I am not surprised that the architect of Pakistan’s victory in the thrilling T-20 match last night is the most under utilized player in it’s cricket history: Abdul Razzaq. Just imagine that your position is not guaranteed in the team, you are put so down the order that you hardly get a chance to bat and then you are not given the chance to bowl either. Now how comfortable you would be if, later at the death, you are asked to bowl the last over and then asked to go out to bat. But then not every one is Abdul Razzaq.
This is the same guy who, against South Africa in UAE, did not play one of the greatest but The Greatest one-day international innings ever. He made 109 runs off just 71 balls in a 1 wicket chase when wickets around him were falling like autumn leaves. In all he hit full strength South African attack 10 sixes and scored 67 of the last 70 runs needed.
And this was not a by chance performance. After Inzimam he has been the biggest consistent match winner Pakistan has produced in shorter forms of the game since the late 90s.
Despite being in and out of the team for so many years he has performed whenever given a chance. At the Oval against England in 2010, he first made 31 off just 24 balls and then took two wickets to help Pakistan win by 23 runs. At Lord’s, he made 44 off just 20 balls near the end of Pakistan’s innings to give Pakistan a much higher total than was anticipated. Pakistan won by 38 runs. Then in the Christchurch T20 against New Zealand, he scored 34 runs off 11 balls and took three wickets to guide Pakistan to a 103 runs victory.
These are just recent performances. Here is something out of this world, from good old days, to refresh our memories
He has been a better all-rounder than Shahid Afridi not to take anything away from the later either. I still wish to this date that he should have been given the chance to bowl the last over in the T-20 world cup semi-final against Australia. Somehow I believe the result would have been different.
And performance is not the biggest reason I admire him the most. His biggest quality is his gentleness and sense of calmness that is unique as a unicorn in Pakistan. Have you ever noticed how he celebrates after taking a wicket or hitting winning runs? There has never been a bad gesture or foul language involved.
Pakistan cricket has seen ups and downs that would register 10 on a Richter scale. When no one from uncontrollable Shoaib Akhtar to the preacher Muhammad Yousaf was free from controversy this is the only guy who kept himself away from every single drama. His down to earth nature and a smile on his face under all circumstances makes him a martian in Pakistan cricket team.
Unfortunately Razzaq has never been appointed as the captain of our cricket team. The sport he plays so well is known as the gentleman’s game. If ever there is a Gentlemen Eleven he sure would be the captain.