Rediff Logo World Cup 99
April 6, 1999

The Wasim Akram interview

subramani: I really appreciate for the courage that Akram has. I want to appreciate him for the openness towards the Indian team. I really like him. Even I believe that Indians can do better than the other teams in the world, it is not that I am an Indian but I love my own people. What Akram said is true sachin can be master but what I think is that all the Indian crickers are masters in their way, so it is good to put all the efforts, mind, soul and spirit for world cup and they will definitely win the match against anyone whom they play. As a Indian I will be very glad and happy to say to others. This has been there for long time in my mind, but it is the right time I could able to reveal it. As a Indian I WISH ALL THE BEST FOR THEIR MATCH IN THE WORLD CUP.

ganesh: Akram is quite apt in describing the Indian team's attitude, but he is wrong in saying that they try whole-heartedly. It was never like that. For Indian team, neither victory nor defeat matters. Everything is same as long as their place in the squad is assured. Otherwise there is no way in which one can explain the way Dravid & Robin Singh batted in the first league match against Pakistan.
And hope akram proves right in his prediction that the favourites won't win the cup. India doesn't figure in his list of favourites.

surendra shahi: I think he has been very honest in his interview and I sincerely hope he was honest on answering the matchfixing question you asked. He is such a wonderful player that one has to forget about what country he belongs to and appreciate what contribution he has made to the game as such. It would really be sad if he was part of matchfixing and will go down in the history without the respect his talent otherwise deserves.

Deepak Sharma: Nice to read this interview. How about interviewing Azhar/ Sachin also?

philip ratnam: Akram is a wonderful person. His views are just very very straight and honest. No bias absolutely which is very rare especially when one from Pakistan or India has to comment on the others. He has won my heart. Everytime I hear him speak I start appreciating his fairness of speech.

rjohar: Wasim is one of the best all rounder. He speaks so frank which hardly any other Pakistani player spoke before. His dedication to any match which he plays always shown on his face. He is a great bowler. I do regard him in a same manner the way I have regard for Gavasker, Kapil and Imran.
May god bless him always...He should make his team like him this is my wish.

G Saxena: The comment for indian team is perfect. They always have this feeling that no problem we lost. That should not be the attitude. One teal loses always. Not why India always. Seems Indian players are not mentally strong and have confidence in them that they can defeat other team especially Pak.

agnelo Joseph: Good interview! i think when one says it is true to the characters but in case of India it is a fact. Akram very sporting at the same time aggressive that is the reason for his and the team success, I wish indians too start thinking in those lines

kunal: well although i agree with his comments on india i think he is being hypocritical on the bribery scandal because most of the people beleive he is involved

Nikhil Shah: I expected him to talk about India and it's weakness.Part of a concerted attempt to weaken the psyche of the indian team before the world cup.

ginger spice: He is very positive in his approach. I think that is the reason why Pakistan is doing so well and has made it to the finals and also won them. Motivation and encouragement has resulted into the team showing an all round performance.

Sandeepkumar Jain: Superb.

Sameer Chivate: "Aisa hai ke aap log bade mellow se log ho (Indian players are too mellow). Koshish puri karte hai (They try whole heartedly), but if they lose they say never mind, we will try again tomorrow. 'Chalo yaar koi baat nahi' (No problem). Lekin hamare yahan 'chalo yaar nahin hota hai' (But we can't take it easy). Hame to jeeetna hota hai (We have to win), victory is important."
Wasim bhai, you have hit the nail on its head!! Will the esteemed coaches (both, full-time as well as consulting) take any cue from this?

Ravi: Guys, he's right.
Mellow as in spineless,weak-kneed.
Jadeja yaar, are you listening. Show him in the Sharjah finals. Jai Hind !!

