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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Ishan Kishan 99 ~ Ever heard of a Cricketer who bowled 115 mph and whacked over 130 yards !!!

IPL is all about opportunities –  Ishan Pranav Kumar Pandey Kishan, what an innings he played yesterday !   Ever imagined a bowler delivering 115 mph and whacking ball for 130 yards !!!!

A day after IPL 2020 delivered an incredible thriller with the highest ever successful chase, the Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore went one better. They were still behind even when Kieron Pollard smacked Adam Zampa and Yuzvendra Chahal for an imagination-defying 49 runs in two overs during his unbeaten 60 off 24 balls. At the other end was  Ishan Kishan - back in the XI due to a Saurabh Tiwary niggle – played an innings of life -  out for 99 to make it five needed off the last ball. Pollard hit a four, to bring the match to a Super Over.

Today, when teams have AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock, Jos Butler, Pooran, John Bairstow,  MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik Wriddhiman Saha, Rishab Pant, KL Rahul keeping, there is still place for the likes of Josh Philippe, Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan and others to play !!  .. .. ..  

I grew up watching Farokh Engineer, (heard of P Krishnamurthi) – when he settled elsewhere, Syed Kirmani came and dominated for a decade or more – though Barath Reddy, Surinder Khanna, Sadanand Viswanath got few chances – it was a settled team with Kiri behind – Kiran More too was stable, and then Nayan Mongia.  Later there were many who played -  Sabha Karim, Vijay Yadav,  MSK Prasad, Vijay Dahiya, Sameer Dighe, Deep Dasgupta, Ajay Ratra, Parthiv Patel,  Mahendra Singh Dhoni,  Wriddhiman Saha, Naman Ojha, Rishab Pant. MSD was a saga .. .. the point is it is tough breaking into a side.

Moving away from IPL and India, have read the neighbouring Paki always is embroiled in controversies.  Former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Khalid Mahmood, while criticising incumbent PCB set-up, says that by not fully implementing the new constitution despite passage of one-year the body has made a mockery of law and the system. In an exclusive interview with Dawn, Khalid said what was going on in PCB’s affairs was amazing noting the cricket infrastructure at the grassroots level had been destroyed because of non-existent provincial associations, city associations and after abolishment of departmental cricket.

I have seen Imran Khan, Sarfraz Nawaz, Sikhandhar Bakht, Azeem Hafeez, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Aaqib Javed, .. .. have never head of Farooq Hamid. Read this in Dawn -  Former fast bowler Farooq Hamid, an unsung hero of Pakistan cricket history, on Saturday said he left cricket in 1969 at the age of 25 in utter disappointment due to dirty politics which continue to plague Pakistan cricket.

Farooq, who could play just one Test match against Australia, and claimed the only wicket of Ian Chappell in 1964 in Melbourne, in an exclusive interview to Dawn said: “All my colleagues know what sort of treatment I was meted out from my captains, topping that list is great Hanif Mohammad — may God bless his soul — and his brother Wazir Mohammad, who made sure I never played international cricket after the tour to Australia.

“When I took seven wickets for 16 runs against Wellington in a match (on the New Zealand tour), they were dismissed for 53 runs in just ten overs.” recalled Farooq, whose nickname was Tooty. “However, everyone was surprised to see that I was not in the Pakistan team for the Test match that was played at the same venue after a couple of days. And neither was I included for the other two Tests played against New Zealand in that series,” he said. “In 1963 when I was part of the Pakistan Eaglets team touring England, I had taken five wickets in three overs but my captain Wazir Mohammad did not give me the ball for further bowling against Lancashire at the old Trafford ground,” said Farooq. “Later, Secretary MCC Mr. Howard told my manager that, “today Farooq bowled a yard quicker than Truman at his best.”

“This and much more of the same treatment disheartened and demoralised me so much that I decided to quit cricket at the young age of just 25,” he said. Farooq added that his bouncers during his peak cricketing days were ferocious and quite unplayable that unnerved a lot of fine batsmen. “Wazir, while facing me in a trophy match, was hit right on the mouth by my bouncer and four of his teeth were broken and his lip got ten stitches. “Hanif, while facing me in 1969 final in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, was bowled with an out swinging yorker on the very third ball he faced. Many international cricket personalities such as great Sir Don Bradman besides or own Imtiaz Ahmed, Zaheer Abbas and others considered me as the fastest bowler, even faster than Charlie Griffith of the West Indies,” he said.

“Many leading cricketers were scared of my bouncers, but former Test batsman Mohammad Ilyas is one of those who could face my bouncers with better technique. Ilyas also proved a better hooker against Griffith, who toured Pakistan in 1963 with the Commonwealth team ” he recalled. “On that tour, great batsman Rohan Kanhai was floored by my lethal bouncer. Later, the commentators said that I was much quicker than Griffith. I must have been bowling at around 110-115 miles per hour I think,” he said.

 Asked if his aggressive attitude was one of the reasons behind his short international career, Farooq replied: “Every fast bowler should be aggressive , it was the job of the team management to handle fast bowlers carefully. “Yes, the same politics is going on and harming our cricket. But we are lucky now that we have legendary all-rounder Imran Khan as Prime Minister and hopefully cricket will improve under him,” observed Farooq. “However, if Imran Khan fails to correct the system then only God can save our cricket.”  Farooq disclosed that he also coached Sarfraz Nawaz in the early stage of his career and later they both played domestic cricket together.

During his early days, Farooq also earned a name as an International athlete, winning gold and silver medals in Pakistan National Games from 1961-1970 and his total points in decathlon were 6700 in National Games when the Asian champion in then Asian Games could muster 6300 points. As a batsman too, Farooq could do a fair job when in form. He said that he might be the only cricketer who hit maximum big sixes in Sydney and at the Gaddafi Stadium. “My six at the Sydney cricket ground went out of the stadium over the ladies pavilion into the car park. Approximately over 130 yards,” he said. The Australian newspaper termed him ‘Farooq The king hitter of the world’. The one at Gaddafi Stadium landed on top of the stairs of the stadium.

Farooq also suggested the PCB should make amendments in its pension package for the old cricketers. “I want to suggest that PCB follow the policy of the Defence Forces, where after the age of 72 the pension is doubled automatically,” he said. He added that very few cricketers are living to 70-plus age, so their pension should be more than doubled,” he said. Farooq’s sister Tahira Hamid also helped Pakistan in setting up the Women cricket association in 1978 and she was the first secretary of the association.

Reading the article published in Dawn this week, it does appear that this man was immensely talented but was given a raw deal – sad, politics in sports have kept people out !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


PS: news on Farooq - reproduced from the Dawn.

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