Monday, April 29, 2013

Sharif vs Captain: The Funny Side

Campaigning for the upcoming general elections 2013 is in full flow in the biggest province of Pakistan where
PTI and PML-N are working day and night to gain the clear majority to dictate the terms in other provinces. In other provinces the campaign is yet to start due to self imposed restrictions by the parties who have already completed their term, citing the ongoing terror attacks. Targeted attacks on some parties and their reaction reminds me of the childhood days, when we used to play cricket with borrowed bat and ball and the owner of the ball and bat would get first turn on batting and bowling by default. If he got out early he would take the ball and bat and go home, to avoid this we had to give him the second turn and deploy our worst bowlers to give him some batting and hence to continue the game.

Taking about cricket, the game is getting much attention and notable mention during the political campaigning with the entry of Imran Khan. Every day Imran Khan is making claims that he would take two or three wickets on one ball. In turn Nawaz Sharif a passionate fan of cricket also reminds him that he had also played cricket and he would dispatch his bouncers to boundary. It is interesting that Nawaz Sharif is a passionate cricket lover, he used to play club cricket in Lahore and also played one First class game against PIA in 1973. Here I want to narrate an incident to show his love for cricket, the incident was mentioned by Imran Khan in his book Pakistan: A Personal History.

On the morning of 04th October, 1987 before a warm-up match of cricket world cup 1987 against WI , team management got a call from chief minister house that Mian Nawaz Sharif, then chief minister of Punjab would be leading the team against West Indies. Imran Khan writes that he was astonished but thought that his role in the match would be more like a spectator watching from dressing room. But before the start of the match Mian Nawaz Sharif appeared in the dressing room in white kit. More shocking news was yet to come as Mian Nawaz Sharif accompanied great Vivian Richard to the ground and tossed the coin, for a while Richard himself was himself shocked when he got to know that it was chief minister. For making the thing more funny and shocking he turned back to pavilion put his pads on, took a floppy hat and smiled to Mudassar Nazar and said “are you ready to start the innings”? Imran Khan writes

“None of us could believe what we were seeing; he (Nawaz) was going to open the innings with Mudassar Nazar against the West Indies, one of the greatest fast-bowling attacks in cricket history. Nazar wore batting pads, a thigh pad, chest pad, an arm guard, a helmet and reinforced batting gloves, while Sharif simply had his batting pads, a floppy hat – and a smile… I quickly inquired if there was an ambulance ready”

West Indies had a fearsome bowling attack those days and were famous for breaking jaws and crushing toes, it was fortunate that Nawaz Sharif got out first ball duck. He did not stop there and played another warm-up match against England and fortunately got out after facing just 5 balls. After 30 years Imran Khan is desperate to do what Mian Nawaz Sharif did , lets hope he could stand up against more dangerous and deadly demons waiting for him.