The Pakistani cricket team of the 90s was easily one of the best teams ever. With excruciatingly fast bowlers, a world-class spinner, two hard-hitting all-rounders and batsmen with a voracious appetite for runs, few teams had the balance that the Pakistan of the 90s had.
Being an Indian cricket fan while growing up, I always wondered why didn't India have the kind of expertise that Pakistan did, for we were nations hardly a few kilometres apart. With the Kargil war and politically tensed atmospheres creating tension between the two countries, I was almost embarrassed to admit to anyone how much I loved the Pakistani team, and how I supported them when they played other nations.
Saeed Anwar was like a run-machine who never wanted to get out. Shahid Afridi, the new kid on the block, stunned the world by scoring 100* of 37 and was the best hitter of the era.
Ijaz Ahmed played classical shots and stabilized the batting at 3. Aamir Sohail and Inzamam-ul-Haq were the backbones of the batting. Abdur Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood were the hard-hitting, pace bowling all-rounders.
Moin Khan was one of the best wicketkeeper-batsmen to have played the sport and was also street-smart. Few Fast bowling trios have been as destructive as Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar. Complimenting the deadly fast bowling trio was the world's number one off-spinner then, Saqlain Mushtaq.
Here's the playing eleven of one of my favourite teams of the era, a team that could abolish any opposition on its day.
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- Saeed Anwar
- Shahid Afridi
- Ijaz Ahmed
- Aamir Sohail
- Inzamam ul Haq
- Abdur Razzaq
- Moin Khan (w)
- Wasim Akram (c)
- Saqlain Mushtaq
- Waqar Younis
- Shoaib Akhtar
These were the golden days of Pakistan cricket - from the 1992 World Cup until the 2003 World Cup - a period during which they played some great cricket, won many games, at home, away and Sharjah!