ISLAMABAD           -       Former skipper Aamir Sohail believes the 1992 World Cup winning captain Imran Khan inspired the young generation to become fast bowlers, saying the Kaptaan set high standards in the game.

“Remember that 1977 Sydney Test when Imran was doing the spell with his shirt torn and when those pictures came out, it inspired the young generation,” he said this in a video on his YouTube channel.

Aamir said in the past, Pakistan had no tradition of getting fast bowlers on regular basis or in huge numbers. “Imran’s inspirational performances and his aura inspired the young generation to become fast bowlers and in 1980s, we used to get good fast bowlers,” he said. When you talk about Imran’s greatness and have to define him, he said it goes like this, “He (Imran) knew the way, he went the way and he showed the way to the youngsters.”

Aamir said Imran, who is the current Prime Minister of Pakistan, didn’t like losing as winning was everything for him. “The high standards he set, his guidance and knowledge helped the players improve their game and give out their best,” he said and added Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Aqib Javed, Atta ur Rehman were many examples, whom Imran mentored. “The results are in front of us as both Wasim and Waqar managed to pick 1700 wickets,” he said.

Aamir said besides Imran, former late Pakistani cricketer Fazal Muhammad and former pacer Sarfraz Nawaz were also greatest fast bowlers. “Pakistan was registered as a formidable Test playing nation just because of Fazal Mahmood. “I was Pakistan captain in 1998 and we were practicing at the Gaddafi Stadium when Fazal Mahmood called my name and asked for my permission to give some tips to former pacer Shoaib Akthar. I told him it will be an honour for us but he said no, you are the captain and I need your permission. Such was the discipline,” he said.

He joked with Shoaib, saying, “You would have to pay me the fees for the tips I gave you. And the fees was in taking wicket of Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar, whenever you play against him,” he said and added that Shoaib did take his wicket in the Test in India on the famous yorker.

About Sarfraz, Aamir said that he was a brilliant exponent of reverse swing. “In the March 1979 Test at Melbourne, Sarfraz’ bowled brilliantly, when Australia were 305/3 and he took 7/4 in 33 balls (3 of these runs came in no-balls) and dismissed Australia for 310 to give Pakistan a surprise 71 run victory,” he recalled and added that Sarfraz imparted the skills to Imran. “When Imran’s pace and the reverse swing combined, this combination mesmerized many batsmen in the world,” he added.