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Sunday, April 2, 2023

the man from Kabul - Salim Durrani is no more !!

IPL 2023 is rocking – just 3 matches old, so many sixers are flying !  Ruturaj Gaikwad showed his class in hitting 9 in the first match, Kyle Mayers hit 7 yesterday – today, the World remembers sadly a great six hitter of yester years.    Sad that there was no IPL / T20I in those years when Viv Richards, Kapil Dev, Krish Srikkanth tonked the ball and this man would top that list !!! 

Kabul  is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. The city and the Nation is in turmoil.  The last lunch for the last president of Afghanistan was vegetable fritters, salad and steamed broccoli.  Nasrullah, the head chef at the presidential palace in Kabul, fried the fritters and steamed the vegetable himself. He tasted it all to make sure it was good — it was, although steamed broccoli has a limited range of gastronomic possibility — and to prove that no poison had infiltrated President Ashraf Ghani’s food. The precaution was unnecessary. The broccoli and other lunchbox dishes went uneaten that day, Aug. 15, 2021, as the Afghan capital suddenly fell and the Taliban walked in. Mr. Ghani had fled Afghanistan already. Part of an ethnic group unfavored by the Taliban, Mr. Nasrullah was demoted to vegetable scrubber at the palace. 

Kabul is in news as three British men including a charity medic and a self-styled “danger tourist” are being held in custody by the Taliban in Afghanistan, it has been reported.  The Mail on Sunday said Kevin Cornwell, a 53-year-old charity medic, and another British national who manages a hotel for aid workers in Kabul, who has not been named, were detained by the Taliban’s secret police in January.  The other Briton being held is Miles Routledge, 23, who returned to the country after being evacuated by British armed forces less than two years ago during the Kabul airlift, after he travelled there for a “holiday” and was caught up in the chaos of the Taliban takeover. 

Way back in Jan 1960 at Brabourne against Australia Budhi Kunderan who had been born on the same date as MK Gandhi debuted.   Budhi Kunderan was rather more violent in his chosen profession, hitting the cricket ball with a power and confidence that came naturally to Indian wicketkeepers who knew they had two strings to their bow. He opened India's batting in 21 of the 34 innings he played, averaging 41 in that position… .. and alongside another Indian (a person who had been born in Kabul) debuted – Salim Durrani, the darling of the crowd of yesteryears, who reportedly could hit six whenever the crowd chanted !!  the sad news is Durrani is no more !!  he passed away at age 88, he had been living with his brother Jahangir Durrani in Jamnagar, Gujarat according to media reports. Durani had undergone a proximal femoral nail surgery after he broke his thigh bone in a fall in January this year. 

An aggressive left-handed batter and a left-arm spinner, Durani played 29 Tests, scoring 1202 runs and taking 75 wickets.  He is best remembered for that magical spell that helped India to their first Test win in the West Indies in 1971, which is also remembered for Sunil Gavaskar's Test debut. In the space of a few balls, Durani had dismissed Clive Lloyd and Garry Sobers - the latter for a duck - at a crucial time in the second innings in Port of Spain for India's seven-wicket win. Durani conceded just 21 runs in the 17 overs he bowled. 

Ten years before this Test, he bowled India to victory against England in 1961-62, successively taking eight and ten wickets in Kolkata and Chennai respectively. He was the highest wicket-taker in the series with 23 scalps from nine innings, in what was only his second Test series. 

Durrani was born in Kabul in 1934 – acquired the reputation of big six hitter on demand. He scored one Test century, against West Indies in Port of Spain in 1962. He played his last Test in February 1973 against England at the Brabourne Stadium, where he had also made his debut in 1960, and finished with a batting average of 25.04.   In Tests, he hit 15 sixers !! and took 14 catches.

 Modiji presenting shawl to Durrani

As he is the only Afghanistan-born Indian test cricketer he was present during the historic India vs Afghanistan test match on 14 June 2018.  He appeared in the film Charitra with Parveen Babi in 1973.  He was the first cricketer to win an Arjuna Award. He was awarded the C.K. Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award by the BCCI in 2011. In domestic cricket, Durani played Ranji Trophy for Saurashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat.


Homage to the Cricketer Salim Durrani

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

1 comment:

  1. A sad news. Haven't seen channels yet. Did Durrani die today?
    I was wondering about the details of Kabul, Afghanistan in detail till I read that Durrani was born there. Lot of info in your article including the chef Nasrulla and uneaten final lunch by Ashraf Ghani!
    Durrani has played a small number if tests in 13 years but left an indelible mark in cricket. I remember his name but with no TV, haven't seen him playing.

    What is meant by 'two strings to one's bow' ! (I have never worn a bow!)