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‘When I saw team coming out with the trophy I broke down’: Waqar recalls 1992 WC | Cricket

Every athlete dreams of representing the nation at the highest stage. For cricketers, it is the World Cup. Back in 1992, Waqar Younis was already a bowling sensation with his exploits in both the formats. He was slated to travel to Australia for the biggest event of his career, the ODI World Cup, under the captaincy of Imran Khan. But a stress fracture in his back, robbed him of the opportunity. 30 years on, he still recalls it as the “biggest hiccup” in his career, but admitted that he still feels part of the squad.

Speaking on A Sports ahead of incumbent Pakistan side’s T20 World Cup final against England at the MCG, a script that is the most mysterious way coincided with Pakistan’s 1992 World Cup campaign, Waqar recalled how the nation had celebrated the big occasion. He also revealed that he was left in tears watching the team hold the World Cup trophy as they walked out of the airport gate, before he too was included in the victory parade through the streets of Lahore.

“Despite being out of the squad, I cherish and own that I was part of 1992 World Cup. I came back from the tour with the injury and they came back as champions, the ambience that was there I have never seen that in my life. When they had arrived I was invited to receive them. It was a big hiccup for me at that time because I didn’t expect that and then it happened while on the tour and there wasn’t much of expectation from that team but they went all the way to win the World Cup,” he said.

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“Then when I went there, I still remember those days things were a lot easier back then, they had opened the airport gates who people were actually on the runway. I was standing on the staircase with then Prime Minister. They had put a big spotlight. Then Wasim Akram came out first with the crystal trophy. Till that time I was okay. But then when I saw them coming out, I broke down. I had to literally sit down. I could feel my legs. I missed out on that big occasions but the way they respected me and took me in their victory truck.”

Waqar later represented Pakistan in 1996, 1999 and 2003 World Cup. The team had reached the quarters in 1996 and ended runners-up in 1999, but had suffered a group-stage exit in 2003.

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