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Interview with Mohammad Wasim & Yousuf Youhana.

CricInfo player profile on Mohammad Wasim

CricInfo player profile on Yousuf Youhana

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  Mohammad Wasim and Yousuf Youhana are two of Pakistan's new successful middle order batsmen. Till the time of this interview, M. Wasim has played 10 tests and 21 ODI's for Pakistan. His test average is 38.50 with 2 centuries and in ODI's has scored 499 runs at an average of 26.26. Y. Youhana, a recent entry to the Pak squad has played 3 tests and 7 ODI's. His test average is 31.83 with 3 fifties and in ODI's has scored over 200 runs at an average of 41.60. They took some time out from the ongoing Training Camp of the Pakistani players preparing for the 1998-99 season to chat to us on the IRC channel #crickettalk, live from Lahore on 11 June 1998. Questions were accepted via the live chat channel and via email. Suhael Ahmed assisted them in the interview while Rick Eyre (Rick on IRC) was the moderator.

We have with us today two members of the current Pakistan
international squad, Mohammad Wasim and Yousuf Youhana. We have received some questions via email over the past couple of days which will be asked at the interview. If you want to put any questions today, please msg Rick.

Shams1. USA: Yousuf, You had a reasonably good tour of South Africa, in your opinion what seprates South Africa and Pak teams?

Yousuf: I think the main difference between the two teams is fielding and we too are practicing hard to improve our fielding.

next question is a longish one, for either or both to answer

Mustafa Hemani, USA: Why is our team so unstable and unpredictable?. In the past we have blown some great opportunities, like the defeat against SA in Pakistan where we needed a meager 140 runs and an opportunity in SA to make history by winning the series, all we needed to do is draw the game in 4 days. Do you think our team is marred by politics and some of the veteran players are non-serious and non-determined? What steps can we take to utilize the enormous talent that Pakistan possesses?

Cricket has its ups and downs e.g. WI were invincible then
they had a bad time, like in the Faisalabad match our batting collapsed. There is a lot of pressure in a fourth innings always. So perhaps due to this pressure we collapsed. It is not politics and all our team is a team.

TJ Power, New Zealand:
Where do you think Pakistan at present deserve to rank among the nations in Test cricket and again in one-day cricket?

In tests we are definitely in the first three. And in ODI we are in line after RSA for the Number 2 slot.

What countries do you enjoy touring the most? Sub- Continent or Aus/NZ/SAf/Eng?

Wasim-Youhana: We enjoy touring Australia and South Africa most.

Fahad Rafique, Pakistan: What are your favourite batsmen & bowlers and how do you rate Ijaz Ahmed.

Wasim: My favourite is Salim Malik as a bat, and Wasim Akram as a bowler and internationally, Sachin and Ambrose.
My favourite bat is Javed Miandad, Mark Waugh and bowler Wasim Akram and Courtney Walsh.
We think Ijaz in form is a great and dangerous batsman.

Tariq Aslam Qureshi: Wasim, whom do you rank better, Saeed Anwar or Sachin Tendulker? And why?

I cannot compare them as most of their runs are in the sub-continent but they are both great players.

Sheeraz, Pakistan for Yousuf: Other than your family who supported you to become a cricketer?

Yousuf: I got the most support from my family and from the Almighty and Azhar Khan, Mohammad Aslam and from Wapda.

Nic, Australia: What has been Wasim's career highlight?

Wasim: When I was named Man of the Match there in Hobart and you were sitting there! :-)

knack: What is your impression of Agarkar?

We have not played him yet but have heard he is good and look forward to playing when he bowls.

Rick: this is a longish one....

Sailesh Krishnamurthy for Wasim:
I saw you bat in the CUB one day series in Australia in the 1996-97 season and I have been a fan of yours since then. Your style of play seems very correct and elegant - very much like India's Rahul Dravid. Do you think you face the same kind of pressures Dravid has faced of late in the one day game (not being able to find a place in the Indian ODI squad)?

