Melbourne, Australia (AP) — Matthew Hayden told a news conference Friday that the 1992 World Cup was important for Pakistan and the game globally because it “was the emergence of another superpower under one of the most influential cricketers of all time.”
“Imran Khan is doing great things. Celebrating democracy is an important part of life and he’s doing that like a champion he was in the 92 World Cup. So, yeah, it is important for sure.”
Babar’s belief in his planning and relying solely on his match-ups against his opponents has been a key to success. He’s not one to take cues from what former Pakistan cricketers suggest on the dozens of private television channels focusing on his team. These former cricketers were vocal after the team lost to India and then got beaten by Zimbabwe in back-to-back Super 12 losses that that placed the team in a tight corner in Group 2.
Pakistan’s 1992 World Cup-winning fast bowler Aqib Javed was among those who advised Babar to bat lower down the order in the semifinal because he’d only scored 39 runs in five group games.
Instead, Babar went to the practice nets for more than an hour on the eve of the knockout game against New Zealand while his teammates preferred to relax at their hotel. He then produced a half-century which eased Pakistan to victory in the semifinals.
Babar’s opening partner Mohammad Rizwan’s weakness on the off-side was also the talking point in the Pakistan media, but he posted a half-century, too. They combined in a ninth century opening stand — the most by any opening pair in the world in T20s.
The battery of four pacers is another asset for Babar, which he miscalculated only once in the tournament when he preferred to keep his fourth fast bowler Mohammad Wasim on the bench.
But he’s is a quick learner and he ensured Wasim played in every game thereafter to supplement Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah.