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Last Updated:  Friday, 3 January, 2003, 10:02 GMT

Imran Khan - 1992
Pakistan celebrate victory over England
Pakistan celebrate victory over England
Pakistan upset the odds at the 1992 World Cup as they lifted the trophy in Australia with victory over England in the final.

Former captain Imran Khan, now a politican, recalls one of the highlights of his career.


Conditions were not in Pakistan's favour in Australia. How confident were the team before the start of the competition?

I always entered every event with a self-belief that I could win, although our team had a bad track record in Australia. To add to that we had several injuries.

Waqar Younis had to return home - he was bowling at his fastest at that time so it was a huge blow - Saeed Anwar and Ata-ur-Rehman also fell unfit.

So we had new players like Aamir Sohail, Inzamam-ul-Haq and others like Iqbal Sikander and Waseem Haider, who were never heard of before or after the Cup.

Javed Miandad came to Australia late, but we won just because of the self belief. I never defended in one-day cricket. Australians do that nowadays.

The team was very inconsistent in the first round group phase. Why was that?

Initially, we had to go through a spell of injuries and some players were not in form - I played the whole World Cup as an injured cricketer. We took our time to acclimatise.

Beating New Zealand twice on their own grounds, including the semi-final, was a tremendous effort. What was your tactical approach to those games?

I attacked with all the available weapons. We used to sit for hours and do our planning. I asked Wasim Akram to attack irrespective of the runs he would concede, and did the same with Mushtaq Ahmed and Aqib Javed. We got them out for low score in the first game and then in the semi-final we attacked with our batsmen.

Were you surprised to be facing England in the final?

No, England were not surprise opponents in the final. England played good cricket in the 1992 World Cup. But I was surprised not to see Australia in the final because in those conditions they would have been more difficult.

Did you think you had enough runs on the board after totalling only 249 in the final?

Of course - scoring 249 gave us a psychological advantage since we had attacking bowlers.

What did you say to the players during the interval?

The instructions throughout the World Cup were the same; to attack and we did that right from the outset and put pressure on England.

How big a lift did dismissing Ian Botham for a duck give the team?

Botham was inconsistent in the World Cup so we knew we would get him early. Once we got Graham Gooch and exposed the middle order, we had good chance. Wasim gave us two good wickets of Alan Lamb and Chris Lewis, so that was all due to an attacking plan.

Was the win the greatest day in Pakistan's cricket history?

It was one of the biggest days in Pakistan cricket history but I would reckon our series against the West Indies in 1988, although it was a 1-1 draw, and winning against a formidable Indian team in India on a par with the 1992 World Cup win.





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