Cricket musings of an alternate universe

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In the world Hughes and Rana live in these days, there are no borders, no ethnicities, no races, and therefore no divisions.

By Evan Tanin (in Bengali)

Translated by: Tauhidul Islam

Phil Hughes starts to type an e-mail, in a rather hurried fashion. Manzarul Islam Rana, the all-rounder from Bangladesh, sees his Aussie friend rather excited about something. As he walks up to Hughesy, Rana smiles to himself, about the two words “Bangladesh” and “Australia”. In the world they live in, there are no borders, no ethnicities, no races, and therefore no divisions. Rana, though, remembers his motherland fondly, and why would he not? Wearing that red and green jersey is the only thing he misses over here.

In the world they live in, there are no borders, no ethnicities, no races, and therefore no divisions. Rana, though, remembers his motherland fondly, and why would he not? Wearing that red and green jersey is the only thing he misses over here.

Once Phil is done, Rana asks him “you seem to be in a hurry. What happened?”

“You forgot today’s date?

“It’s the day when that bloke Abbott bowled that bouncer two years ago. It’s the day when I landed here! I can’t blame that kid though, the Zeus of cricket over here wanted a new opener in the team.

“I just emailed Zeus to grant me a holiday to watch the day-night Test against South Africa at Adelaide. If I were alive, I probably would have opened the innings with my mate Warner. I cannot do that now, but at least I can go there and be present with the team to support my mates. Especially for Warner, he looks up here after every hundred; his tearful eyes saying, “it’s for you, Hughesy!””

Rana says, “I see, you are very emotional. It’s okay, it has only been two years. I am the specialist spinner in this team for eight years. Over time, you will also become like me, a person without emotions.”

“Don’t say that, you don’t express it, but I can see it in your eyes. If I start talking about Mashrafe, I notice how your face changes,” Hughes mentions.

“Yeah maybe. You know what? BPL is going on in my country; I do wish I was there. Who knows, I could have been an icon player along with my best friend! I could have been a senior player in the national team, just like Mash! (sighs)

But your flight and turn really amazed Zeus over here, so he wanted you to play this league, ain’t it, mate? (laughs)

A mischievous smile crosses Rana’s face as he replies, “Yeah, you would wish I wasn’t here, I forgot to count the number of times I got you bowled with my flighted deliveries.”

As they both indulge in friendly banter, Hughes suddenly jumps up from his chair, “Yes, holiday granted! Let me go then!”

Rana bids his friend goodbye. He walks back to the nets. Sir Don Bradman has been struggling against his arm ball for last two days, and he is not happy at all. The greatest of all time has arranged a net session against Rana to perfect his technique against spin.

This story has a beginning. The end? You leave that to your imaginations.

If you see an Aussie left-handed batsman going down on one knee and fiercely driving a wide delivery square of the wicket, then you will realise Hughesy has returned. If you see the same batsman confounded by the turn and flight of a Bangladeshi left-arm spinner, then Rana has returned. They will definitely return; just like the Phoenix bird from Greek folklore, they will return stronger than ever!

They will never be dead, they will be alive forever in the square drives, in the arm balls, in the flighted deliveries.

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[On March 16, 2007, the promising Bangladesh all-rounder Manzarul Islam Rana died in a motor accident. Rana, who represented his nation in six Tests and 25 One-Day Internationals was just 22, when this tragedy occurred.]

[Phillip Hughes, who died after being struck by a Sean Abbott bouncer in a Sheffield Shield match at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 27, 2014, a week before his 26th birthday, was a being considered as one of the up and coming batting stars of Australian cricket. The southpaw represented his country in 25 Tests, 26 One-Day Internationals and a lone T20 International.]

(Evan Tanin is Dhaka-based Civil Engineer and an avid cricket lover and writer. His writing is a treat for his Facebook friends as well as an ever-growing list of followers. He can be contacted via Facebook here.)

(Tauhidul Islam is a cricket enthusiast from Melbourne who wanted to be a cricket journalist but ended up studying accounting and finance. However, whenever he finds time, the ‘writer Tauhidul’ comes out with interesting write-ups. He can be contacted via Facebook here.)

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