Cricket, like most other grand tales, is adorned by great characters and their heroic acts defy logic with sheer bravado to create eternal images that conquer our minds forever
Neville Cardus, the most celebrated cricket writer in the history, used to say “ We remember not the scores and the results in after years: it is the men who remain in our minds, in our imagination.”
Cricket, like most other grand tales, is adorned by great characters and their heroic acts defy logic with sheer bravado to create eternal images that conquer our minds forever.
Over the years we forget the mundane scorecards or even the shiny silverwares but those images of heroes remain eternal. People talk about Malcolm Marshall, who batted with one hand before decimating the opponent with seven-for by bowling with that hand while the other hand on plaster, and a Bangladeshi hero recreated the similar myth on this very day three years ago.
Tamim Iqbal Khan, one of the most successful batsmen in country’s history came to bat with his left hand, his predominant one, broken, and not only helped Bangladesh win the match against Sri Lanka but created a glorious page in the annals of country’s cricketing folklore.
Tamim’s left-hand was hit by a Suranga Lakmal delivery in that match at Dubai earlier in the innings and it was found in the scan that the southpaw’s index finger was fractured.
Despite some early loss, Bangladesh recovered well thanks to Mushfiqur Rahim century and his partnership with Mohammad Mitun but the men in Red and Green found themselves in a tricky 229-9 in the 47th over during the first match of the Asia Cup.
Just when everybody was thinking the innings was over Tamim was seen entering into the ground with his one hand plastered. Four out of his left-hand fingers were out of the gloves and the spectacle created instant jaw-dropping reactions throughout the stadium and the millions watching through televisions around the world.
It was later learnt that the team management including the medical members forbade Tamim to get on to play as another hit in the hand might ruin his career altogether. But he paid no heed.
Tamim, ironically, faced the paceman Lakmal and with sheer pain he could be able to block the ball just with his wrong hand.
That certainly inspired Mushfiq in the other end as the diminutive batsmen created whirlwind in the reaming overs to help his side post a formidable 261. Mushfiq remained not out on 144 off 150 balls.
But the effect of Tamim was perhaps so inspiring that the Tigers bowlers bundled out the opponents for a mere 124 and in retrospect one may think Tamim’s act was perhaps not required.
But that is where the beauty of cricket like every other human story glorifies. Tamim’s act actually transcended all the barriers and even overshadowed the win he was so craving for. Over the years people have to find out the scoreboard but the memory of one-handed Tamim will remain vivid.
As Joseph Campbell, the great researcher of mythology, said ‘A hero is someone who gives his or her life to something bigger than oneself’. On that Tamim became a hero, he created a myth.
A myth that will be foretold by the generations to come, a story that will inspire myriad of young men to stand for the greater causes and deliver even