I dont think I performed that bad in any ODIs and Pak has not lost a match because of my slow batting. I bat according to the situation. Under pressure its more from the crowd rather than the team.

smelsch: Why do you think Pakistan throw up so many good dynamic young players who ('show' -Ed) such maturity playing international cricket when thrown straight into it?

Wasim-Youhana: We think there is a lot of natural talent here. We are mentally strong and prepared. We are so happy to play an international so, that the pressure disappears from our minds. At home we play a lot cricket at every level and learn very fast as there is a lot of competition.

lara375: Are M.Wasim and Y.Youhana confident that they will be included in the top11 when Australia comes to Pakistan?

Wasim-Youhana: We feel so because of our last performance where we scored 3 fifties in two matches (Yousuf) and a hundred (Wasim).

Greg Chapman, Australia: I was wondering, about the Forthcoming Australian Tour of Pakistan. What players in the Pakistan side does Australia have to look out for? And also what players in the Australian side does Pakistan got to look out for?

Wasim-Youhana: For Pak: We have some really good fast bowlers like Shoaib, Zahid and for Aus we will be looking out for the Waughs and we would have liked Shane to be here.

Badri, India: Some say there is too much ODI cricket vs Tests, what do you feel?

Wasim-Youhana: Yes this is true. We think they should balance and as a result of too many ODIs the interest in Test cricket is falling off.

Kamil Gani, Pakistan: Wasim, what do you think a boy who wants to join international cricket should have? Talent or money?

Wasim: I strongly feel talent and once he is in the iternational level the money is not a problem.

M. N. Uddin: Hello: I am a fan. I admire your cricket very much. What's your take on Bangladesh cricket. What they should do to get test status and how's the overall cricket enviornment in Bangladesh?

Wasim-Youhana: We have both been to Bangladesh and we feel they are trying very hard to get there. Their time is very near. At school and college level they need to develop more as it is still limited to a few clubs.

Inzamam: Wasim, Who do u rate as the five best fast bowlers u have faced (excluding Pakistani bowlers)?

Wasim: Ambrose, Pollock, C Walsh, McGrath and Donald.

Sheeraz, Pakistan:
Do you think that cricket structure in Pakistan is suitable for grooming new players?

Wasim-Youhana: It is but we should improve the school and college level and acadamies for cricket coaching with trained coaches where one can learn the basic things.

<Rick> following on from that....

CoolPom, UK: How would you describe the state of domestic cricket in Pakistan? Is there too much, too little, just right?

Wasim-Youhana: Yes we feel our domestic cricket is not enough and our domestic season is short. Teams are departmental and there are not enough. We need more teams from the regions like county cricket.

vvsl, Gautham, India: Wasim, I think you've a sound technique and a good range of strokes in the V. However, when are we going to see you convert your innings to big 100s?

Wasim: I am satisfied with my technique and I have started getting big runs like in Zim and I hope I go up in the order in the ODIs to be able to get large scores there as well.

Keith, South Africa: Is a test World Cup a good idea?

Wasim-Youhana: We feel it is and it will bring back interest in test cricket.

Wasim: Adorable, hello from M. Wasim (In response to a request to check if this int was live -Ed)

Akshar Mehta, USA: Who accordin' to u is the ideal captain of Pak for the coming world cup?

Wasim-Youhana: As everyone knows we are not responsible for appointing a captain but we feel we would play for Pakistan for anyone as we want to do the best for our Country.

Rick: that answer may slightly pre-empt the next question I guess :-)

Kamil Gani, Pakistan: Who do you think should be the coach of Pakistan? Is Javed Miandad a good option?

Wasim-Youhana: We have never played with Javed Bhai so dont know but we feel we need a professional coach at all levels of cricket.

Nic, Australia: For everyone, What is Pakistan's upcoming tour schedule? When will Pakistan be touring Australia again?

