Waqar Younis, the legendary Pakistan pacer, has spoken of the one moment in his career that he still is regretful about – missing the 1992 World Cup through injury.
Pakistan famously won their maiden World Cup in 1992, riding on the ‘Cornered Tigers’ mantra to come back from a poor start in the tournament to beat England in the final, with Wasim Akram, the other half of Pakistan’s pace duo of the Nineties, starring in the final.
Younis would have been there had it not been for an injury in a warm-up, sustained a week before the tournament. “That [tournament] was not the best time for me,” Younis told the Cricket Badger Podcast. “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.
“We hated each other so much that we were not even on talking terms both on and off the field.”
Wasim Akram speaking about Waqar Younis in 2007.https://t.co/knSnkCwdX7
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) May 23, 2020
“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.”
It was a bittersweet moment for Younis when Pakistan eventually won, and despite his team-mates best efforts to be considerate on their return home, Younis was still hurting at times. “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.”