Mandar Lele: I think whatever facts he has give about Indian team, are very close to reality. This shows how good captain he ( Wasim Akram )is, he has done complete homework and knows about the opponents pretty well. Well said Akram. We have lot to learn from it.

prakash: Just wondering why ask so many Indian team specific questions to Akram???

manoj laddha: Whatever Akram has said is absolutely true.He is a guy who knows cricket. Regarding indian team what he has said is correct. One must play match to win not to think that we may lose. Because if you think you lose you have lost.

pratik vaishnav: it is good. akram is right about india. what our team needs is psychotherapy, when they play pakistan.
look, they performed superbly against england, and england did beat pakistan. same thing in pepsi cup. we beat srilanka twice and even srilanka beat pakistan. but when w played pakistan, things went wrong, as usual. on the contrary, if srilanka or england were in the finals. they would have given pakistan, a run for their money, and would have also beat them.
so it it true. india needs to believe in themselves. and they have also to find out a solution to face shoaib akhtar by some innovative batting. perhaps kambli should be made to open and asked to go after akhtar.

Tarun Seam: I am impressed with Akram's plain speak and quite confidence. He hit the nail on the head by contrasting the cultural divide between the Indian and Pakistani teams. Pak enters the competition saying that they cannot afford to lose. They hate those brickbats back home, should they lose. Indians, on the other hand, are more fatalist and give up easily. Or, as Akram put it: "..Indian players are too mellow".

Mok: : Xactly,god wish this guy had an indian contemprary it's exactly what he says,the problems with indian team.

M Kishore Kumar: Wasim said it right! It is all in the attitude! I felt that he gave a very frank and clear third person's view about the Indian team. All his answers are honest. The guy seems to have matured a lot!

Chinmaya Pande: Wasim Akram is correct in saying that Indians are mellow. He should have added 'defeatist', 'pathetic' and 'poor losers' as well. That just about sums up our heroes. On the positive side though, Jadeja's captaincy seems inspiring and may be a much needed change at the top. With Azhar, he has just followed one plan all through his career, that of allowing his players to do exactly as they please, never guiding them. With an innocent philosophy which went, 'at-this-level-they-know-what-to-do', he has allowed things to drift.
With Jadeja at the helm, things have looked different. The Indians need to take Akram's comments to heart and prove him wrong in England. That would be a fitting reply.

Shielesh Damle: The interviewer made a blunder in this he had no business to ask Wasim Akram about India's chances in World Cup and his opinion about Sachin Tendulkar so on. No one should forget Wasim is from enemy counrty.

Sudhin Bhobe: Wasim has hit the nail on the head. We Indians are too 'mellow'. Until and unless we get the "Chaltha hai" and "Hotha hai" and "koi baath nahin" out of our bloodstream we will never win another world cup ever.
We are a complacent lot. And we believe we are indispensible(Dunno if I got that spelling right) We had better realise that WE DONT WIN SILVERS AND BRONZES BUT WE LOSE GOLD!

Mathew Thomas: I liked the "mellow" portion of the reply. I am an Indian and am in complete agreement with that. The spirit of going out to win and working hard on the field upto the last ball is missing. Half-way through they accept defeat and then carry on hoping tomorrow will be a better day. This way wel will lose for ever waiting for tomorrows better match. And yes we depend on poor Sachin too much.

Santhosh Raghunath: Hi,
I strongly agree with what Akram mentioned in the reply to the last query - "We have to win, victory is important". If the Indian team picks up this hunger for victory every time, I think we can win most of our matches.
Come on boys - be more aggressive. We are with you.

R. Babu: Pakistanis are born cheats ! They win, but use dubious means. Thats why they are a laughing stock of world circket despite their seemingly stupendous performances.

Suddha: Pretty good and casual interview.
I always thought that wasim is gem of a captain. I think India needs an inspiring captain like him. After India, I am going to support Pakistan and hope they do well - ONLY becuse of wasim.

Aravind Seshagiri: I totally agree with Wasim that Indians are very very mellow and lack killer instinct like the pakistani team has.
They have this Chalo yaar kal dek lethe hai attitude...
I think, they need to think better than the pakistanis and say, we are the champs and we will win every match, no matter it is world cup or a benefit match!!!!

