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The 1992 World Cup final and an interesting anecdote involving Imran Khan

Imran Khan and the cricket team after winning the 1992 Cricket World Cup. Photo: AFP
  • Former England players have revealed an interesting anecdote from a formal dinner held before the 1992 World Cup final.
  • Graham Gooch and Ian Botham reportedly stormed out when a comedian started making fun of the Queen.
  • “Look, it’s only the colonials left,” Imran Khan remarked to his team after their departure.

The 1992 Cricket World Cup holds fond memories for Pakistan cricket fans, when the (Prime Minister) Imran Khan-led “cornered tigers” pulled off an upset over a much stronger England side, defeating them by 22 runs in the final and winning the prestigious trophy for the first (and so far only) time.

Much has been written about Pakistan’s fairytale triumph over England over the years, with Prime Minister Imran Khan and other Pakistani icons recalling several fond memories from the tournament, which had taken place in Australia and New Zealand.

However, a recently resurfaced Wisden article from six years ago has shed light on the events leading up to the World Cup final between the two sides in 1992, and an interesting incident involving PM Imran Khan caught our eye.

In 2015, John Stern, the current editor-at-large of the Wisden Cricket Monthly, wrote a piece for All Out Cricket, telling the inside story of England’s campaign through interviews with three members of England’s 1992 World Cup squad — Graham Gooch, Alec Stewart and Derek Pringle — as well as journalist David Lloyd.

The article describes a pre-final formal dinner for both sides, which apparently went well until a comedian, Gerry Connelly, took the stage and started poking fun at the British Queen.

England batting icon Graham Gooch recalled the dinner: “The Pakistanis were wearing their traditional dress and it was all very grand”.

“Then out of the blue, this comedian came on and started to take the mick out of the Queen. Ian [Botham] and I felt it was out of order,” Gooch recalled. “So we just got up and said to [coach] Micky Stewart, “Sorry we’re out of here”.”

It was then that — according to Pringle — the Pakistan cricket captain at the time, Imran Khan, quipped to his team; “Look, it’s only the colonials left”.

The jibe was a reference to England’s political history and the fact that many in the England side weren’t originally from the country. 

“There were seven or eight of us who weren’t born in England,” recalled Pringle in the interview. 

The next day, the entire nation celebrated Pakistan’s sole world cup triumph, when the green shirts — Imran Khan’s “cornered tigers” — beat England by 22 runs.

Wasim Akram was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers, picking up three wickets from his 10 overs, giving away 49 runs. Mushtaq Ahmad also took three wickets, while Aqib Javed chipped in for the Pakistani bowling side as well, taking two scalps.

Chasing Pakistan’s 250-run target, England were skittled out for 227 runs.

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