Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fast bowling - of orgasms and its mega porn star

"A middle stump dismissal by Shoaib Akhtar is better than a hundred million orgasms you fake."

Yesterday, when Shoaib Akhtar got Mahela Jayawardene neck and crop sending back his middle stump with a high 80 miles in-dipper, something transpired in me. Now you would be thinking I will be simply saying I had an orgasm (going by the topic of this post) and taking the piss on me which I'd understand since it won't make much sense of me putting up such a cliche; so no, I won't say that. But what I will try to put through you is that something inside me got completed; as a cricket fanatic, as a fuckin' wannabee tearaway quick. That sight of the timber being knocked backwards wreaked a tense feel through my body's neuromuscular set-up that had parallels with the ones I've been blessed by watching the very man and the few other showmen over the years.

Much on the Rawalpindi express (who is in its archaic days, yet still got enough steam to do its designated stations) later in the post, let's get down to what exactly are we talking about. A fast bowling orgasm? Seriously, yes. Its neither your conventional cricket term nor for which you'll find a definition in MCC manuals, Wisden Almanacks or any cricket books. However, I'll try to put my peace of mind through here in the best way possible. 

Jarrod Kimber once gave a mighty fine description of what a female orgasm is like in cricketing sense or how it can be circumscribed in its proximal best with fast bowling. 
Jump straight to 03:43 in the video and concentrate till 05:21 (You really don't need to care about the rest of the video). And try to get what he's on about.

You get him? He talks about a feel, the very moment when everything related to is perfect. Get your cricketing grey cells switched on and you'll connect with whatever he said there.

If you're a fast bowler or anywhere close to its definition, you'll know what it is like to do your perfect delivery. Its a dream, a utopian one which you want to actuate in the match. You can do hours and hours in nets perfecting it but when the stage arrives to execute it, it needs way more than a bucket load of iron wits, venomous mastery and balls of steel. All that to bring about the phase where you feel your genitalia moving and when you're at the peak of delivery, you feel it and you know, its done. Once it gets absorbed, you get into one of the most sublime refractory periods experienced and you don't feel the need for more stimulation. It is the purpose of your life.

"It gets your blood going, the adrenaline is pumping, you're in a fight. To me that's what cricket is all about." - Shoaib Akhtar

You can hoop a batsman around, play with his patience, off stump, footing and whatever your talent and art makes you conjure up. Do it with the new ball; seam it with lateral movement and get on with the conventional swing. Or with the old ball; cutters and reverse swing. But to come up with something like that, needs the beast within yourself to wake up. A raging bull is what you need to be, a hungry badgered monster and a gnawing bulldog - making every guide of brutality and pain proud.

In the words of James Hatfield, its about riding the lightning and as Kings of Leon put it, its sex on fire.

Yo bitches, I got my own swagger
And who better to make you realize all this than the genetically modified beast that is the eternal comeback king - Shoaib Akhtar. The sweat pig who keeps pounding on the batsman with perennial zest, taking him to full throttle or bending him and doing it hard. That's what embodies belligerently hardcore fast bowling. And you either man the fuck up or go home. Monstrosity.

He is all about being the cocky show-stopper, enough to have your box office tickets bloody well worth.

Royal Rumble - Come to mama!
For me, he will remain the ultimate porn star of this game. Right from his first appearance in late 97' till today, it is almost 14 years of non-fizzling pop and incessant fetish for him. Be it him thundering batsmen with 100 mph grenades, pulverize their heads, bodies and toes or being caught up in off-field gags, he epitomizes the rebellion and the violent child in each of us. He signifies freedom, defies norms and has been (or maybe forced to be) the ideal societal outcast. Akhtar is the wounded being who has had more comebacks in his career than seen in any of the WWE 90s classic summer-slams.

Apart from this being his last World Cup, it may very well be his last ODI series; hence a swan song worth living through. This is to the 35 year old superhuman amalgamated with the hyper-extensive anatomy, plethora of controversies and endless medical anecdotes for some of the visceral fast bowling orgasms that he has made the world experience over a decade and a half.

I may not do full justice here but some of the selections are as dear as anything in cricket for me and are at times, the best remedy for depression (also if wasting nights for these YouTube clips, saving photos on your hard drive, air-bowling in his style and then doing it in nets can be termed as part of being a fan). Note that this can hardly be called a tribute of any form to this enigmatic specie of world cricket. And for an intimate piece of writing that could be honest to him, one would need to do countless nights and eat up all the light years. Also, here its more of a focus on the mastery and art that he has displayed over the years rather than the morbid missiles which knock the face off his preys and have them bleeding. Yes, shattered timbers and the sight which a fast bowling addict dies for, is what we'll concentrate and waste ourselves here on.

