To the women who have made us. To the men who have led us. To the enemies who have hardened us. To the friends who have trusted us. And to the game changers who will follow us.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. Contents Foreword Preface Introduction Taking a Stance In the Beginning, Just War and Cricket School Cricket, Minus the School The Karachi Cricket Cult Dreams, Street Cred and a Brutal Wake-Up Call All the World Is a Stock Market A First, a Trial, Then Another First The Insomniac’s Dream Debut The Quest Begins Pathan vs Hindustan Threats and Treats, Indian and Homegrown Ignominy in England Decline The Comeback King Awkward and Oval The Boy and Bob Skipper, Victim, Soldier, Terror The Strain of Command Captaincy and Chaos Palace Intrigues Trials and Liars Players, Power and Fratricide Batting India Is Battling India Sledging, Tampering and the Unforgettables Visualization, Health and Adaptability Shortchanging Pakistan India 2.0 The Dry Talent Pipeline Predictable Unpredictability Temperament, Truth and Leadership
31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. The Lost Kingdom Politics Ain’t for Pathans Soldiering on Fun, Fans and Fanatics A Tardy Ending Happiness, Faith and Doubt The Second Innings Naya Pakistan, Purana Lala Notes Index Photographic Inserts Acknowledgements About the Book About the Author
L FOREWORD IKE ALL great discoveries, it started with a need. We were in a tri-series in Kenya in 1996. Mushtaq Ahmed, our dependable World Cup champion leg spinner, was injured. So here we were, stuck in Africa, in dire need of a leggie, and in comes this kid, kind of chubby but straight-edged and quiet. None of us had heard of him before. The selectors had picked him with some sense of hope. They said he was all right. We were like, ‘Okay, sure … why not? He might work out.’ But at the time, he was an unknown resource. Almost unnoticeable. When he arrived in Nairobi and began bowling in the nets, I remember he came at us hard and fast. He had variety. He was a teenager, very agile. I remember he had a solid googly, a good faster one, and could change it up quite effortlessly. Instinctively, his bowling was less Mushtaq Ahmed and more Anil Kumble. Could have been taller, I remember telling myself. Then came the time for him to bat. It was beginning to get dark. There wasn’t much light left. He was the only one who hadn’t batted. We were in a hurry to get back to the hotel. It wouldn’t have been a major loss – bowlers never got to bat much in the nets in those days. What the hell, I thought, and asked him to pad up. What happened next didn’t let us make it to the hotel in time. First, I started bowling him leg- breaks. I was firmly dispatched. Next, Waqar (Younis) started bowling off-breaks to him. His deliveries too were smacked, viciously. Then, both Waqar and I tried bowling at him with a short run-up. Both of us were sent packing.
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