Regarded as one of the finest cricketers produced by Pakistan, Javed Miandad was born on 12 June 1957. He played for over 21 glorious years for his country and helped Pakistan win their only ODI World Cup in 1992.
His last-ball six against Chetan Sharma at Sharjah helped Pakistan triumph over India in the 1986 Asia Cup, thus making him a household name in his country. The right-handed batsman is ranked 44th among the best cricketers of all time by ESPN.
Hailing from a family of cricketers, it was not unexpected when Javed started playing first class cricket at the age of 16. He began playing for Karachi Whites in the 1973-74 season. He marked his arrival in style, weaving a fifty with his bat in the very first match.
The rest of the season was uneventful for the maestro and he was troubled by the likes of Ijaz Faqih, Abdur Raqib and Jamal Alvi.
When the 1974-75 season ended, selectors were forced to include Javed in the national side following his phenomenal performance of 947 runs in 12 matches at an average of 47.35, which included a mammoth 311 in the Kardar Summer Shield.
Following an impressive domestic season, Javed Miandad was included in the World Cup squad and was hailed as the ‘the find of the decade. He made his ODI debut in 1975 against West Indies at the age of 17. He scored 24 runs in the match and performed averagely in the rest of the World Cup. However, his vast potential kept him in the side after the World Cup as well.
Javed Miandad’s Test debut is a different story altogether. A 19-year old Miandad scored a blazing 163 against New Zealand and made the record of becoming the youngest player to score a century on debut.
In the third match of the same series, he hammered a double century, again becoming the youngest player to do so. With these spectacular performances, he cemented his spot in the team.
Rise to Glory
In the years after his debut, Javed churned out many incredible innings, breaking records as they came. He completed 1000 runs in Test cricketer at the age of 21, becoming the second youngest to do so. It is said that he saved his best for India and his umpteen match winning innings are a proof of that.
He scored a 154 in his first match against India in 1978 and followed it with another century in the series. He averaged a whopping 178.5 in five innings.
The early eighties saw him being handed the onus of captaincy at the age of 22. However, the responsibility was soon taken off his shoulders.
Another of his memorable series against India was the home series in 1982, where Javed blasted his way to a jaw dropping 280 not out, his highest test score.
The bat was not his only weapon however as he was also infamous for his verbal volleys. It is believed he told the New Zealand players to ‘have a nice day’ after he bludgeoned the bowlers to score 271 in the 1988 away series.
Amidst age and back problems, Javed carried his team to their first ever World Cup win in 1992 by scoring six half centuries. He ended the tournament with 437 runs at an average of 62.
Javed Miandad is only the second player after Sachin Tendulkar to have appeared in six World Cups. His name is registered in the Hall of Fame at the Lord’s and was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1982.
The early nineties had started to wear out the maestro and he was only a shadow of himself in the few matches he played. He tried to comeback in the 1996 World Cup but his attempts were futile.
Losing his touch in the 1990s, Miandad retired from test cricket in 1990. He hung around in ODI cricket to play his 6th World Cup in 1996, but retired after that.