Anand Karyekar: Yeah, the closing statements by Wasim are absolutely true. Thats the attitudinal difference between Indians and Pakistanis (not only in cricket but in everything)
We can put our heart and soul in the game but once its over we accept the result readily. 'Chalo yaar' is the actual problem. We just cannot put the defeat back each time -- as reiterated by the coach and Captain again and again. Each and every defeat should hurt !!!
I think, we are trying too much to be professional (in the sense like the Ausies and the Proteas) but we should realize that we cannot be like them (atleast in near future) Our forte is determination, raw talent and emotion that pumps up our performance. (for that matter thats the case with all the sub-continent teams).

Funny_Indian: A provocative insight by Akram... Indians sometimes are really mellow. But I am not sure which attitude is better - the killer or the mellow one. I guess I am proud to be mellow... after all I have the weight of a *real* culture behind me to account to and not just religious fanaticism.

Ashish: This last statement is just to demoralize the Indian camp. It is afterall a game which has its wins and losses. And that is exactly what Akram was saying after Paks WC96 loss to India when a hostile Paki crowd gave him hell.
Pakistan's raison d'etre of existence lies in comparing itself to India. So Indo-Pak matches are played out with a passion of higher intensity. I watch matches with Pakis and realize this too. However, would you rather create players who simply crib when given out, curse incessantly recalling mothers and sisters of the world, argue and fight with umpires, lose and say it was the ball-they-gave-us-a-new -ball, it was the umpire, or like today take a catch in the outfield and kick the boundary line without even mentioning that to the umpire.
NO THANKS !! Winning is important, but not that important. Pakistans intensity is seen only against India. Look at the record and see how unpredictable they get against others. India has had a great 1998, 1999 has seen a downswing since the recent losses to Pakistan. THe team, however, has a lot of problems, although none come from being too mellow. Maybe the captain is mellow and needs to win more badly. THe players are all fired up and you can see it in their body language.

Rishi Rangarajan: : Hi there,
After having red this interview, I whole heartedly think such a great player(Wasim Akram) will never ever indulge in math-fixing.
I loved it especially what he said about the english and australia players on ball tampering.
I wish Akram and Pakistan all the best in the worldcup. Thanks.

Girish: It was a nice interview and the last Answer wasim Akram gave was the most succinct way of putting the whole Indo-Pak psychology no wonder Pakistan is a much better team.

charanjeet: very honest interview , i am akram's fan already and now i know THIS GUY IS VERY NICE!!

ashish nabar: Wasim has given a very honest opinion about India. That was very nice of him. But I think this article, especially the part about Indian being mellow, should be put up in the India dressing room. At least that will fire them up to win. Lets go India!!! Lets prove him wrong!!!

azhar: Please take me in the team

sameer mohan: A very nicely taken interview which shows the true state of cricket in the subcontinent.

Satish KARRU: Hi All
Wasim says all about the indian team in one last sentence. We say chalta hai. It is high time the team and others realised chalta hai is not really chalta hai.
That attitude is the only difference between Winners and Indians. Seeing this attitude and the crickets influence on the youth of this country, we should remove that phrase from our dictionaries.

Vasu Aourpally: Simply great. But I suppose this is taken long time back.

Hansal Mehta: Mr. Akram don't get so overconfident...I've said earlier in one of the forums (oddly it never got published, but that's another story !)that all this hoopla about Pakistan peaking at the right time is all baloney...When it comes to the crunch they are going to crumble. Their trump card Shoaib Akhtar is bowling too flat out and is peaking too early. Akram and Saqlain are their real trump cards - anywhere, anytime. Their batting will be very suspect in England, mark my words. I would like to see their top-scorers barring Inzamam and perhaps Saeed Anwar batting with comfort against the swinging ball. So Mr. Akram please don't count your chickens too early. And don't dismiss India. These are early days and as they say "In cricket anything can happen!". Anyway, whatever happens in the world cup I must say that Wasim Akram is a champion cricketer and it's always been a treat to watch him perform as bowler, batsman and captain - a cricketer who gives 1000%.

