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Waqar amused at English reversal

August 20, 2005 19:27 IST

Former Pakistan captain is amused at the glorification of reverse swing by the England bowlers by the media and their ex-players in the on going Ashes series, where the pace duo of Andrew Flintofff and Simon Jones have worked wonders with the old ball to send the Australians scrambling for answers.

Waqar Younis"It is being given a new name now. When we bowled it (during the 1992 tour of England), it was called ball tampering. Now that they have somebody to do it, bowlers like Flintoff and Jones, they are coming up with new words to glorify it."

Waqar stopped short of saying that England must apologise for the 1992 episode but added that they must realise their mistake.

"One should go back to 1992, what we bowled was not scratching or ball tampering. It's a long time now, as long as they realise their mistake, that is the apology."

The fast bowler, famous in his playing days for toe-crushing yorkers, also said that the International Cricket Council may have acted in haste to accord official status to the Afro-Asian Cup, being played in South Africa.

He had "mixed" feelings about this concept of pitting continents against each other.

"Playing for your country and playing for a continent -- these are two entirely different scenarios. The players are relaxed and laidback in tournaments like this (Afro-Asian Cup)," he said in New Delhi on Saturday.

The inaugural edition of the Cup, comprising three one-day internationals, seems to have few takers as the first match was played out before empty stands in Centurion.

Some of the participating players, like Jacques Kallis, have also questioned its official status.

Waqar, who has been roped in by Zee Sports in its expert panel for the Afro-Asian Cup, said the concept might pick up slowly but the ICC would have to really work things out.

"There's not been much crowd. But since it is an international match, one will see the difference in players' approach as the two other matches are played.

"Also, the ICC will have to sit down and think how they will work out things. It is going to be a huge problem, how are they going to put down the records and all."

However, he saw a better future for the Cup, saying once it was staged in countries like India and Pakistan, it was bound to be a hit.

Asked about Indian cricket's fortunes, Waqar, one of the exponents of reverse swing, said the problem in India was that "you make cricketers bigger than cricket."

"So much is put in their heads... but the cricketers must realise that once he has done the part and is no longer good enough, he must give the youngsters a chance.

"But I don't see this happening in the Indian side, they have scored 10,000 runs but is it good enough?" he asked without specifically naming anyone.

Citing England and Pakistan, he said there were the teams which had given youngsters a chance and as a result were now much improved outfits.

"There are fresh legs in England and Pakistani sides. Pakistan did struggle for about a year but one can see the results now."

Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

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