The show stopping montage by the beast
My top 5 picks are Sachin 99', Ponting 02', Kallis 03', Trott 10' and yesterday's Mahela. And I proudly call this the Hall of shame. All have either their middle stump pinged back or lying on the floor. Above all, the first 3 are undoubtedly the greatest batters of their era with the other two being world-class performers too.

Special mentions to Boucher 98', Laxman 99' & 04', Steve Waugh 99', Flintoff 05', Dravid's 07'.

Let's get wasted!

I. Rahul Dravid's leg stump and Sachin Tendulkar's middle, Kolkata '99

First ball, base of middle stump, culminating in the first and the only golden duck of Sachin. The deafening welcome and the bullring noise of Calcutta turned into the endless moments of pin-drop silence. The birth of Shoaib Akhtar.

This is where it all started, in actuality. A hot blistering day, with India in charge at 147-1, he came up with arguably two of the greatest consecutive deliveries bowled in the game's history. As much as the banana-shaped one which got Dravid is an eternal ripper, the one to the batting god of his time is which basically has all this talk based on and which initiated a love story so passionate that even God hasn't had enough of it after more than a decade of break ups, fuckalls, disasters and whatever tragedy you can associate it with.

II. Jacques Kallis, Faisalabad '03

Four years later in October heat of 2003, he gave the doze to another great of his era, bending the white ball with divine touch, brutal force and classic execution.

III. Ponting knocked over by a rippa! - Melbourne (Docklands) '02

Don't want to spoil this for you since Bill Lawry's reaction should be enough. This man was at his prime then, nothing was impossible for him. Ended up with 5-25 in one of the best ever spells seen in modern ODI history.

IV. Jonathan Trott, Rose Bowl (Southampton) '10

If his latest comeback could be summarized in any better dismissal than this, do let me know since this is where he personified what his post June-2010 resurgence has been all about. Playing in 18 ODIs (and counting) and more than a dozen T20s, all without breaking down; with a stamping attitude of a shrewd fox and a senior statesman of the team. Stats may not do full justice to this return in the colored flannels but plays like this scream of his box office aura that is still there.

V. Mahela Jayawardene, Colombo '11

This just happened yesterday, so it couldn't be anymore fresh than this. This was special, really was.

Picture this - Brought back in his 2nd spell in need of a desperate breakthrough with two of the world's best batsmen at the crease (Mahela & Sangakkara), he produces a masterclass. Sets him up with a slower cutter, then a bouncer outside off, then this length in-dipper. Perfect foreplay and immaculate execution. Talk about telling who still is the boss out there.

- Rahul Dravid, Delhi '07

In the fading end of his test career and his last series vs India in 2007-08 season, he once again produced a corker. Pitching on length around off, jagging back and getting through the gate of arguably the best copy-book batsman of his era, Rahul Dravid The Wall. Though it didn't exactly knock back the middle stump, however the mastery of his producing it with the end result makes it worth to remember.

And the rest are all yours (Tried putting them in order of his career timeline).

- First 5 wicket haul (4 bowled, 1 LBW) at Durban, '98. Boucher one is special. 'Nuff said.

- VVS Laxman, Kolkata '99

- Russel Arnold, Dhaka '99

- Steve Waugh, Headingley WC '99

- Stephen Fleming, Old Trafford WC '99

- Nathan Astle, Old Trafford WC '99

- 6-11 against New Zealand, Lahore '02

5 clean bowleds. Richardson, Fleming and Martin with middle stump uprooted, Harris and Horne with their off stump done with. Does it get any more breath-taking than this?

- Adam Gilchrist, Colombo '02

- Mark Boucher, Faisalabad '03

- Mark Boucher, Lahore '03

- Virender Sehwag, Rawalpindi '04

- VVS Laxman, Lahore '04

- Marcus Trescothick, Faisalabad '05

- Freddie Flintoff, Faisalabad '05

- Ashley Giles, Multan '05

- Marcus Trescothick, Rose Bowl (Southampton) '06

- Darren Gough, Lord's '06

And what would this post mean without few of his stills.

