I first became aware of Waqar in 1991, in that most old-fashioned way – by looking in the paper. I was only 13 and I didn’t exactly read the paper – I just looked at the scorecards and the averages. I always read the bowling averages from the bottom up, saving the best until last. The averages slowly descended by fractions of a run, then suddenly, right at the business end of the table, there was a massive drop. Attached to this ludicrously low bowling average was always the same exotic name: Waqar Younis (Surrey).
Waqar took 113 Championship wickets at 14.36 that year, but I didn’t see him play once, which only added to the sense of mystery. My team, Lancashire, had Wasim Akram. I’d seen him and he was awe-inspiring. What the hell could Waqar do that was even better? When Pakistan toured England in 1992, I found out.