing miserably in its first two matches of World Cup 2015. Many Pakistanis are understandably very angry at the top batting order that fell like flies to create a new world record of the loss of 4 wickets in the first few minutes of the match against West Indies with the score stuck at 1 run.

While I agree with much of the criticism of the Pakistan cricket team for its poor performance seen so far, I do think the hysteria is unnecessary. All we have to do is to look at the history of Pakistan's performance in the 1992 World Cup which Pakistan won. 

Like the 2015 World Cup, the 1992 Cricket World Cup was hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Before going on to win the1992 World Cup, Pakistan lost badly to three teams: India, West Indies and South Africa. Here are the scores from these matches:

Pakistan (173 runs) lost to India (216/7) by 43 runs.

Pakistan (220/2) lost to West Indies (220/0) by 10 wickets. 

Pakistan (173/8) lost to South Africa (211/7) by 38 runs.

Pakistan were bowled out by England for  a meager 74 runs. Had luck not favored the Pakistanis with rain in England-Pakistan match, the "talented" 1992 players like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Javed Miandad would not have gone on to win the 1992 World Cup. Instead, they would have returned home defeated.

1992 World Cup Points Table Source: Wikipedia

Pakistan side remains as talented and resilient but unpredictable as ever. While the start of the 2015 World Cup is terrible for Pakistan's national team, it's too early to write them off. Let's hope Pakistan can still repeat the 1992 performance yet again. 

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Steve said...

It would be better if you had done some HOMEWORK

That Pakistani team of 1992 was brilliant and had many very talented players

Compared to them the present team looks like a bunch of school boys

Riaz Haq said...

Steve: "That Pakistani team of 1992 was brilliant and had many very talented players"

The 1992 Pakistani team was subjected to very harsh criticism at the time for losing to India and West Indies.

Pakistan lost 3 of their first 5 matches and were nearly eliminated in the first round of the tournament after being bowled out for 74 runs against England, until the match was declared as a "no result" due to rain. Imran Khan famously told the team to play as "cornered tigers", after which Pakistan won five successive matches, including, most famously, the semi-final against hosts New Zealand and the final against England

Hasan said...

But we had Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Mushtaq, Aaqib etc. Who do we have today? They were also young back then but were also extremely talented. The current team is spineless!

Riaz Haq said...

Hasan: "But we had Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Mushtaq, Aaqib etc. Who do we have today? They were also young back then but were also extremely talented. The current team is spineless!"

Pakistan were bowled out by England for 74 runs. Had luck not favored them with the rain in England-Pakistan match, these "talented" 1992 players like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Javed Miandad, etc would not have gone on to win the 1992 World Cup. Instead, they'd come home defeated.

Anonymous said...

fairly long. Pls go to the 25th min.

Umair said...

Riaz, I agree with your analysis - let's bring back the '92 team out of retirement (sans Salim Malik) and we have a better chance than at present to win the cup.

Riaz Haq said...

Umair: "Riaz, I agree with your analysis - let's bring back the '92 team out of retirement (sans Salim Malik) and we have a better chance than at present to win the cup"

The performance so far suggests the current Pak XI is no worse or no better than the 1992 team

M Shekh said...

What do you Think About Indian Team, Could they Win the ICC WC 2015,
You are doing prediction, so what ,could India Play in semi Final, or India will be Out in league.
What do you think about Current Indian Team.

Pls Comment.

Riaz Haq said...

Shekh: " What do you Think About Indian Team, Could they Win the ICC WC 2015"

Kudos to India.

Yes, India is looking very good and it can win the WC this year if it can beat Aus and NZ.

After having been in Aus NZ region for a while and gotten a sound beating earlier on, it seems that India is finally acclimating and dominating WC matches now, as seen in their performance against Pakistan and West Indies.

Anonymous said...

Are you predicting Pak will lose to SA also as it happened in 1992?? in that case Pak a very very little chance to reach QFbecause of NRR.

Riaz Haq said...

