Waqar Younis, former Pakistan skipper, legendary fast bowler and the current bowling coach of the national side, recalls the single greatest regret of his career which was missing out on the 1992 World Cup that Pakistan ended up winning.
The Greenshirts got off to a dreadful start but managed to revitalize their World Cup campaign in the latter half of the tournament. With invigorated spirits and resurrected morals, the 'cornered tigers' overhauled England in the final and became champions of the world.
Waqar Younis got injured merely a week before the tournament kick-started and reveals the mental and physical struggles he had to endure with the injury:
“That [tournament] was not the best time for me. I got injured. I broke my back, got a stress fracture in my back, just before the World Cup started. I was on tour, with the team, and in one of the warm-ups, I sort … something went wrong in my back, and couldn’t really walk after that World Cup for a long time.”
The 48-year old Waqar Younis stated that he was in prime form prior to the injury and was gutted that he couldn't play a part in Pakistan's road to the ultimate global glory:
“That was probably the worst time because I was [at the] top of my game, I was bowling really well. And me being in the team, Pakistan were favourites to win that World Cup. Pakistan still won the World Cup, but missing out on that glory, was probably a not-so-happy moment for me.”
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Waqar Younis then reflected upon the ecstasy that surrounded the nation when Pakistan triumphed and brought the silverware home. Waqar Younis recollected how he traveled to the airport to greet the world champions and how he himself was treated like one by players and fans alike.
“I was very, very happy,” he said. “I still remember the day they came back to Pakistan, they landed at Lahore, I was there, I was there to receive them with the chief minister of the time. It was heartening as well as heart-breaking. It was a mixed feeling, but I was more happy. They recognised me that I missed out – they lifted me up and put me up on the truck, and gave me all the respect and love that I missed out on. I was hurting, in a way, but also it was very, very pleasing.”Published 27 Jun 2020, 20:32 IST