Razzaq, the forgotten hero!

In the euphoria of win, not a word was mentioned about about the man who probably played the biggest role in securing Pakistan's first world T20 title.

updated: June 22, 2009 10:41 IST
  • Total Shares


Ajantha Mendis was questioned. Shahid Afridi was praised. Mahela Jayawardene's form caused consternation. All these and not a word in the post-match press conference about the man who probably played the biggest role in securing Pakistan's first world title after 17 years.

But then all this is nothing new to Abdul Razzaq. When Pakistan beat India in the Karachi Test of the 2005-2006 series, Irfan Pathan's hat-trick for a losing cause was bemoaned, Mohammad Asif's newly showcased ability was praised and Kamran Akmal was hailed as the hero of the triumph.

Nobody mentioned and not many remembered that Razzaq not only scored 45 and 90 but also took seven wickets in the Test.

The same appeared to be the case at the Lord's on Sunday. Razzaq took a wicket each in his first three overs, including scalps of two cricketers as eminent as Sanath Jayasuriya and Mahela Jayawardene and almost single-handedly made Sri Lanka slip to 36 for four and lose the plot.

Yet, in the euphoria of victory, Razzaq was in nobody's mind.

Yet no side is ever happy missing out on a talent like him. When Yaser Arafat was injured in early days of the World Twenty20, Abdul Razzaq was approved as his replacement by the International Cricket Council (ICC) around the time the league matches of the tournament were coming to an end.
The return of Razzaq was no less fortuitous. He had just made a plea to be accepted as part of the establishment after suffering two years in banishment for joining the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Once the establishment offered cricketers the option to leave the 'rebel' league and join the mainstream, Razzaq was the first one to jump the gun.

It paid off handsomely too as he was quickly drafted into Pakistan's Twenty20 cricket team and became the first ICL player to be back in official sanctuary.

Interestingly, Razzaq played just four matches and took five wickets, three of them in the final. But nobody ought to view him as a failure.

It would be a narrow view for the man who has an impressive average of 14.80 and his economy of 5.92 runs is outstanding too. He grabbed a wicket off his fourth delivery on return and another in his third over to reduce New Zealand to 3 for 37 in a Super Eight match.

It is a delicious situation that Razzaq, who first announced his arrival on to the big stage in the 1999 World Cup in England with a clutch of wickets and handy runs, is back at the same stage to win a long coveted title for his country and mark a resumption of his own roller-coaster career.