[Ahmad Zaki makes his Bay 13 debut by walking us through the chaos that is normal for Pakistani cricket culture. Dennis]
“Now that is a site worth looking at”, says a curious bystander.
It was actually the total opposite of that. I mean, have you ever seen the headquarters of a cricketing board sealed off by the tax collectors from the same country?
And no, I am not talking about the almighty BCCI getting into another of its infinite legal tangles (thanks to N. Srinavasan – the almighty Srini who would have declared himself god as well along with the head of the ICC and BCCI if they had given him a little more time).
This time, It is the PCB headquarters (the equally inept and hopeless little brother albeit with very little money and zero influence in the cricketing world) that found itself locked due to a tax problem. The board officials, even including the timeless Intikhab Alam (the only person in the world who knows the exact location of the fountain of elixir of eternal life), had to park their cars half a kilometer away and make way through the chains and locks to reach their offices.
Did they manage to get something done while they were in the office? Probably not, but at least this time for a change and for once – it was difficult for these people to get into the PCB office!
There is a T20 being played between Bangladesh and Pakistan. Unfortunately that memo was never read by Ahmed Shehzad who is crawling his way to the slowest innings in the history of T20 cricket by an opener. It looks at every ball that he will get out or score – he masterfully manages to do neither.
Although he was not the only one who was caught off guard (and did not read the memos sent lovingly by Waqar). After getting dismissed (and to his credit, it was a really bad call by the umpire), Afridi signaled to the umpire for a DRS review.
The funny part is, the T20 was being played without DRS and it was conveyed in a meeting that there would be no DRS. Probably the mighty Afridi was too busy at ogling the cricket balls, finding the right one to have a nibble or a proper bite (those teeth though, someone should get him into tooth paste advertisements).
The stadium is jam packed, it is just a little U-19 game between two unknown teams but the stadium is packed. Only, in this case, the stadium is packed by security entourage of a VIP (very important person – “for no apparent reasons”).
The “son-in-law” of the Prime Minister of Pakistan needed to do some shopping and required a place to park his “personal helicopter”. What better place than to park it in the middle of the pitch during a cricket match? See, it was hot; probably the bowlers needed a bit of rest. Young poor kids burning in the sun, you see, they needed a break.
A good incentive for these kids to take cricket seriously – health and safety concerns for the young players, how touching!
What a considerate leader!
The ODI series is lost, the T20 is lost – no one in Pakistan it seems is happy about the cricket team. Cricket, what cricket? I support Chelsea is more accurate.
Then you hear that sound – the definite solid sound that comes when leather meets the willow of one particular person. The stadium is quiet, the pitch is benign, the bowler takes a jump, the batsman goes on the front foot, smiles a little at the ball and presents the full face of the bat – Tuk the ball says and the sound reverberates across the stadium. The crowd is silent, the players look bored (in both the teams) except the man in the middle who is unable to hold his grin. Standing there, he smirks and has a look around the ground, drained souls – he is stealing the essence from every single person (cue a secret to his longevity). Next ball – tuk, than the next, tuk again.
The board officials may not have an office, the helicopters may park in the middle of the pitch and Chelsea may be the team followed by the teenage Pakistanis but he is there in the middle.
Tuk, Tuk, Tuk
All is well with Pakistan; all is well with Pakistan cricket!