Tale of an unusual drama during a Test in New Zealand

By Qamar Ahmed - March 5, 2016

To be able to achieve in life what you look out for, it is important to be focused, determined and

the patience to have perseverance to face the obstacles that naturally one obviously comes

across. Only then you pass the test and reach the goal that one has aimed for.

In my case all those things mentioned above combined together to allow me to be able to reach

where I did to reach at the top of my profession as an international journalist and a broadcaster of

all the reputed newspapers of the cricketing world and as a cricket commentator.

And that required hard work, painful moments and fear of not being there for what I had aimed

for and that too in a country like England where for a non-Englishman it was well nigh

impossible to get into the mainstream of cricket reporting and writing.

I consider myself lucky though that my perseverance paid in the end to become a major

contributor to the literature of the game which no doubt allowed me to rub shoulders with great

and famous of the game and with people even outside of this glorious game.

Opportunities abound to see this wonderful world and meet interesting and important people and

experience things even not sometime related to what you are supposed to do as a media man.

Being on the circuit for nearly more than four decades things have happened, usual and unusual

which at times makes you even wonder whether this also is a part of what you are supposed to

do.

I can’t help but am compelled to mention one of the unusual incident that I experienced as a

pressman in one of my tour to cover a Test series between New Zealand and India in New

Zealand.

It was in 1989-90 after Sachin Tendulkar had made his Test debut in Pakistan and later the

Indian team travelled to New Zealand. I was on tour too covering the series for the BBC and for

The Times of London and had been hired by TVNZ as one of their comments man.

In the Napier Test Tendulkar missed his first Test century when he was caught for 88 by John

Wright off Danny Morrison. Disappoint for a 16 year old for if he had done that he would have

been the youngest ever to make a Test hundred.

On that day I noticed an Asian gentleman pacing up and down in front of the commentary box

trying to attract my attention. When I finished from the microphone and came out of the box

prior to lunch, the same man rushed to me introducing himself as a doctor from South India

working in Napier.

He then made an unusual request of helping him out so that he could invite the Indian captain

Mohammad Azharuddin to his house for dinner alongside his team which had already agreed to

his invitation.

‘The problem with the Indian captain, the doctor said is that he is a Muslim and he would only

come to my place if I have Halal (Cosher) meat to eat.’

The doctor a hindu of course than requested me to help him slaughter two cockerels (Murghas)

the Muslim way which he had bought and have it tucked to his car boot. I told him then that

unless I have a license to do it will not be possible. He then told me that everything is under

control and you will have no problem with law, he told me.

I felt for his keenness to invite the Indian captain and with a bit of reluctance walked out of the

ground to one of his patients back garden where his car was parked with hose cockerels. Having

done the honour we walked back to the ground with the doctor no doubt too excited to inform the

Azharuddin and conform his attendance at his house with the team.

The captain then turned to me find that if it was true what I have done for him. He had an

enjoyable dinner and when it rained in the Test he along with Tendulkar was being interviewed

during rain-interruption about the young man missing his first hundred in Test, Azhar also

mentioned how enjoyable the previous night was because he had meat to eat.

The shocked interviewer then said the Azhar,’What do you mean, eating meat first time here. We

have sixty million sheep here in this country and we export meat Azhar. Azhar told him that he

eats Halal meat only and explained what it is. The TVNZ man than asked him how did you get

Halal meat. ‘Oh your commentator did it.’

The next day a couple of policemen turned up outside to talk to me about it and I directed them

to the doctor who had invited the team telling the cops that he has the required documents for me

to do what I did. They politely walked away smiling.

By Qamar Ahmed

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