KARACHI: Pakistan crushed India 11-0 on the final day of the 12th West Asian Baseball Cup to retain the title, with Iran and India securing second and third places respectively at the event which was held at the Pakistan Sports Board Complex in Islamabad.
Pakistan’s Muhammad Sumair Zawar, Muhammad Jawad, Burhan Johar and Muhammad Ahsan Baig scored two home runs apiece while Zubair Nawaz, Muhammad Arsalan and Muhammad Waqas Ismail scored one each to guide Pakistan to their third straight victory in the tournament.
“Our team did not concede any goal in all three matches, which shows we have a strong pitcher,” Pakistan captain Adil Sardar told The Express Tribune. “It feels great to have teams come from different countries. The Indian team is here for the first time and we’ve realised that Indians and Pakistanis are similar in many ways.”
Meanwhile, India captain Pankaj Chand said that although all games are played with an aim to win, their first priority was to thaw the oft-frosty relations between the two nations. “We came here with a message of peace and harmony, and I think we have achieved that,” said Chand.
He added that the tournament was well organised. “When we left India, we thought there will be problems playing in Pakistan. But we are impressed with every aspect — from security to hospitality, everything is perfect here.”
Iran down Iraq 18-4
Iran defeated Iraq 18-4 to secure second place by winning two out of three matches.
Iran’s Syed Batani and Syed Husnain scored three runs as Majid, Nima, Jalil, Yasir and Yasin contributed two, while Rajab and Majid Muhammadi scored one each.
Iranian captain Kavan Rana said that while the environment in Islamabad was safe and secure, the crowd enthusiasm needs to be worked on.

Moez said...

1. We will win our matches against UAE and Zimbabwe.... barely.
2. We will score 80 runs against South Africa in the first innings. And right when South Africa is about to finish the game in 5 overs the game will get rained out, and each team will get 1 point.
3. We will scrape a victory against Ireland, and qualify for the quarterfinal.

After that we will play like cornered tigers and then beat India in the final to lift the cup!

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan's first win in 1992 World Cup was also against Zimbabwe? Pakistan 254/4 beat Zimbabwe 201/7 by 53 runs in Hobart.

Former champions Pakistan survived a scare to pull off a dramatic 20-run victory over Zimbabwe and record their first win at the 2015 World Cup.
Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq's stubborn 73 and a fiery half-century from pace bowler Wahab Riaz helped the 1992 winners recover from 4-2 to reach 235-7.
Brendan Taylor's 50 looked to have put Zimbabwe on course for a famous win.
But Mohammad Irfan, with career-best one-day international figures of 4-30, and Riaz (4-45) won it for Pakistan.
Riaz became the first Pakistani to score a fifty and take four wickets in the same World Cup match - and only the eighth cricketer to achieve the feat.
And victory was important for Misbah's men, who, after heavy defeats by India and the West Indies, would have faced an uphill battle to progress to the quarter-finals had they lost again.
"It was really tough because it was a make or break game for us," said the Pakistan captain. "You can't believe how happy we are because we were out of the tournament if we'd lost this game."
Despite a backdrop of fierce criticism from the public and former players back home - and with chief selector Moin Khan forced to return from the World Cup after visiting a casino - Pakistan posted their highest score of the tournament so far, though their innings got off to a wretched start.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat, Pakistan were rocking at 1-1 and 4-2 as Tendai Chatara claimed the wickets of openers Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shehzad.
But skipper Misbah played a vital innings, steadying the ship as wickets regularly fell around him - including two in one over when Williams dismissed Umar Akmal and Shahid Afridi in the space of three balls. Afridi, celebrating his 35th birthday, went for a duck.
Only a late flurry from Riaz - his 54 coming from 55 balls - injected some urgency into the Pakistan innings and gave them a meaningful total to defend.

Anonymous said...

The events in Brisbane may not matter much in the big picture of this World Cup, but to Misbah-ul-Haq and his men, it may yet be the spring board to repeat what happened 23 years ago

Salman said...

did you watch the match or read the scorecard? Don't draw conclusions from the scoreboard. You will see that that match was a win game.

Riaz Haq said...

