Karachi: Former Pakistan cricket greats rejoiced on Friday after the emphatic 10-wicket win in the first Test against England amid hopes the victory will boost the country's battered sporting image.
Pakistan bowled the world number one side out for 160 in the second innings and notched up the required 15 runs in no time to take a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series.
Saeed Ajmal was Pakistan's star turn, taking a career best seven wickets for 55 runs in the first innings, and finishing with his second 10-wicket Test haul, while paceman Umar Gul took 4-63 to derail England in the second knock.
Former captain Zaheer Abbas said the impact of the win will be significant.
"It's a great win. It will have a great impact on Pakistan cricket and if we win the series against the best Test team in the world then it will take the team to new heights," he said.
Abbas, famous for his two double hundreds against England in the 1970s, hoped the cricket world will recognise Pakistan's development.
"It is now time that the cricket world appreciate the improvement in our team after maligning them," he said, referring to the international focus on Pakistan's spot-fixing scandal at the 2010 Lord's Test against England.
The current series, being played in the United Arab Emirates, is the first between the two countries since the scandal which ended in jail terms and lengthy bans for Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer.
"I think Ajmal's brilliant and varied bowling mesmerised the England batsmen who have a weak record on the sub-continent pitches and this was a typical sub-continet pitch," said Abbas.
Former bowler Iqbal Qasim said the win was a team effort, but that Ajmal made all the difference.
"He bowled like a champion," said Qasim, himself a great left-arm spinner.
"The whole cricket world will take notice of this win and give us more respect because our cricket was dragged into all sorts of negative things."
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf praised what he called a "brilliant and professional" team effort.
"This win has lifted the whole nation and I hope the team will carry on and win the series," he said.