Memories of that un-forgetful last-ball six off Indian speedster Chetan Sharma by Javed Miandad, which gave Pakistan a miraculous win against India in the Australiasia Cup in 1986 at Sharjha, came floating in the air as India and Pakistan resume their rivalry on cricket tomorrow in Mumbai with a T20 match.
Cricketing legends Sunil Gavaskar and Imran Khan fondly remember some eventful days shared with Miandad, one of the greatest batsmen produced by Pakistan ahead of the ODI series between the two arch rivals this week.
“I used to run to the third man to field to take off pressure (generated by Miandad’s sledging during matches),” Imran told a TV news channel along with Sunil Gavaskar, recalling the famous 1987 Bangalore Test between India and Pakistan when Miandad had engaged in sledging while Gavaskar was batting.
Gavaskar too recounted the events of that historic day when Pakistan defeated India in that match and it was Gavaskar’s last match. The living legend scored 96 on a treacherous wicket and India had a chance to win till Gavaskar was on the crease.
“I was batting in the Bangalore Test. We lost the game and we went to the dressing room of the Pakistani players to congratulate them. Javed Miandad saw me, and came to me saying sorry Sunny bhai for sledging you.
“I told him I did not hear you as I was focused on my batting. But Javed said, ‘I stood near you, and sledged you. Didn’t you hear’. I (Gavaskar) told him that I thought you were telling to Salim Malik. Then Javed said arreh! khali-pili sorry boldiya (why did I tell sorry unnecessarily).”
Lauding Javed for being the only player during his time to talk back to fast bowlers during verbal duel, Gavaskar shared another interesting episode between Javed and Australian fast bowler Merv Hughes.
“I remember one incident during Australia and Pakistan Test. Merv Hughes was to bowl to Javed, who went up to Merv and said ‘you are nothing but a bus conductor, just a bus conductor’.
“Eventually Hughes bowled Javed. And when Javed was returning to pavilion, Hughes walked up to him and said take tickets, take tickets,” Gavaskar narrated as both Imran and the little masters were in splits.