Sachin, Kolkata '99 - The ultimate frame
Hallelujah! The Chosen One
World Cup 1999 - The Showman setting the biggest stage alight
Cleaning up Astle at Old Trafford WC '99 - Dead and buried
Merciless and hardcore brutal. Kallis being rooted out - Faisalabad '03
I do you in your hood - Showing Hayden where to go (Perth, Dec '03)
Ripping Sehwag's defense apart at Rawalpindi, '04
Laxman, Rawalpindi '04 - Middle to be seen nowhere. Breakneck stuff.
In between all this, just a small matter off crossing the 100 mph barrier. Did it more than once.
Trescothick, Faisalabad '05 - Too good, mate. Just bloody too good.
Flintoff, Faisalabad '05 - Absolute peach. Stumps flying. 
What a fuckin' sight! Ah well. just routine destruction vigil - Giles, Multan 05'
Speeding more than light
The very first ball of the match. Gets Trescothick with an inswinging yorker at Rose Bowl '06
Dalaymple, Cardiff '06 - With arms wide open.
Another photographer delight. This time Goughy - Lord's '06
The exocet that brought down The Wall - Delhi '07
And then on his recent and possibly final comeback..
Inswinging yorker to Trott under lights, amidst a spell in which he did 8 consecutive overs. I was right there in the West stand. Dream come true watching him do it at Brit Oval, Sept '10
Say who's the boss? Dose repeated. Doing Trott again, this time at Southampton '10
Imma gonna rip your fuckin' balls off!
Scotty gets a reminder you got to treat the boss with respect - Eden Park, Dec '10
Jayawardene, Colombo '11 - Come with my gun smokin', you can smell death
Yo! Look at me, and tell me ain't I still the daddy?
And then he keeps doing this even at almost 36 years of age (Though there's the word of the speed gun going bonkers but whatever the fuck, ya'll know he's capable of pulling this off)
p.s. This imbecile blog owes its conception and existence to this very theme/topic and considers Shoaib Akhtar to be the godfather of all bloody badass motherfuckers in the world of cricket. Some day when this monster decides to call it a day, this web space may also breathe its last. And even if it won't, it will always take special honor to have anything worthy related to Akhtar out here. Long live, this holy son of Morgah.

p.s. II. Since this post has had an overwhelming response in the first 24 hours of its being up, I would like to link up this brief video shot by me at The Brit Oval, last summer when he bowled a fitness-proving spell of 8 overs on the trot, just to give a bit of more eye-candy to all fellow Shoaiby maniacs. It was some experience to see him run in relentlessly, most probably the last time I may have ever seen him live.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Can the boys do it? - The definitive preview of Pakistan for World Cup 2011

Mercurial bastards

Brian Philips, in a recent post of his (which is perhaps the kind of blog that pays off all that money wasted on your liberal arts degree), asked if “story [is] something a lot of sports-writing struggles with? I mean story at the simplest level is, the this-happened-and-then-this-happened level, the level of basic immersion and suspense. Compared to, say, fiction, which is deeply invested in being able to create those sorts of total, head-spinning reality-transformations…

What would it mean to open up a newspaper or a blog and find a bunch of pieces that threw out the familiar conventions and tried to give you a vivid sense of what it was actually like to watch a match? What would the conventions of that genre be?”

That is some challenge, if you think about it.

Don’t worry, this is not how we are going to change the genre of sports-writing, but perhaps seeing as we are writing about this love-child of Salvador Dali and Christina Aguilera which is Pakistani cricket, we suppose it can’t be done the normal way either.

First things first, we Pakistanis are a very superstitious lot. It is generally agreed amongst devotees of Pakistan cricket that contrary to popular doctrine, our cricket is not really as mercurial as it seems. Instead, if everyone thinks we’ll do well, we fail. As soon as everyone thinks they’ll fall on their asses, Pakistan hypnotizes the world like a jiggling samurai in super slow-mo. So apart from sounding Rambo Rameez Raja bots, we’ll be as negative as possible in this article so that all of you think we don’t stand a chance…
…and then. [cue dramatic music]

Match Previews

If Mr. Phillips likes for us to think of sports writing in the sense of providing perhaps the visceral experience of describing what it feels like to watch Pakistan play a cricket match, then we don’t quite have the literary chops for it, but then if it wasn’t for keeping interest in different formats and aspects of this sport alive, Pakistan wouldn’t feature. It’s a simple rule of thumb.

So the question is, which teams will Pakistan lose to in a humiliating fashion?

