Cricket, the Brilliant Game!

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Player Profile(#46)…Waqar Younis (Pakistan)

Posted by wildkiwi25 on January 17, 2009

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Waqar Younis Maitla (Urdu: وقار یونس, born November 16, 1971), nicknamed Wiki, is a former Pakistani cricketer, widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time.

Well known for his ability to reverse swing the ball, he has 373 Test wickets and 416 ODI wickets to his credit. Waqar has the best strike rate for any bowler with over 200 Test wickets.

Personal life:
Waqar attended Sadiq Public School in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, Pakistani College in Sharjah, and Government College, Vehari.

He is married with a son and 2 daughters, and currently lives in Kellyville, New South Wales, Australia and is a coach at a local cricket club.

His Career:
Waqar made his debut for Pakistan against India on November 15, 1989. He made an immediate impression with his pace, and became known in the media as the “Burewala Express”. Later, along with Wasim Akram, Waqar opened bowling regularly for Pakistan, becoming a feared and potent attack. His most recognized delivery was an in-swinging yorker. At his peak, he developed into a devastating bowler towards the closing stages of the one day game, famously taking a hat-trick against New Zealand in 1992. Waqar holds the record for the best strike rate among bowlers with 200 or more Test wickets. During the late 90s, he stayed out of the team for quite a long time allegedly due to conflicts with once bowling partner and captain Wasim Akram. His comeback came with him being appointed the Captain of the national side – a position he held till his side failed to make an impact in the 2003 World Cup. He retired after the Pakistan Cricket Board persistently ignored him for national selection.

In March, 2006 he was appointed as the bowling coach for Pakistan. He resigned from this position on January 6, 2007 in protest against the PCB’s decision to retain him only for the Test series against South Africa and not for the subsequent series of five ODIs.

Masters of reverse swing:
Waqar is one of a long line of Pakistanis, starting with Sarfraz Nawaz, who have been effective at using the art of reverse swing. In partnership with Wasim Akram, Waqar spearheaded the Pakistan bowling attack in the early to mid 90’s. Many attribute Waqar and Wasim to be one of the most effective fast bowling partnerships in the 1990s, due to their ability to swing the ball at high pace. The ability to reverse swing and his explosive speed lead to him becoming one of the most talented fast bowlers in modern cricket.

Waqar explained his ability to reverse swing by the manipulation of an old ball; with one side shiny, one side rough, the ball would move in the opposite direction to conventional swing. This led to Waqar having the ability to swing the ball both ways, and in effect both Wasim and Waqar became successful in taking wickets by this variation of swing bowling. He was also effective in the use of short bowling; Waqar’s bowling against South Africa in Sheikhupura, Pakistan, is remembered for his effective use of the short-pitched delivery.

Following their 1992 series versus England, the English media, were suspicious of the then unknown art of reverse swing. This led to cries of foul play and allegations of ball-tampering from some quarters.

Despite his undoubted qualities as a fast bowler, he was expensive at times, and sometimes lacked the consistency of bowlers such as Curtly Ambrose or Glenn McGrath. This may be partly due to the mentality of his former captain, Imran Khan, where wickets were seen as top priority over economy.

International Records:
Waqar is the only bowler to have taken 5 wicket hauls in 3 consecutive ODIs. He has taken 4+ wickets on 27 occasions in ODIs, also a record. In terms of balls bowled, he has taken the fastest 50, 300, 350 and 400 wickets in ODI matches and the fastest 150, 200, 250, 300 and 350 wickets in Test matches.

Although primarily a bowler, Waqar scored 1010 Test runs. As of September 2005, Waqar was the only man to pass the thousand run mark without ever scoring a fifty. Recently, he has become a television cricket commentator for Australia’s Nine Network.

From March 2006 to January 2007, he served as the bowling coach for Pakistan, but quit after only being asked to coach the squad during the course of the test series against South Africa and not the ODIs.

Controversies:

In July 2000 Waqar became the first player to be banned for ball tampering, and was fined 50% of his match fee.

Links to more information on Waqar Younis:

  • Waqar Younis Profile on Cricinfo.com

    *Acknowledgements to Wikipedia.org and owners of pictures and videos used.

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