Salman:" Don't draw conclusions from the scoreboard. You will see that that match was a win game"

I watched the entire 1992 world cup, including Pakistan's match against England interrupted by rain. Here's the fall of wickets 1-5 (Rameez Raja), 2-5 (Inzamam-ul-Haq), 3-14 (Javed Miandad), 4-20 (Aamer Sohail), 5-32 (Ijaz Ahmed), 6-35 (Wasim Akram), 7-42 (Saleem Malik), 8-47 (Moin Khan), 9-62 (Wasim Haider), 10-74 (Mushtaq Ahmed)

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan's selectors are geniuses
Most people would have inked in Sarfraz Ahmed as Pakistan's wicketkeeper at the start of this tournament. They would have considered his three centuries and three further half-centuries in the latter half of 2014, scored at an extremely 21st-century scoring rate, and they would have concluded that he had probably earned enough selectorial patience to ride out a distinctly undisastrous run of middling scores in ODIs, which included some useful fast-scoring cameos, in the build-up to the World Cup. Then they would have considered the alternative - Umar Akmal, who, since August, had passed 15 just twice in ten ODI innings (a 46 and a 29), and whose name, incontrovertibly and with inescapable genetic foreboding, included the word "Akmal".

Those people would all have been idiots. Pakistan's selectors have pulled off a masterstroke of counterintuitive selectorial wizardry. They know that nothing can boost a side more than a transformation in fortunes - their nation's victory from the precipice of elimination in 1992 bears testament to that. As many a panicking football manager will tell you on Transfer Deadline Day, one of the best ways of achieving such a transformation is to introduce high-class players to the team who can make a significant improvement.

Sarfraz's recent performances proved beyond doubt that he was such a player. Therefore, he had to be left out. He had to sit on the sidelines whilst Pakistan's batsmen flunked and fumbled through their first few matches, and as Akmal spilled chances with familiar familial saucepan-handedness, as Nasir Jamshed, with a selfless heroism given to few, induced wicket-expectant complacency in Pakistan's opponents by scoring an almost negative amount of runs.

With the two defeats against India and West Indies duly secured, and an unconvincing batting display against Zimbabwe having proved conclusively that Pakistan would be no threat to any of the stronger sides and were a lively candidate to be eliminated before the knockout stage, Sarfraz was introduced for the vital, must-win matches against South Africa and Ireland.

A run-a-ball 49 against South Africa was highly influential in a low-scoring match; his six catches helped secure a momentum-shifting victory. Then his nerveless hundred of accumulative restraint made light work of the chase against the Irish (a game in which the now-gloveless Akmal took four catches in the field). How would Pakistan have achieved such tournament-shifting improvement without a player of Sarfraz's form and calibre to call upon? They would not. You might argue that they might not have been in such a mire in the first place, but that is none of anyone's business. Pakistan could not take that risk. They didn't need momentum for six weeks. They needed it for three.

This has surely established a blueprint for all future tournaments in all sports. Leave out one of your key players, take yourself to the brink of failure, then use a morale-boosting recall to slingshot yourself away from your early-tournament ineptitude. Genius. Pure, unadulterated, sport-changing selectorial genius.

No tournament should be designed with an in-built likelihood of a lengthy period of fizzle-out
The group stages peaked on March 7. Pakistan, needing a victory to maintain control of their destiny, defeated South Africa in a thrilling showdown that culminated in a newly invigorated pace attack steaming in to the world's finest batsman; then Ireland, also needing victory as a near-necessity rather than a pleasant incidental, rode some considerable donkeys of luck to hold off Zimbabwe in a thunderous classic of twists and controversy. There were still eight days of cricket until the end of the preliminary part of the tournament, four of which only featured one match. Of the 12 games played, only England v Bangladesh and Ireland against Pakistan were of decisive importance. Eight of the other ten had no major relevance.

Riaz Haq said...

Sarfaraz's induction for Pakistan's crucial must-win matches against South Africa and Ireland in CWC 2015 reminds me of the following famous quotes:

Pakistani coach Waqar Younus: "Sarfaraz is not suitable for these (Aus, NZ) pitches".

Winston Churchill (Paraphrased): "You can always count on Pakistanis to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else"

Riaz Haq said...

On Australia vs Pakistan Quarter Final at ICC WC 2015:

Kudos to Pakistani bowlers, especially Wahab Riaz, who bowled their hearts out to defend a paltry 213 score put on the board by Pak batsmen yesterday.

But Pak's poor fielding really helped the Aussies easily reach target. Watson was dropped at 83-3 and Maxwell at 154-4

Riaz Haq said...

