May 9, 2009

Riddled goods

Dilawar Hussain, of Blackburn, is an angry man

Dilawar Hussain, of Blackburn, is an angry man. And £475 short. Hussain, who plays for Gujarat and Niles cricket clubs, ordered a kit from Lahore and arranged for it to be shipped to the UK via DHL.

But before reaching him, eight bats and a few pairs of pads were ruined by officials searching for explosives. Each bat and pad arrived with holes drilled in them. Worse, no one has owned up to the damage. "It is unbelievable. What were they thinking? They're ruined,” said club captain Dilawar Hussain.

True to form, the governments of both Pakistan and the UK are engaged in a battle of passing the buck. Last heard, British customs said it would have provided paperwork if it did the check.

Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo