Iqbal Sikander – Forgotten Member of 1992 World Cup
Whenever Iqbal Sikander name comes up, the first call that comes to mind is the 1992 World Cup. He was the lucky part of the Pakistan squad that won the World Cup in 1992. His full name is Muhammad Iqbal Sikander, was born on December 19, 1958, in Karachi. His initial education was received at St. Patrick’s High School, Karachi.
Muhammad Iqbal Sikander was first picked in the 1992 world cup, and then never selected again for Pakistan nor in Tests or in ODI’s. Imran Khan has immense faith in the potential of his leg spins bowling. Who had brilliant domestic records? Imran Khan preferred him over Abdul Qadir and forced selectors to include him in the touring party.
Little Mushtaq Ahmad was the first choice on that tour. Unfortunately, he didn’t perform to Imran’s and the selector’s expectations and played only four ODI’s on that tour with 3 three wickets under his belt.
Iqbal Sikander’s action was quite high and effective in all forms of cricket. His potential to break on all surfaces is added ability. Needn’t say, that he was completely unluckily to pick at the age of 33, and his peak period might have gone. He never tested for any format. He spent so many years in England playing for different leagues. In 2001 Iqbal Sikander grabbed more than 100 wickets for playing Leigh Cricket in the Liverpool Competition.
In Jan 1991 playing for Karachi Whites, in a List-A match against Peshawar, created history with his exceptional bowling by recording 6.2 – 3 – 7 – 7, as no other bowler has ever taken 7 wickets in a List-A game for the cost of fewer runs.
In the opening match of the 1992 World Cup against West Indies at MCG, all Pakistani bowlers were spanked by Brain Lara / Desmond Haynes, and Richie Richardson. In this match, he bowls very economically by giving 26 runs in 8 overs. The entire Pakistani team didn’t pick a single wicket in this match and lost by 10 wickets. In the first semi-final against New Zealand at Auckland, he took 1 for 56, eventually dropping in the final of the World Cup 1992 against England at MCG. That was the end of his international career.
He played 4 ODI’s for Pakistan and took 3 wickets with the best of 1 for 30. In a List-A career, he took 83 wickets in 86 matches, with the best of 7 for 7. However, he has hefty records in first-class cricket. Iqbal Sikander played 189 first-class matches and took 658 wickets at a very good average of 23.32 with the best of 9 for 81.
The leg-break googly bowler has also scored 4,204 runs at a 20.50 on average with the best of 111 not out including 3 hundred and 23 fifties and 124 catches. He played domestic cricket for Pakistan, Bahawalpur, Hyderabad Sindh, Karachi, and PIA. Post-retirement, he is the coach of the Afghanistan Cricket Team and aims to produce good talent despite the limited facilities provided by ACB.