Intikhab Alam, who achieved the feat of having an undefeated England tour as a captain in 1974 claimed that England tour is always tough and playing on the English shore is always special.
“Without doubt playing conditions in England are different from many others countries; the pitches are rather on lower side and ball does seam and swing a lot as and when the climate changes,” Intikhab told Dawn News.
The 74-year old former leg-spinning allrounder, who is the first Pakistani to take a wicket on the first delivery of his test career, said that it requires a solid technique to survive and do well in English conditions, “To play under such conditions you require solid technique and good temperament. Otherwise it is extremely difficult for anyone to cope. Adjustment is the key. From my experience of having played in England all those years back, it depends how quickly the players get used to the environment.”
Intikhab Alam recalls his memorable moment and one of the highlights of his captaincy tenure, “No doubt Pakistan’s 1974 tour of England was the most memorable and satisfying for me as a captain. We were just the second side after Don Bradman’s 1948 team to go through an England tour without losing a match.”
“To be quite honest, I never expected that to happen when we arrived in England. I would like to congratulate every member of that squad for the type of attractive and tremendous cricket we played together. As a captain, I was simply over the moon! It was indeed the most memorable tour of my career,” he added.
Alam believes that county cricket played a huge role in having a successful tour of England, getting familiar to the tough English conditions is absolutely necessary.
He told “Definitely, that was a big plus point. It was a great advantage to have around 10 of us playing in England for different counties. Asif Iqbal was with Kent, Majid [Khan] was playing for Glamorgan, Zaheer [Abbas] and Sadiq [Mohammad] were at Gloucestershire, Mushtaq [Mohammad] and Sarfraz [Nawaz] turned out for Northamptonshire, while Imran Khan played for Oxford University [before joning Sussex]. It did help us in every sense.”
Intikhab Alam has named the veteran duo of Younis Khan and Misbah Ul Haq as the key for Pakistan’s success for the upcoming tour England tour.
“Both of them have done a wonderful job for the country and are still going strong. It will be difficult to compare Younis and Misbah with players of the past because they played in different eras but both of them have done fantastic job for Pakistan,” said Intikhab.