The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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ĎA career neither starts nor ends with a hattrickí
- The moment should be enjoyed, but the achiever has to move on, says the legendary Holding

Karachi: Irfan Pathanís maiden Test hattrick was a first for Michael ĎWhispering Deathí Holding as well ' till Sunday, he hadnít seen one in Tests. A member of the (TV) commentary panel for the ongoing series, the legendary Holding (249 Tests wickets and 142 in ODIs) spoke to The Telegraph during one of his breaks.

The following are excerpts

On the hattricks watched at the highest level

In Tests, Pathanís the first... I canít think of any other... I didnít get one myself, or else I would have given you an absolute first person account! In the ODIs, though, I saw South African Charl Langeveldt get it in the West Indies last year... Bridgetown, I think.

On the significance of a hattrick

Nothing much after that moment has been reached... The moment should be enjoyed, but the hattrick achiever has to move on... Get more wickets... Perhaps, another hattrick...

On whether heís disappointed at not being in the hattrickwallahsí club

No... Talking to you, I recall at least one instance when I was on a hattrick ' in Perth (1975-76)... I thought Iíd got Jeff Thomson leg-before, but the umpire ruled otherwise.

On others in the famed quartet ' Andy Roberts, Joel Garner and Colin Croft ' also not getting it

Well, Andy would have got one at Old Trafford, if I recall correctly, in 1976... Pat Pocock edged to Gordon Greenidge, but he put it down in the slips cordon... Greenidge was otherwise a very fine catcher.

On the emotions while delivering the hattrick ball

Thereís excitement, the blood pumps faster... One needs to be calm and repeat what fetched the first two wickets... (Laughs) Of course, itís easier said than done as the tendency is to get carried away... Often, the ball is either down leg or wide outside the off-stump...

On Pathanís bowling in the first two Tests

Look, I wouldnít judge any bowler on those two (Lahore, Faisalabad) wickets.

On Pathanís grip

As Iíve conveyed (in Faisalabad), he can grip it better to allow for a more effective release... He will have to work on it at nets and I appreciate he canít change during a tour. Zaheer Khan and (Rudra Pratap) Singh have a neater grip.

On whether Pathan is now going to be under more pressure

Why' He has to move ahead... A career neither starts nor ends with a hattrick.

Finally, on Pakistanís collapse in the first hour

The Pakistani batsmen are lazy... Theyíre accustomed to flat wickets and donít know how to play close to the body... Theyíve got to adapt to all conditions ' for example, a wicket with rich moisture content. Pathan and the rest bowled well, but the batsmen contributed to their own downfall.

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