Supposing if Pakistan lose two of their first three matches, it would mean a possible must-win match against Australia. New Zealand are our World Cup bitches, so they’re not a concern, and Zimbabwe are not as weak as the others, so losing to them would not provide the true gut-wrenching vomit-fest which a nail-biting loss to Kenya or Canada would. But Australia have no Hussey, and every time we don’t lose to them in a world cup group stage, we seem to make it to the final. Still, I think we’ll probably need the rain to save us. Possibly in a wash-out which coincides with Sri Lanka tying with Kenya or Canada.

Will they be partying like it's 1992?
On the note of disappointing all betting maestros- which also means being brutally honest and scarcely positive for a Pakistani- we are expecting walk-overs against the formality kids, i.e. Kenya, Canada and Zimbabwe. As for the stronger teams, we would really like to win at least one but you know if we do, there’s every possibility that we won’t win the cup since our Pakistani formula says win 3 major games against 3 major opponents and run away with a world title (circa 1992, 2009).

The major concerns (honestly) are the day-nighters against Sri Lanka and Australia at Premadasa. Our odds see us chasing under lights with that white ball making us dance like we have always done in such scenarios. But we already told you, we are not winning them, so we would like to advise Pakistani readers to do away with these concerns. On a side note, the gaps between our games are pretty constant and ideally suitable for our boys to beach around in the Lankan islands.

Strategy and Team Composition

How comical does this sound? Discussing a game plan for Pakistan team? Shredding notions here, we will try to make a feeble attempt. And if it wasn’t for the last couple of ODI series, we would have been even more clueless. So, what we observe is a revival of the famous 1992, 1999 WC approach, i.e. a solid start, improvise in the middle, end like programmed lunatics. Considering our divine ability of screwing up with the bat, a Pakistani fan should endorse this and hope we put up competitive totals for the bowlers.

We don’t remember any World Cup wins for Pakistan that involves tense chases. We either do comfortable chases, or implode. Hence, if we are to click, it’ll be the time old strategy of bat-first, bowl-em-out later. Anything other than that breaks the script and we’ll have no chance of winning. We are including the dew factor in this. Don’t worry. The paradoxical fact here is that out of the last 6 ODI run chases (versus SA & NZ), we have been successful in 3, came mighty close in one. So going by the seemingly existing game plans (surprise surprise), a good run chase can’t be ruled out, especially taking the placid nature of certain subcontinent tracks.

The bowling should not need much previewing. We are kept being told we have a bowling attack that can get teams cheaply or defend any total, given their switches are turned on; therefore we will just stick to the belief. Ideally, we shall start with Shoaib Akhtar/Wahab Riaz and Abdul Razzaq; with Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi and Mohammed Hafeez in the middle, finished off by Umar Gul, Wahab and Ajmal in the death overs. Practically, brace yourself to witness Afridi screwing up the changes and overs quotas big time.

If Pakistan is to win this world cup, it would need a disastrous team-chemistry and wide spread dysfunctionalism. Which means that there will be great drama, and for every great drama there are heroes and villains – So who will Pakistan’s be?


Kamran Akmal – Do we even have to explain this?

Middle Order – The pitches and humidity and occasional swing will mean that the middle order is going to play absolutely shit while eating up an insane amount of overs. More importantly, their failures would also assist our greatest assets.

Shoaib Akhtar - (How my heart bleeds writing this) He’ll huff-and-puff and eventually we’ll drop him, with his subsequent affair with a Bollywood child-star providing the requisite scandal overshadowing our knock-out game victories.


Abdul Razzaq – Late order madness, Chaminda-Vaas-in-his-grave bowling in Sri Lanka, looking perma-stoned while doing all this – the list of his qualities can go on.

Shahid Afridi – Expect him to keep baffling you with his captaincy talent. He just had the scare of his life by being cornered for a mere captaincy issue by the Butts, with the spot-fixing Butt doing more harm to his ghairat (ego) through his views than the puppy-face senile Ijaz. Moreover, being the Lala loyalists, we are tipping him to behave like the horny bulldog of 2009 and come big in the knock-out games with both bat and ball, preferably on April 2.

Wahab Riaz – We know this maybe a surprise for many since here we pick the fast bowler who will blow the horns and you all would be singing Gull-y Gull-y. Sorry, as much as we would want Gul to be the sorcerer, there’s a feeling that Jacket boy with his yorkers (reverse swinging ones too), change of pace, length variation etcetera could be the surprise package in this regard.


