Amazing detail, very interesting read.
Amazing detail, very interesting read.
a very nice interview .... talks abt everything from facing Roberts and Holding to the ball tempering in Pakistan .... and ofc his role model Greg Chappell
I noticed it in the second Test after I had played Abdul Qadir. It was the end of the over, and I picked up the ball and I went, "What the f*** is this?" There were three gorges in it. You could see right down to the white string. And the other side was smooth. One of our guys grabbed it and got a photograph of it. Intikhab Alam [Pakistan's coach] came to the dressing room and grabbed the ball back. I complained to the Pakistan board about it. They just said it was due to the ball crashing into the hoardings. I said, "Bull****. This is a green wicket for a start. They're using bottle caps." So I said, "Well, I have laid my complaint. If I don't get anything done about it, we will fight fire by fire."
We started to practise in between the second and third Tests, openly tampering with the ball. I said to everybody, "I have made my complaint and I can't do anything more. In the spirit of the game, I am actually going to expose it, and hopefully it will then be dealt with.
I usually bowled inswing, and I said, "Watch this, guys," and with the same grip I would bowl outswing. I said, "This is like a new toy." Pringle was an average medium-pace swing bowler, and all of a sudden he got it to reverse swing and he was having a great time.
It took us an hour into the Faisalabad Test to get into a huddle in the drinks break and start working on it. We used the bottle tops. Pringle got seven wickets before lunch. The umpire said, "Fine, it's the same for both sides." I wrote a complaint to the board and also to the West Indian management, since they were to arrive in three days' time. I wrote a letter to Desmond Haynes.
The point is that they didn't need to do it against us. We were the worst side to leave New Zealand in 25 years, probably. Imran Khan didn't even play because he knew we were pathetic. I was the only recognised batsman. And they were green wickets anyway. But it made the challenge even greater.
The rules are fine now, and they have dealt with it. Just for those two or three years it got out of control.
.In 1984 at Taunton you had a frightening experience facing Andy Roberts, didn't you?
Oh yeah, it did frighten the death out of me. Roberts was bowling outswingers off 14 paces and he was just snicking guys out at the other end. When I got on strike, I treated him like I was playing [Richard] Hadlee in the nets. I would leave everything outside off stump, wait till he bowled at me before I clipped him for one or two, and not look to upset him. Once I was in for an hour and a half, he started to use his bouncers - he had two differently paced ones - and he also used the crease amazingly well. If he wanted to hit you, he could, at will. And he did. He hit me four or five times in the ribs.
He bowled me two bouncers in a row at one point, so I charged him and hit him back over his head for a six. That was it. It was game on. I remember Peter Willey at gully going "Oh dear ... that was very silly of you." Roberts warned me about what was coming. "You've got to watch now, be careful." And he hurled two beamers at my head! I could see the whites of his eyes and I remembered what I had read about his anger. He taught me a big lesson about facing West Indies. I never faced anyone so intimidating
Who were the bowlers you struggled to pick?
The two bowlers that I never really picked very well at all were Jeff Thomson and Michael Holding.
Holding, just for his change of pace. He could bowl 100mph or 70mph with the same beautiful, classical action. He was, I think, one of the first to develop a lot of different types of deliveries without discerningly changing his action. It's very scary when you know he can bowl at 100mph and you are coming forward to a slow outswinger, because he is deliberately doing that. He is getting you forward, and you are thinking about that fast one. He was a very thoughtful, intelligent bowler.
Thomson was just a freak - a very unique action. You never really saw it.Who did you pick things up from to play fast bowling?
I talked to Greg Chappell a lot, and Graeme Pollock. I modelled my batting on Greg. I didn't play a Test match against Sunny [Gavaskar], but I have seen footage, and I talked a lot to him when I was young. He would talk about how, before he went out to bat, he would put his head against the wall to make sure his head was level. I used that.
Last edited by ret; 26-05-2008 at 08:31 AM.
Fastest gun in town
Arsehole. Who was it that claimed he was a gentleman?He bowled me two bouncers in a row at one point, so I charged him and hit him back over his head for a six. That was it. It was game on. I remember Peter Willey at gully going "Oh dear ... that was very silly of you." Roberts warned me about what was coming. "You've got to watch now, be careful." And he hurled two beamers at my head! I could see the whites of his eyes and I remembered what I had read about his anger. He taught me a big lesson about facing West Indies. I never faced anyone so intimidating.
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Exposes a few myths about all Pakistani wickets and playing cricket there in general - maybe the stats dont reveal everything after all
Notice how he mentions "those few years"? The ball-gouging problem was early in the Wasim-Waqar era. No more.
Roy Gilchrist = notorious beam bowler. Given you've nothing if not defended beamer-bowlers since yesterday, I thought it pertinent.
I've long tended to treat anything Shahid Afridi says with less-than-seriousness BTW.
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