Wasim-Youhana: Next we go to the CW games (Pak A). Sahara for the ODI cup, then ICCKO in Dhaka while Aus is here and we play 3 tests with them, then Zim is here and hopefully we go to India for a full tour then WCup and at the moment we dont know when we go to Austraila.

Anish Aryal: What is the best innings you have witnessed in test/ODI cricket?

Wasim: The Lara innings of 375 and in OD the Ijaz innings v India.
Javed Miandads 280* in Hyd and in ODIs Saeeds 194.

farhan: What's Wasim's opinion on Aamir Sohail being dismissed in the 1996 World Cup? I mean was he right in getting Prasad angry by his actions or he shouldn't have done this kind of wrong act?

Wasim-Youhana: We think he was playing acc to the sitaution and it is part of the game to get a bowler annoyed at times as he sometimes gets angry and bowls a bad ball. Aamer was unlucky.

Saad Baqai, Pakistan: Yousuf, By which Batsman u inspired most? & are u try himself to copy the style of that Batsman?

Yousuf: I have always admired Javed Miandad and I have tried to emulate him.

Ameya Kemat: What are Pakistans chances in the Sahara Cup vs India this yr?

Wasim-Youhana: We are quite confident of winning at least four out of the five matches! :-)

Kamil Gani, Pakistan: Do you think that Pakistan loses most of the matches because of poor fielding? What steps are being taken to improve it?

Wasim-Youhana: Although fielding is a problem but we do not lose most matches because of it. Our physical fitnees needs improvement and we are in a camp where we are undergoing professional fitness improvement and next week we will be doing cricket and fielding practice too.

Rony USA: Wasim: I personally look forward to some super record breaking performances from you in the future tests. So at what position do you favor batting the most? I'd like the one down position for you!

Yes I would like to bat at Number three too! I always concentrate and try my best to not let the bowler get me out.

Kamil Gani, Pakistan: Wasim: What is his opinion of playing Rashid and Moin at the same time in eleven players squad?
I was never in the favour of two wicketkeepers and instead could play with regular five batsmen.

Abraham, England:
How do you rate Mushie v Warne v Kumble?

Wasim-Youhana: We think Mushie and Warne are both world class and Mushie has more variety than Shane but Shane has more turn. Kumble is getting better and he should get more of a record out of the sub-continent.

Kamil Gani, Pakistan: The 1999 World Cup is not that far away, certain teams have already started their preparation... how is the feeling in the Pakistan camp regards next years World Cup - any preparation yet?

Wasim-Youhana: The camp in progress is preparing for it and there are 34 probables going through intensive prep for it.

Robinson, England: Do you really think there is bribery in Cricket these days?

Wasim-Youhana: We dont think so we have not felt any such pressure. It is mostly media generated.

farhan: Have yu ever been scared facing a specific bowler specially fast bowler?

Wasim-Youhana: We do not feel scared and that is why we are playing at this level! :-)

Rick: And the final question for today:

Dale Hurman, New Zealand: Hi, I have a question: My nickname is Owl_Bloke: Question: Who do you think will will next years World Cup?

We feel obviously for Pakistan winning but South Africa also has a good chance.

Wasim-Youhana: We have about 5 mins left before we go off to the Camp! Last Q please.

Yes one more.

Kamil Gani, Pakistan: Do you see anything positive coming out of frequent leadership changes for Pakistan? I mean leadership in reference to cricket?

Wasim-Youhana: We play for Pakistan and do agree that frequent changes do not allow a team to build up. If one looks at Sri Lanka they are an example. We hope that our Captain can be stable and build up a good team.

Rick: I'd like to thank Mohammad Wasim and Yousuf Youhana once again for taking the time to talk to us today.

It was a good time we had and really enjoyed it and look forward to come again sometime. Khuda Hafiz from both of us.

Rick: Thanks to eveyrone who contributed to this Suhael for his part in organizing the interview and all our viewers with questions.

Our thanks to the Pakistan Cricket Board for making this interview possible. 

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Date-stamped : 13 Jun1998 - 18:22