Rambo-Raja says: Win the matches against the minnows and progress to the knock-out stages. From there on, be smooth operators and stream-roll teams in the next three. Take the Cup.

We think if Pakistan makes it past the first stage, there’s a high likelihood that it will face India in the quarters. If we beat them… (We can describe what that would feel like, but we think the emotions generated by even the possibility of imagining beating India in India during a World Cup would be so intense it is feared they would rip the space-time continuum).

However, since we always lose to them in the World Cup, playing them would end our Cup right there and then. So we will avoid them. By any means necessary. [Paging Mazhar Majeed, come in Mr. Mazhar Majeed]

After that we’ll need maybe a walkover or an earthquake to make it past one of the teams in the quarters and semis, while winning the other comfortably. Once that happens, unless we’re facing Australia in the final, we’ll script a scarcely believable story that would theoretically defeat extremism, corruption, poverty, ideological identity crises and bad smells from our country, and win the fuckin' World Cup.

Or first round exit.


- This post was co-authored by Ahmer Naqvi who blogs at Karachi Khatmal. It was first published here at Clear Cricket.

Added later (For a bit of inspirational filler)

Monday, February 7, 2011

In loving memory: Mohammad Amir

Broken wings, clipped
It is restful, tragedy, because one knows that there is no more lousy hope left. You know you're caught, caught at last like a rat with all the world on its back. And the only thing left to do is shout -- not moan, or complain, but yell out at the top of your voice whatever it was you had to say. What you've never said before. What perhaps you don't even know till now. - Jean Anouilh

Tragedies are painful to bear. Even more so when they are accompanied with a misery-ridden letdown. They hit with a force so instantaneous and ferocious that enduring them becomes a strenuous battle. A coherent mix of self-denial, shredded emotions and an essence of failure instills in you and it takes time for you to absorb all of it till the reality sinks in eventually. I don't really know what exactly to write here. I have been trying to bring myself to it but I just keep losing the gist of all that has been coalescing with my thought processes. Maybe, its my inability to deal with a loss of something dear, be it in the form of sports; or perhaps the interminable suffering that comes with it.

One can term the story of Mohammad Amir as The calamity of cricket or anything one could relate his catastrophic narrative with, I know it would not suffice. Even all the Shakespearean tragedies feel mellow somehow when I compare them with his. And some of them even have a second coming. But at the end of the day, that is mostly fiction and his is an actuality. However, I can't help but wish the truth that circumscribes all this is stranger than the reality which has surfaced. The inscription on his cricket epitaph has potentially been done, ultimately terminating an embracing attachment on personal level. 

So what precisely is it that makes a person like me take him with such reverence?
His prodigious yet scarcely believable life story? Him being a product of a village unknown to the world, the life threatening dengue fever when he was 15 and having glucose drips 24 hours a day, the cricket upbringing under local coaches and the rest that's related to him coming into the international scene. For most people it maybe, but for me, it was just a filling for the backdrop of what was to be a scintillating affiliation for couple of cricket seasons. Maybe, a simple Wikipedia entry of him may help to complete the thorough picture. It was the Wasim Akram analogy, yes. 
Reliving the legend

If the selection of Amir by Wasim in 2007 for the England U-19 tour was anything to go by, watching him in the 2009 T20 World Cup was the point where he became a subject of genuine interest. In all honesty, it was this reverse swing spell (into 6 mins) in Dunedin, late 2009, that cast the demeanor of permanence in him. Moving it both ways and with remarkable precision, he had already learnt to make the old ball talk like a gnarled old pro, alongwith a shrewd control over the new one. Even the old masters of reverse swing would have been proud of it.  It was mesmerizing to watch and there was a widespread belief already that the cricket world has the next great southpaw after Wasim in making. Till this day, he had been giving hints of what he had to offer, be it the 2009 T20 World Cup in England where he was unearthed for the first time or the test series against Sri Lanka, but this was special. It was simply Wasim-like. This did it for me.

MCG was set alight the very next month with a five-for and made the Aussies notice him, and who better than them to evaluate a rising star in the game? He was easily the lone positive of a shambolic Pakistan tour down under. The T20 World Cup in West Indies and Asia Cup followed, and he was constantly getting polished and rising up the rating scale.

Then came the English summer which was being tipped as the most significant in Pakistani cricket history. With multiple series lined up against two of the world's best sides, he could not have asked for a more grand stage to play on. It started at Edgbaston in the T20 and I was there to watch the kid. He spearheaded the attack in presence of Akhtar and Gul, and we knew we had the best fast bowling line up in the world, and it sure was. Watching him knock those stumps and sending the Aussies back was an absolute treat. They were knocked off the perch with a series sweep 2-0. It was sweet mayhem.