Men from #Pakistan third sexiest in the world after men from #Ireland and #Australia … via @HPLifestyle

The sexiest nationalities for men:

10. Spanish
9. Danish
8. Nigerian
7. Italian
6. Scottish
5. English
4. American
3. Pakistani
2. Australian
1. Irish

The sexiest nationalities for women:

10. Lebanese
9. Bulgarian
8. Filipina
7. Brazilian
6. Australian
5. English
4. Colombian
3. American
2. Barbadian/Bajan
1. Armenian

Riaz Haq said...

International #CricketComesHome in #Pakistan: Play resumes. #Zimbabwe via @TheEconomist

UNDER normal circumstances, a visit from Zimbabwe, the world’s lowest-ranked Test side, is not a prospect to make cricket fans’ lips smack. But last week, when Hamilton Masakadza marked his guard at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore to face the opening ball of their series in Pakistan, the crowd’s anticipation had been brewing for six long years.

Zimbabwe are the first international side to play in Pakistan since 2009—an eternal wait for a cricket-obsessed nation. Tours to the country were halted when that year the Sri Lankan team was subjected to a horrifying attack on their way to the same stadium. Islamic terrorists, equipped with AK-47s and rocket launchers, opened fire on the team’s bus, and that of the match officials which was following behind. Six policemen and two civilians were killed. As the players and umpires cowered on the floor of their vehicles for 20 minutes while the bullets flew, several received shrapnel wounds. If it were not for the bravery of the driver, who sped through a hail of bullets hitting his windscreen, things might have been even grimmer.

The attack was particularly shocking because until then it was felt that cricket, one of the few unifying pleasures in a polarised country, was an unlikely target for terrorists. Afterwards, no team wanted to play there. Pakistan was forced to play its “home” international series in the United Arab Emirates. Even worse, it lost the right to co-host the 2011 World Cup. Most of the games that were scheduled to be played there went to India, the country’s bitter rival, instead. For good measure, India also beat Pakistan in the semi-finals. Some wondered whether Pakistani cricket could ever fully recover.

In such circumstances, the arrival of Zimbabwe has been a huge boon. The tour is only to last a week, with two Twenty20 matches and three one-day internationals. Naturally, security has been tight. One estimate puts the number of guards assigned to watch over the tour at 3,500. The Zimbabwe players will see little of the country other the Gadaffi stadium, where all the matches are to be played and where they are also staying.

Despite this, the Zimbabwe players, none of them world stars, say they have been blown over by the welcome from ordinary Pakistanis. For Pakistan itself, an uneventful tour off the pitch will be a step towards redemption. Shuja Khanzada, the home minister of the Punjab, describes it as a “test case”. “We are hopeful to prove our abilities for hosting and providing foolproof security to any international team,” he says.

Cricket fans around the world should wish him luck. Played in Pakistan, the sport is like none other. With its fervent crowds, and its production line of frighteningly fast bowlers, mysterious leg-spinners and elegant batsmen, it has always seemed the most vibrant of cricket’s many homes. There are no signs that any of the big international sides are yet keen to follow Zimbabwe’s lead. But one thing seems certain: given the reception that one of the game’s minnows has received, should they eventually return, they can be sure of a warm welcome.

spirit said...

Some of the observation are nothing sort of exaggeration,not about Pakistan but India's. Some of the Indian authors wrote that they never seen a world class road infrastructure in Delhi. That's load of crap. I lived in Delhi and the roads there especially in and around New Delhi are amazing,i am now living in Tokyo and can easily do a comparison to say roads are really good in New Delhi. Also it seems these authors has never traveled to any expressway which are of same standard as any first world highways.

Riaz Haq said...

Is #Pakistan's 1992 #ICC #WorldCup history repeating itself in #WorldCup2019? Pakistan has lost first match, won second and the third washed out just as in 1992. #PAKvSL

Riaz Haq said...

The similarities begin, credibly, with the format

In 1992, the tournament had nine teams, with everyone playing against everyone else and the top four progressing to the semi-finals.

In 2019, the tournament has 10 teams, and everyone plays everyone else and the top four progress to the semi-finals.

Even the playing conditions

In 1992, the administrators decided to use two new white balls per innings, one at each end.
In 2019, the teams are also playing with two new white balls per innings, one at each end.

Then, the most credible and compelling similarities - Pakistan's sequence of results:

In 1992, Pakistan's sequence for the first six games read: Lost, won, washout, lost, lost, won. In 2019, Pakistan's sequence for the first six games read: Lost, won, washout, lost, lost, won.

