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Current Indian cricket team head coach Ravi Shastri termed former Pakistan player Imran Khan as one of the best captains and players the game has ever seen. He mentioned the same in his recently released book called ‘Stargazing: The Players In My Life’.
Imran, who is currently the Prime Minister of Pakistan, was one of the best all-rounders of his time. He had actually retired from cricket before coming back on the behest of the then President, General Zia-ul-Haq. Imran went on to lead his side to victory in the 1992 World Cup, culminating in one of the greatest sporting careers.
“Imran Khan is one of the greatest captains and players the game has seen. No rocket science is needed to understand why am I declaring him one of the greatest cricketers of all time. Why I hold this view hardly needs qualification. His records speak of itself and if at all further validation is necessary, it comes from the experience of those who played with or against him,” Shastri said.
Shastri became a big fan of Imran after watching him play in India’s tour of Pakistan back in 1978. Those were the times when the two nations engaged in bilateral series, which doesn’t happen anymore.
“I saw Imran Khan playing on the television for the first time in 1978 when the Indian cricket team visited Pakistan. When Pakistan came to India the next season, I made sure to get a place in the North Stand at the Wankhede Stadium,” he continued in his book.
“He was the best all-rounder of his time” – Ravi Shastri
Pakistan was a top team in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Much of it was due to the way Imran marshaled his troops while also contributing efficiently with both bat and ball. Shastri added that the control of swing the former Pakistan player had was quite impressive.
“Imran’s strength was his remarkable control over swing and reverse swing. The steeply curving late swingers or ‘indippers’ as they were called then, made life hellish for batsmen. His control on swing bowling had made the lives of batsmen hell.”
“He was the best all-rounder of his time. Among the four great all-rounders of that era, Imran was the best batsman, technically and temperamentally, according to the situation demanded,” Shastri concluded.
Imran played in 88 Tests and 175 ODI’s for Pakistan, picking up 362 and 182 wickets respectively.
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