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The Rediff Cricket Diary/Faisal Shariff in Multan

March 30, 2004

Irfan Pathan has requested for a meeting with former Pakistan skipper Imran Khan. The young fast bowler wants to discuss his bowling with the legendary pace bowler.

There was a hue and cay in Pakistan recently after Wasim Akram spent time with India's young pace bowlers who were on their first tour of Australia.

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Pakistan coach Javed Miandad criticized the left-arm fast bowler, saying he should be helping the young Pakistani bowlers instead of passing on his art across the border.

Imran told he is more than willing to meet with Pathan and help him with his bowling.

"He just wants to talk to me and I will be happy to teach him anything that he would like to learn. I have no worries about being criticized by anyone," he said.

He was, of course, referring to the criticism that Miandad levied on Akram.

Irfan also said he is keen on meeting Imran and learning whatever he can from the legend.

India's media manager Amrit Mathur confirmed the meeting would take place


Curator Atkinson reprimanded

Minutes after lunch on day two of the Multan Test, English curator Andy Atkinson was summoned to the Pakistan dressing room along with local curator Agha Zahid. The two were reprimanded and asked to explain the docile nature of the wicket. Atkinson said he was instructed by the Pakistan team to shave the grass off.

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq and coach Javed Miandad denied having influenced the
curator, but Zahid confirmed that Yousuf Youhana had issued instructions to do shave the grass off the wicket.

Probably, Youhana's bad form with the bat had something to do with the decision.


More than cricket

The India-Pakistan series has generated huge interest not only in cricket-playing nations but also in countries like China and the United States.

While a top Chinese news agency sent their reporter to cover two one-day games
in Lahore, Sports Illustrated have sent their senior cricket writer for two weeks to Pakistan to do a piece on the historic series.

After GQ sent one of their most celebrated writers, Jim Lewis, to cover the tour,
SI sent Scott L Price to do a 10-page special on the series.

Price is excited to be in Pakistan. On day one of the ongoing Test he commented that Virender Sehwag should probably try his hand at baseball.

After watching him get to his triple century, he remarked, "I have a feeling that Sehwag should probably stay where he is. He doesn't seem to be in any kind of need of moving to the US. You do this in rugby and American football; also volleyball players check if they can make a transition in basketball for example.

"I would however love to see somebody like Shoaib Akhtar trying to take the mouth of the New York Yankees. I think he will find it more difficult than he imagines, but it would be interesting!"

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