Tip of My Tongue

The England cricket team won. Again. I’d like to blog on this, but obviously I’m still speechless. For now, I want to give some in-depth technical analysis of everyone’s new favourite cricketer, the Pakistani wicketkeeper Zulquarnain Haider. This is a man who replaced Kamran Akmal (obviously a good thing) and who’s already had more personal tragedy then befits an international cricketer in his early twenties. His father suddenly caught Hepititus C just as he was making his debut, and his mother died of cancer ten years ago. In fact, Haider has donated half his match fee to a cancer hospital in Lahore. So he’s a wonderful chap, and international cricket is better for his prescence.

He’s also bloody lucky not to have been out first ball in his second innings; only the replay system saved him. He then scored a pretty decent 88, so huzzah for techology in sport (are you listening, Sepp Blatter?).

What I love most about Haider is that he seems to play cricket constantly with his tongue hanging out. This is a photo flagged up by the especially wonderful Test Match Sofa yesterday:

And here is a photo of him keeping wicket from today:

They’re both wonderful photos! It’s the sort of thing you expect from an under-12s match, or something.

So let’s all raise a cup of tea to Zulquarnain Haider, and to the art of playing cricket with one’s tongue sticking out. Sir, we salute you.

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