Pakistan’s 2019 WC Campaign Similar to When They Won in 1992

Pakistan’s journey at the ongoing ICC World Cup journey has uncanny similarities to the one in 1992, which they won.

Imran Khan led Pakistan to their only World Cup title in 1992.

Call it coincidence or something else, the Pakistan cricket team suddenly have started making headlines after their win over South Africa in the World Cup.

Pakistan, who were constantly criticised before their win over the Proteas, now are suddenly being praised. Against South Africa, both the batting and the bowling clicked for Pakistan. Their batsmen scored a total of over 300 runs and then bowled out their opponents comprehensively.

Before South Africa, Pakistan had defeated tournament favourites England. Interestingly, after Pakistan’s win over South Africa, people have started recollecting their 1992 World Cup journey. With the World Cup in their hands, players in the ’92 squad were singing a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan song, ‘Allah Hun'.

Check the stats below to understand the scenario.

Pakistan’s 2019 World Cup campaign has stark similarities to that of 1992.
Pakistan’s 2019 World Cup campaign has stark similarities to that of 1992.
(Photo: The Quint/Arnica Kala)

In 1992, Imran Khan Dreamt of Pakistan Winning WC

Let’s relive Pakistan’s journey in the 1992 WC. Imran Khan was the hero of the World Cup. I remember, Pakistan were almost out of the tournament. India made an early exit from the tournament, and hence this meant that there was also more excitement around the Pakistan team.

Many years after Pakistan’s maiden win in the quadrennial tournament, former Pakistan skipper Javed Miandad had once told me that during that World Cup, Imran Khan had suddenly come and said, “Come on boys, we will win the World Cup”.

Miandad told me that the players couldn’t understand initially as to what was wrong with Imran, because the team’s condition was poor and everyone felt that their World Cup journey is over. But in the next few minutes Imran Khan came up with the roadmap to the finals.

Javed Miandad, also shared the story behind this thought. He said that when Pakistan were at the doorstep of making an exit from the tournament, Imran Khan was sitting alone in his room and thinking about winning the World Cup.

Imran thought that people would hit him with the same bricks which were forming the building blocks of his most cherished dream – building a cancer hospital. Imran went to sleep thinking about it and when he woke up, he found that his pillow was wet with tears.

It is also said that it was the same night that Imran dreamt that Pakistan have somehow made it to the finals and won the World Cup.

I even spoke to senior Pakistan journalist Qamar Ahmed about the same and he too said that it happened exactly like this.


India toured Pakistan in 2006. The Indian team visited Imran Khan’s cancer hospital before the start of the Test series. Imran Khan established a cancer hospital in Lahore and named it after his mother. The hospital was called Shauqat Khanam Cancer Hospital.

Imran Khan’s mother Shauqat Khanam lost her life due to cancer. This is the reason why Imran’s dream was to make a cancer hospital and he did everything to make that happen. Imran took the cricket field even after his retirement. There was a time in Imran’s life when his only aim was to build a cancer hospital in Lahore.

I was with the Indian team when they toured Pakistan in 2006. I remember when there were talks of who among the Indian team would visit the hospital. No names were confirmed, but one name which was there on the list was Sachin Tendulkar.

Sachin told the Indian media manager that he would definitely visit the hospital to meet the patients.

People from the Indian media were also present there to cover the story. We realised that the cancer hospital was pretty huge.

During an India-Pakistan match in 1989, Imran Khan had informed people about the hospital and had even requested help.

In a match between India and Pakistan in 1989, Imran Khan informed the people about the incident and asked for help. After that match, several lakhs of rupees had been collected. It was after this that Imran appealed for help whenever and wherever he found the opportunity.

When Imran Khan-led Pakistan were crowned world champions in 1992, there was a great increase in the number of people who agreed to help him out with funds for the the cancer hospital. Back then also seeing the hospital, we realised the amount of hard work that must have been put behind its establishment.


Anyway, the Indian team met the patients at the hospital. Imran Khan addressed the media once the Indian players returned after visiting the hospital. I had then asked him if he actually dreamt of Pakistan winning the World Cup that night in 1992. His eyes were filled with tears while answering my question.

Twenty seven years on, Pakistan’s World Cup journey in the ongoing World Cup might be going on the same path, but perhaps the team isn’t of the quality that Imran Khan had led.

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