Sivakumar: This interview was very good. I really appriciate the reply to the last question about Indian team. It is true also.

N L Sai: I think Wasim summed up quite aptly about the way Indian team takes defeats. Perhaps that is the prominent difference between the two sides. Pakis are prepared to die in their efforts whereas Indian team "tries".

samir: Dear sir,
I like this interview. From that i like the most is last statement about India. As I am Indian this is 100% true what he said.
look the speech of , when we lost the game, of captain Azhar and Gaikwad. they only give excuse and foget what we did. Thats not the right thing. It hurts when others say and we do not do anything about that. Jai hind.

M Paramasivam: Wasim says (at two different places) that "The side that will win the World Cup will have to bat the 50 overs" however the headline reads "The team that bats the 50 overs will win the cup". Something quite different.

Santhosh Krishna: Akram, is right.. Indian players doesn't have the instinct which the pakistani players have. See the statement " The people feel that we lost after fighting" , that is what should be done. The indian players play safely...

C.V.Kannan: The Last question/answer sums up everything quiet aptly. The day Indian players go out with the determination to WIN there will be a big difference. As for the favourites, I still would add INDIA to the list & at the TOP.

Mallik: It was a nice interview.

Ravinder Reddy: Wasim Akram looked very frank. His comments about Indian team are very accurate.

Anjireddy: Wonderful Interview.
The way you are asking about india is Awesome.
Anji Reddy

Mehul Shah: Let Azhar and Indian team read the last reply of Wasim.

Ketan : Boy Akram got the MELLOW part right about our boys, say have an idea, can we hire him for getting our boys adrenalin pumpin ???

Sandeep Kadam: Wasim Akram, this guy is proved to be a best bowler in the world for a long time now. He has a very good understanding of Cricket world and definitely he has very good KILLER INSTINCT. Whatever he said about INDIAs chances in World Cup is absolutely correct. Indians should read his interview and specially his answer to the last question .... "Aisa hai ke aap log bade mellow se log ho (Indian players are too mellow). Koshish puri karte hai (They try whole heartedly), but if they lose they say never mind, we will try again tomorrow. 'Chalo yaar koi baat nahi' (No problem). Lekin hamare yahan 'chalo yaar nahin hota hai' (But we can't take it easy). Hame to jeeetna hota hai (We have to win), victory is important. "
Our captain can learn many things from this guy.

naveen tandon: good interview guys has to be since it is cricket though i gotta check out part one.

naresh: Awesome .. great questions

sarkar: Wasim, hit the nail on the head with that last answer. Basically what he said is a polite way of saying that Indians have no shame. They don't care about winning as much as they should.

jagan: Kudos to Wasim for transforming an ordinary side to world beaters. One to One, India is atleast as good as Pakis or even better. We need to learn a lot from Pakistan, particularly how to believe in oneself and the killer instinct too.
But honestly i don't think Pakistan, India and Srilanka would not be a great force in English conditions. Infact Pakistan batting is more vulnerable than Indias. Remember it is just matter of time before we get back the form whhen Sachin joins the team. He is one person who can win the cup single handedly for India.
Well good luck to Pakistan and India. Their rivalry is a blessing in disguise to motivate the teams to deliver better.

