Scotland Wales Northern Ireland
BBC Homepage feedback | low graphics version
BBC Sport Online
You are in: In Depth: England v Pakistan  
Front Page 
Rugby Union 
Rugby League 
Other Sports 
Sports Talk 
In Depth 
Photo Galleries 
TV & Radio 
BBC Pundits 
Funny Old Game 

Around The Uk

BBC News

BBC Weather

banner Tuesday, 1 May, 2001, 14:40 GMT 15:40 UK
Imran: Wrong time to tour
Imran Khan in full flow against England in 1985
Imran Khan in full flow against England in 1985
Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan talks to BBC Sport Online ahead of the team's tour of England.

Imran Khan has few peers - on and off the field.

His deep insight into the game, his analysis and quick eye to spot talent is unmatched in Pakistan - likewise his outspoken and honest opinions.

When he says, "A wet May will favour England" one must heed his words.

Imran is married to Jemima Khan
Imran is married to Jemima Khan
He said: "I don't know why Pakistan accepted the tour in the first half of the English season - and for only two Tests.

"Conditions will favour England as wet conditions are not ideal to Pakistan's style of play.

"It was dry in 1999 and Pakistan played brilliantly in the World Cup."

It was under Imran's captaincy that Pakistan broke a jinx - achieving their first Test win on English soil for 28 years at Lord's in 1982.

"It was against a strong England team, but on the whole the series was disappointing," remembers Imran, whose team ultimately lost the series 2-1.

"We had a fighting unit and defeat in the final Test at Headingley was frustrating. I believe we lost because of a bad umpiring decision."

But the team's fortunes changed in 1987.

Under Imran, Pakistan achieved their first series win in India and followed that with a 1-0 triumph in England.

Waqar is a strong player says Imran
Waqar is a strong player says Imran
"My 1987 side was baptised in India under fire and with a much younger side we beat a strong England side fresh from their Ashes win," he said.

Pakistan's innings win at Headingley was indebted to a 99 by Salim Malik, now banned for life for match-fixing, and seven wickets for 40 by Imran himself.

"The 1987 series was a rain affected one and we beat England at Leeds and came close to a win at The Oval."

England's Mike Gatting kept Pakistan at bay with a fighting 155 in the second Test.

"All you need to win in England is self belief and the ability to play under pressure," he believes.

And it is with this spirit, under the captaincy of Waqar Younis, that Imran believes Pakistan have a slim chance against a rejuvenated England this spring.

"Pakistan lost against England last year due to a negative attitude.

Wasim and Waqar have experience and can come in very handy
  Imran Khan

"I think Waqar is basically strong minded and a positive person and will lead the team from the front."

Pakistan have a perennial vulnerability in batting although their bowling looks formidable.

"It's true that Wasim Akram and Waqar do not exude the fire of 1992 or 1996, but they have experience and can come in very handy," he said.

He also believes Shoaib Akhtar could be a match-winner if he is fit and plays.

"Shoaib's pace can have a telling effect while Mohammad Sami has potential and can spark."

Imran certainly isn't ruling Pakistan out.

"I believe the team that plays the most positive cricket will win the Test series."

Search BBC Sport Online
Advanced search options
See also:

29 Apr 01 |  Cricket
Wasim dismisses quit rumours
01 May 01 |  England v Pakistan
All change for Pakistan
28 Apr 01 |  Cricket
Wasim given tour spot
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to top England v Pakistan stories are at the foot of the page.

Links to other England v Pakistan stories

^^ Back to top