KheloPakistan.com was introduced to Mudassar by Sunny Sheikh, who is a Holland based Pakistan cricket analyst; our heartfelt appreciation to him.
Imran Asghar: First of all would like to thank you for your time, Mudassar. Where and where did your interest in cricket come from?
Mudassar Bukhari: I was born in Pakistan. Naturally every kid in Pakistan follows cricket and plays it in the streets. I used to play tape ball cricket back home in Pakistan.
IA: Who was your cricketing inspiration as a young person growing up?
Khalid Latif, not only did he look a person looking nervous as a result of a comeback but also looked a player that looked out of place in International cricket. His 3 runs from 12 balls was a painful watch; throughout the innings you got the feeling that him getting out was just a matter of time. If Latif’s stay at the crease was bad, Shoaib Malik came out with no purpose whatsoever. He hardly looked to rotate the strike and keep the scorecard ticking. His lack of show of intent was atrocious for a person that has played International cricket for over a decade.
Pakistan will kick off their month long tour of Sri Lanka with two T20 encounters. Both the matches are of importance to both the teams, firstly because the both sides will be looking to gain early momentum before the ODI and Test matches leg of the series take place. Secondly, and more crucial is the fact that the T20 World Cup is just a few months away; thus both teams will be looking to make a statement before the tournament commences. Along with testing their T20 squads and giving them early preparation against top-quality sides, in the same conditions as the major event.
Mohammad Hafeez has been appointed the new skipper of Pakistan's T20 team, replacing Misbah-ul-Haq, and he will be looking to prove himself worthy of this responsibility. Always ready to share his ideas with captains on the field, discussing the match situations with them, it’s about time Hafeez does things on his own. He will require the support of senior players such as Shahid Afridi, who was also in contention to acquire leadership. This is the perfect opportunity for Mohammad Hafeez to show-case his captaincy skills and confirm himself as the team leader for the upcoming World Cup.
An exclusive interview of Former Pakistani captain and wicket keeper Rashid Latif conducted by Farhan Nisar for KheloPakistan in Lahore. Part one was posted a week ago .Rashid spoke openly about his career and all his experiences around cricket, including match-fixing. Here is Part two of the eagerly awaited converstaion.
FN: But what were the reasons that compelled you to sacrifice your career at 25, 26 years of age?
RL: I just told you cricket is my passion. If it was a profession for me I wouldn’t have taken the decision to retire. Cricket is a gentleman’s game, it shouldn’t be plagued with fixing but it is happening nowadays. Every team is doing it and nothing is being done to eradicate it. It is a very diverse topic and a lot can be discussed on this but now I have enough idea to tell by watching a cricket or a football match on TV if the match is fixed or not.
FN: You later agreed to play with the same batch of players who were present in the team when you took retirement? Why?
RL: Whenever I came back in the team, I had the cricket board’s backing. Those players shouldn’t have played with me. If I was wrong then they shouldn’t have played with me but all of them did. All those things had happened in front of my eyes since 1993 and that is why none of the players pointed a finger at me. They knew I had spoken the truth and that all of this had happened in front of my eyes.
In life in general, preparation and practise makes things perfect. Pakistan have the players within their armoury to emulate 2009 and win another major World competition. With Dav Whatmore and his team at the healm, one thing is for sure the team will have undergone a proper fitness regime and will be hungry for success.
This brings me to my real concern and team composition. Getting the team balance correct is going to be the key in Sri Lanka. Pitches there are usually batsman friendly but have good assistance for spin bowling too. Making sure the batting line-up is strong and long enough, and also ensuring that the side has the right bowlers to win you the competition is the key. Though playing your best players in their best positions is the key, I sincerely believe that cometh the hour, cometh the man.
Posted on behalf of Farhan Nisar.
Farhan Nisar (FN): Wicket-keeping is called a thankless job. Do you agree?
Rashid Latif (RL): I don’t agree to this because wicketkeeper acts as a team’s backbone. But it’s a fact that a wicketkeeper’s mistake gets caught too easily. On the other hand, if a keeper scores 40, 50 runs it causes considerable damage to the opposition.
FN: Why did you take up wicket-keeping specifically as a career?
RL: It wasn’t in my hands because I had been wicket-keeping since childhood and so had little choice. I just had to do wicket-keeping, Allah had gifted me with a talent and it was my wish to entertain people with it.
FN: Who was your wicket-keeping idol or inspiration?
RL: Wicket-keeping was my ultimate passion. Jeff Dujon was my wicket-keeping idol and I used to emulate him. Other than that I played alongside Saleem Yousaf for Customs and he helped me a lot too.
KheloPakistan.com (KP): Salaam Ehsan, Thank you for taking time out to talk to KheloPakistan.com. When did you start to get an interest in cricket?
Ehsan Adil (EA): W/Salaam, It’s my pleasure. I first took an interest in cricket at the age of four. Ever since then I always aspired to play cricket.
KP: How was your parental support? Traditionally Pakistani parents will push their child into education.
EA: My parents supported me fully. Though like any other parents they wanted me to study well, they also backed me to play cricket.
KP: What is your average bowling speed? And what is your main weapon as a bowler, Ehsan?
KP: Recently you represented Faislabad Wolves in 50 over games. You played 5 games, how was the domestic experience?
EA: It was my first time to play with senior cricketers. It was an wonderful experience and thought me a lot. The fact that as a youngster I was playing with less pressure made it enjoyable. Though now obviously I want to play at that level on a regular basis.