On the electronic scoreboard at Headingley.
Photo by Masuud Qazi
And now it was time for the real examination of his monumental cricketing talent - white clothes, red duke cherry, overcast English summer and a world class  opposition. He didn't take long to make waves, sending one exocet after another, demolishing the Aussies at Headingley with such command that they were on their knees and every single wicket of his still remains a treasured memory. Who would forget the consecutive cleaning up of Smith and Johnson? It was a relentless display of an outrageous and overwhelming talent. It was sheer raw flair and natural brilliance. Pakistan won a test match after 15 years against Australia and he was the fulcrum of that victory. And I was in the stands seeing him speak in the post-match ceremony. At my cricket club, folks of all ages were talking about his genius; it was soothing and it all felt like a perfect script for the cricket summer.

By experience and numbers in years and matches, he was dominating, outwitting and seducing men into batting blunders who were years and, in some cases, decades senior to him. It felt he was doing poetry with that ball so masterfully that it would move in whichever direction where he wanted it to. His intimidation of the opposition was so brutally awe-striking that you could be sure it was a divine wonder to behold. It was so visible that the world was his oyster. He had lit up a cricket summer in one hemisphere of the planet few months back and he was doing it in an even better way in the other just a few months later. His name was being inked in the record books and was anticipated to write them for years to come. He was blowing opposition batting line ups, be it The Oval or Lord's, with merciless zest. On track to become the poster boy of world cricket and of many a bedrooms walls, he had the world at his feet.
There was nothing he couldn't wish for and do
Television commercials and product endorsements were all lined up for him. Kids and men were awestruck with his precocious talent and mastery at such a tender age. Women of all age were going crazy on him and he was the latest obsession of Pakistanis. Wasim bhai was being made proud with every performance of his. Everything was as perfect as it could be in the world encircling an 18 year old prodigy.

Then disaster struck at the very home of cricket. Amidst a surreal spell of fast bowling in which he sliced and diced the English top order in a manner rarely seen in modern cricket, he committed a cardinal sin which was to have severe repercussions later on, ones which would never make him perform on any cricketing platform practically. Maybe I will fail to address what and why he committed the dreadful career suicide by overstepping that white line though the world may talk forever what it was. Whether it was the fallacy of a few thousand quids casting the devilish spell of whose ramifications his fledgling head couldn't decipher, only Amir knows. Or was it the moronic grooming of the dirty bastard Salman But and the serial absconder Asif under both of whom he was during those damned days and horribly became a prey of, every citation seems secondary. The mind goes numb when he and his aura are envisaged. He came across as a harmless soul bent only to perform at his best in those flannels. Like a schoolboy who was punctual, tidy and efficient in his grades and extra-curricula. Like a young folklore hero destined to achieve greatness and creating a unparalleled legacy. And somehow everything fell apart.

That Saturday of August 28 will forever haunt; it just has too much of pain buried in it. Apart from the day being a devastating one for Pakistan cricket performance-wise, the night theoretically broke the psychedelic bond between him and me, the music of another coming of Wasim Akram died for me, and my revived hallucinogenic passion for the game took a massive hammering. Practically, all this culminated on February 5th, 2011. It signaled the heartbreak for an intimate love affair of the sincerest form which had connections on a spiritual level and subsequently reopened cracks which will bleed perpetually.

Amir, I will be deadly honest with you. I have tried a lot in the last 5 months or so of giving my mind the maximum luxury of digression off you, conjuring countless thoughts related to the abundance of cricketing talent Pakistan has and that there won't ever be a stoppage of world class fast bowlers production but here my mind ceases to imagine; and that is when I make miserable attempts that there maybe another Amir waiting in the ranks. No, its just not practically possible. I know it, we all know it who felt you cast those holy essences. You were special to the world for what you were. It may get over and forget you, and never allow you a go at redemption but buddy, you will remain dear to me. As dear as anything in cricket I could relate to. Thanks for giving the immortal memories and for making me and millions relive Waz.

So long, champ.


This BBC interview added a day later.
This one isn't easy. For you, I'll just ask to look into his eyes. Maybe he really doesn't know what's happened and is happening (in another interview to Geo news, his state was similar- shell shocked). This is a heartbreak of a lifetime.

- This post was first published here at Clear Cricket.