December 11 2022
The game starts at 4:30, and he sets out for the first train of the day, taking him from Bir Shivpur to Uluberia at 3:30. And the man making this arduous journey so late at night or better say at the first spark of dawn is my father, baba.
And as my father speaks about the grace and hold of the skipper, Imran Khan, a twinkle of delight left his eye. “He is the best”, he says, and went on to describe with infinite exquisite the nitty-gritty of the finale.
His remembrance scrambled from the struggling yet trying Javed Miandad, to the next day’s newspaper (he doesn’t remember which) painting in words the thrilling victory. Whenever he mentions Miandad’s that innings, he says it was Miandad’s greatest innings.
Whenever I ask him “how was the match, baba?”, words fail him and I can see the same tinge of excitement that probably was there when he was watching the match on “boka-baksho” (TV set) live. It fills me with an unhinged source of happiness whenever he speaks of the same.
As I poke him more, he praises Derek Pringle and Chris Lewis; England’s bowlers who were giving a tough time to the Pakistani side, almost making it difficult to score singles. Miandad was struggling hard, and as he stole one single, Khan was at the strikers' end. Khan went on to score 72 off 110 balls
I was not even born when Pakistan won its first-ever World Cup title, and neither have I watched the match later on, but through my father’s eyes, I can paint the game. The attachment he shows makes it the greatest game of cricket I have ever watched.