In 1992, Pakistan lost their opening game to West Indies. In 2019, Pakistan lost their opening game to West Indies.

That sequence will be tested firmly at Edgbaston on Wednesday when Pakistan take on New Zealand

In 1992, when Pakistan took on Martin Crowe's side, the co-hosts were unbeaten. Pakistan eased home by seven wickets in Christchurch and sealed their entry into the semi-finals.

In 2019, Pakistan take on an unbeaten New Zealand again. This time though, a win doesn't guarantee them a place in the last four, though considerably increases their chances. Also, a worrying sign for Pakistan fans: the 1992 game was the tournament's 34th match. Edgbaston will be this tournament's 33rd.

Around now, the theory starts stretching

In 1992, Pakistan had Inzamam-ul-Haq, one of their breakout stars.
In 2019, Pakistan have his nephew Imam-ul-Haq.

In 1992, a Pakistani left-hand batsman named Sohail (Aamir) was the Man of the Match in their sixth game.
In 2019, a Pakistani left-hand batsman named Sohail (Haris) was Man of the Match in their sixth game.

In 1992, India and then Australia had won the previous two World Cups.
In 2019, India and then Australia have won the previous two World Cups.

And finally, the theory goes bonkers

In 1992, Asif Ali Zardari, a former president of Pakistan and husband of the late Benazir Bhutto, was in jail.
In 2019, Asif Ali Zardari again is in jail.

In 1992, Aladdin was released as an animated musical film.
In 2019, an Aladdin reboot was released.

Before you get too carried away though, the 2019 Pakistan team is not going there. Not 1992 in any case, as Azhar Mahmood pointed out:

"If you see the 1992 World Cup and this one, there are a few similarities. But we're not thinking like that. If you look at the 1999 World Cup, the situation that we are in, Australia was in that situation. If they lost any games, they would've been out. We are in that situation. But for us, every match is a final, that is how we are looking at it. We know that if we perform poorly anywhere, we could be out."

So remember: it's Australia 1999, not Pakistan 1992, that Pakistan 2019 must emulate to win this.

Riaz Haq said...

It’s not #Pakistan versus Opposition but Pakistan versus Pakistan, says ex #Australia #Cricket captain Ricky Ponting.“Pakistan beats whoever they want to beat and they lose from whoever they want to..." #CWC2019 via @cricketracker

Pakistan’s strange repetition of their 1992 mission in 2019 so far has left a lot of people flummoxed. Sarfaraz Ahmed’s side won their second successive game on Wednesday after losing to India and it was against New Zealand who were unbeaten thus far. The Men in Green’s sequence of match results in this World Cup has gone identical to the 1992 campaign and a lot of Pakistani supporters have started predicting their second title victory this year.

However, Pakistan are yet to go through to the semi-finals and besides winning their remaining two matches, they will also be praying that results in other games in the tournament go in their favour. They have seven points from as many games and are tied with Bangladesh. England, on the other hand, have eight from seven after two successive defeats while Sri Lanka have six in six.

While the World Cup has opened up because of Pakistan’s sudden resurgence, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has come up with a unique observation on the 1992 champions. The two-time World Cup winning captain said: “Pakistan beats whoever they want to beat and they lose from whoever they want to. Its not Pakistan vs the opposition. Its Pakistan vs Pakistan,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

The most unpredictable side in the world
Pakistan’s unpredictability is something that has always come up in discussion. Their captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has also been heard saying ahead of the tournament that the ‘unpredictable’ tag actually helps them. Their inconsistent campaign had indeed vindicated their unpredictability. While they stunned a strong England by 14 runs after getting thrashed by the West Indies by 7 wickets in their opening match, they beat South Africa and New Zealand in back-to-back games after losing to Australia and India that had pushed them on the brink.

India wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel also echoed Ponting’s thoughts ahead of the Pakistan-New Zealand match on Wednesday. Speaking on Star Sports during the pre-match analysis, the cricketer said that Pakistan’s main opponents are Pakistan themselves.

The Men in Green next play Afghanistan in the World Cup while their final game is against Bangladesh and if England lose both their games and the Asian sides win their next games, that match promises to be a virtual quarter-final.