ARTICLE: Pakistan in Zimbabwe Jan/Feb 1995 (G.Dean), 5 Mar 1995
Pakistan in Zimbabwe: a tour dogged by controversy
- Geoffrey Dean
PAKISTAN's tour of Zimbabwe resembled a cricketing soap opera
that not even the most imaginative scriptwriter could have dreamt
up. A new story or a controversy seemed to arise almost every
day: which is the most remarkable is hard to say.
Was it Zimbabwe's first Test win? Was it their selection of a
black cricketer for the first time in a Test, who subsequently
became the first bowler to be called for throwing in a Test for
32 years? Or was it the revelations that each Pakistan player had
been obliged before the tour to take an oath on the Koran that he
would not accept bribes? Or perhaps it was Salim Malik's feat of
becoming the first captain to win a three-Test series on foreign
soil after losing the first Test?
Then there was the incident in the Bulawayo Test, when the
Zimbabwean umpire, Quentin Goosen, was called a "cheat" by Wasim
Akram - this on the same day that Zimbabwe made accusations
against the Pakistanis of ball tampering and non-stop racist
Without doubt the most unbelievable story was Malik's accusation
in the third Test that umpire Ian Robinson had tampered with the
ball when the Pakistanis were fielding. Then came a tied one-day
international, and the sensational announcement by two Pakistanis
in their cricketing prime that they were retiring from the
'I never believe whatever Sarfraz says'
Amid all this came news from Australia of bribery allegations
against Malik. The Pakistani captain's performance at the
ensuing press conference indicated either untapped acting talent
or complete innocence. Inevitably he claimed the latter.
Then came more 'throwing' allegations by Sarfraz Nawaz, a man
taken seriously by few in the world's cricketing fraternity,
notably the beleaguered Pakistani tour manager, Intikihab Alam,
who retorted with the memorable words: "I never believe whatever
On the first day of a tour expected to be quiet and relatively
un-newsworthy, events at the picturesque Harare South Country
Club, during a warm-up game, were anything but. Alistair Campbell
said he overheard Aamir Sohail exclaiming to umpire Goosen -
"open your ****ing eyes" - after he deigned not to call Henry
Olonga for chucking in his first over.
The square-leg umpire, Essat Ahmed, later did so after being
confronted by Sohail and Saeed Anwar. Olonga, the first black
cricketer to play a Test for either Zimbabwe or South Africa, was
adjudged to have thrown a delivery in his eighth over - the first
bowler to be so condemned since the Australian Ian Meckiff
against South Africa in Brisbane in 1963.
The Test series could not even get underway without
controversy. Malik won the toss after calling 'bird', for
Zimbabwean coins have the Great Ruins on one side and a bird on
the other. The watching match referee, Jackie Hendriks, was not
happy, however, with Malik's call and ordered a re-toss, which
Andy Flower won. He batted, as Malik would have done, and rescued
his side from 42 for three with a brilliant hundred without which
Zimbabwe would never have gained their first win in their 11th
The highly improbable innings victory was fully deserved by a
team who are improving with every Test, and are a competitive
one-day force. The problems that beset the tour lasted until the
end. Pakistan vice-captain Rashid Latif, alleged by Sarfraz to
have accused nine team-mates of 'throwing' the Johannesburg Test
in January, announced his retirement from international
cricket. So did Basit Ali.
Both claimed burn-out were their reasons, although many do not
President's XI 301-4 dec & 143 lost to Pakistan 327-6 dec & 119-3
by 7 wickets.
First Test: Zimbabwe 544-4 dec bt Pakistan 322 & 158 by an
innings and 64 runs.
Second Test: Zimbabwe 174 & 146 lost to Pakistan 260 & 61-2 by 8
Third Test: Pakistan 231 & 250 bt Zimbabwe 243 & 139 by 99 runs.
First one-day international: Zimbabwe 219-9 tied with Pakistan
219 all out.
Second one-day international: Zimbabwe 209-5 lost to Pakistan
210-6 by 4 wickets.
Third one-day international: Zimbabwe 222-9 bt Pakistan 148 by 74
Source :: The Electronic Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/)
Contributed by Syed (firstname.lastname@example.org)