Agarlic: Pakistan have a very talented side and are hot favourites for the World Cup. But my favourites are South Africa. The team which keeps it's nerves under any situation whatsoever can win the World Cup and I feel South Africa is best equpped for that. Pakistan is a very talented team but they are very unpredicatable. They have talented batsmen but as always, their aggressive style of batting might lead to disarray on English pitches. One thing the Pakistani team should keep in mind is that should not consider themselves great by beating India. India is not a team but a one man - show. You get that man out and you have won the match. The rest ten guys are nowhere near his greatness and team spirit.
Players in Pakistani team like Anwar, Ejaz and Afridi may make mincemeat of the Indian attack but at the same time are very vulnerable and can collapse like a pack of cards in England. Shoaib Akhtar is deadly fast and could be whacked all over in the first fifteen overs given his fearsome pace.
I once again emphasize that beating India is a very false indication of being a good team. They have number of shotcomings like fielding, catching etc. But the important thing is they have got die-hard players, coaches and above all dedicated professionals. Mind you, Javed Miandad was a crafsman and the Pakistani team does inherit many of his qualities. On the contrary , look at India's selectors and coaches. Our selectors are those who might never have picked up a cricket bat in their lives and are out to select a cricket team.
Our coach sits like a donkey in the dressing room with his hand on his cheeks. Our players have more time in giving ads rather than playing and practising. Mind you , if there is a cash award of thousand dollars for hitting sixes or a car as tournament prize, you will always find an Indian player bagging the award. The other team takes the cup always. Please be rest assured that Indian team means minus Sachin Tendulkar.

ramprasad: Should have asked "who among the fast bowlers does he think will do well in england and why?"

Uday: I have always enjoyed Akram. I think he is one of the most awesome bowlers to watch. this interview has helped me appreciate the professional behind the fearsome bowler.

afrasiyab: I think he is right. The strategy of hitting out in the first 15 overs will not work in England. Also, the middle order of this team puts the fear of God where it belongs in me. Salim Malik is the right choice over Yousuf Youhana for the middle order. Not too sure about Waqar though. I think he should be sent to England while the team is in Sharjah so he could adjust to the conditions over there.

Shahid Faruqui: Excellent Interview. I am a proud Pakistani But for obvious reasons I Go to Rediff 2nd or 3rd thing in the Morning. Thanks a lot and and keep up the good work.
Shahid Faruqui
Detroit, Michigan

shamir ahmed: Probably might be true

Vipul Purohit: Wasim,
You are the most dynamic , wonderful and performing captain in the world. Your attitude is your +point. You can also be called the CEO of your team because most Executives will love to mobilise their teams like you do. Azhar needs to learn a lot from you though I feel Jadeja is closer and is a much better captain.
All the best for the World cup.
P.S : I hate Shoaib Akhtar for his performance and for beating the pulp out of the Indian side's confidence . He is your most prized trophy.

Omar Farooq: Wasim Akram is without doubt one of the best bowlers in the international arena and Pakistan under him are favorites to win the World cup !

Anil Wadhwani: Every one is saying things like:
1. Any team that survives 50 overs will win - wasim.
2. 225 runs will be the winning score.
3. Teams will go slow in the first few overs.
I will bet that the winning teams will be playing with 300+ target, including Wasim.

Mallik Bulusu: Pakistan is a different team now.

Mallik Bulusu: It is really amazing to see how pakistan resurrected in last couple of months.

Steve: : Good luck Wasim

Raghu.Rao: Playing against India and winning matches does not give Pakistan any chance of winning the world cup. For India its psycological battle playing against pakistan. In the recent month pak had not played great deal of cricket out side sub-continent. Let us see how they perform against good team like australia and south africa.

shawarma: wasim, First and foremost Indians are without their star bastman Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. He will decided in the coming months who really controls your destiny.

Kaushik Banerjee: Why does India and Pakistan always rely on a star system ? If oen or two top players fail the rest of the team folds. Can India or Pakistan ever be like Australia or South Africa - a consistent performer ?

Sameer Amte: Hello Wasim
As an opposition team for india, where do u think india lacks? Or why do u think India is not able to do well against your side. Do u think the Sachin factor is just too much for India to part with?

Srinivas: Hi,
Wasim Akram might be a great cricketer and a good captain, but when he couldn't appreciate the opponents when they lost the game, he is not a good sportsman. He didn't even give credit to India, (QF, WC-96). The only reason for the loss was the bad batting its seems. He forgot the thrashing Waqar got from Jadeja, arrogance and taunting of Sohail etc. I used to like that guy before, not anymore..

rajagopal: good interview.clear in his thinking.I agree with wasim that playing 50 overs is crucial for winning.