shares

(Excerpted from rsc post on make-up of Government College, Lahore, cricket-team)

In those days, Farooq Hamid was rated as the fastest and wild- est, a la no control, bowler in Lahore. He was also an extremely volatile character and when he got angry, which was often, he would bounce the batsman incessantly. He openly took pleasure in intimidating and hurting batsmen. Farooq played a few tests for Pakistan.

I'll finish with an anecdote. I used to play for a Lahore club called Victorious and in one game I opened with an ex-wrestler Aslam Butt. Now Aslam Butt had given up wrestling because he had almost killed another wrestler in a match and the wrestling au- thorities had banned him from the sport. For some reason he got interested in cricket. He had no footwork but would stand his ground and simply smash fast bowlers, and he was particularly severe on anything pitched short. That year Aslam Butt made a lot of runs before everybody figured out that he couldn't play spinners. It was then customary to bring on a spinner with the new ball when Aslam came in to open the innings.

In any case, this is a story before Aslam got figured out. The opposition had Farooq Hamid and as Aslam and I walked in to open, Aslam goes up to Farooq Hamid and says (in Punjabi): Skip, I am out of practice, could you take it easy and not bowl any short fast stuff at me for a few overs? Well, Farooq visibly pumped up his chest a few inches at this apparent successful in- timidation and, of course, came charging in and bowled a bouncer, first ball. Aslam hit it for four and then goes: Gee, I have no idea how I hit that. Boy, that was really fast. It almost took my head off. Can you please not bowl any more of these bouncers at me? Farooq bowled four buncers in a row at Aslam and all four were hit for fours and sixes. And each shot was followed by a "Gee, I have no idea how I could have connected...". I had never seen Farooq so mad (I have never seen anybody so mad). I have also seldom heard such colorful Punjabi as I heard from Farooq Hamid that day after every delivery. The opposing skipper didn't have the guts to change Farooq Hamid, who kept bowling faster and shorter at Aslam. When Aslam connected it went for a four or a six, and when he got hit on the body, Aslam would not even rub it. It was absolutely hilarious and standing at the other end, in between this duel, I had the most difficult time not laughing and concentrating on my batting. Aslam made something like 60 before top edging Farooq to long leg. The story was often repeated in Lahore cricketing circles but never when Farooq Hamid was around.