More on long names in cricket

You would have heard of this Sri Lankan player with 6 initials:

UWMBCA Welegedera:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/51019.html

and his compatriots with 5 initials:

HMRKB Herath

MKGCP Lakshita

WPUJC Vaas

In fact, two or more of them have played together in Tests and ODIs several times.

Other countries have not been able to come up with anyone with more than 4 initials. You may think they are mainly from India, but the 4-initial group includes representatives from the West Indies (SFAF Bacchus, EDAS McMorris), England (JWHT* Douglas), India (GAHM Parkar), South Africa (NHCD Theunissen) and Australia (HSTL Hendry) besides a long list of Sri Lankans. Pakistan has a few hyphenated triples such as Misbah-ul-Haq while Bangladesh has an one-word name (Mahmudullah).

*  “Johnny Won’t Hit Today”

But they all pale into insignificance before this first-class cricketer with 10 initials:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/48186.html

As he is apparently referred to as Rajitha Amunuguna, Indians may think this is a female name.

Here is the scorecard of his last first-class match:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/415983.html

in which his opposing team included WADAP Perera and MMDNRG Perera.

Meanwhile, there is competition from Fiji:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/24046.html

IL Bula, who is apparently still living, has the longest surname among any recognized first-class cricketer. He did score two centuries.

You can count the number of letters in his surname, but they are clearly far more than the Test record-holder Sivaramakrishnan (16 letters) and his hyphenated friend Bromley-Davenport. With 15 letters we have Kuruppuarachchi, Venkataraghavan and Wijegunawardene. At the other end of the scale there are a few Alis beside Gay, Law and Su’a.

Onwards to the T20 Cricket World Championship

With the qualifying tournament over (uniquely with both the finals and the third-place match washed out) we know which teams will participate in the  T20 World Championship (NOT World Cup) to be held in India in March/April 2016. The 10 Test nations will be joined by Scotland, the Netherlands, Ireland, Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Oman.

As in 2014, the first round will be played by 8 teams (Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and the 6 qualifiers) and the two top teams will join the other 8. There are two groups of 5, and the top 4 teams qualify for the semi-finals.

The winners of the first round need not be taken for granted; in 2014 Zimbabwe did not qualify but the Netherlands did.

A point of interest was this player:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/772407.html

He does not play for the Netherlands as one would expect. His team does not have official T20 status so his matches do not qualify as T20Is. However, he would be the only international cricketer with quadruple repeated initials. He does have a counterpart from first-class cricket:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/10681.html

While in Test cricket there are triple repeated initials in

WW Wade: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/47855.html

WW Whysall: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/22420.html

and

HHH Johnson: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/52200.html

The last player seems to have been unfortunate in playing only three Tests after taking ten wickets on his debut.

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICC_World_Twenty20

The forgotten electric locomotives of Pakistan

The railways of Pakistan have been going through a decline in the last few years for a variety of reasons, mainly government apathy and the lack of funds for modernization. One result of this has been the abandoning of whatever little electrified track it had.

By 1966, the 290-km route between Lahore and Khanewal had been electrified on 25 KVAC. 29 locomotives of 3000 hp rating were acquired from what was then known as British Rail Traction (including the conglomerate AEI and English Electric). These were classified as BCU30E and were numbered 7001-29. Here is one which is currently lodged at the museum at Golra Sharif (north of Rawalpindi):

http://pakistanrail.tripod.com/photos/index.album/electric-locomotive?i=26&s=1

And one of the few which were still running in 1996:

http://www.irfca.org/gallery/Foreign/Ziegler/Pakistan/HyderabadMalakwal/khanewal_bcu30.jpg.html?g2_imageViewsIndex=1

Later this longer clip appeared on Youtube. The dates are not clear:

In the initial years it was planned to extend electrification towards Rawalpindi and Peshawar but the presence of a few tunnels caused second thoughts. Another place where electrification would have been useful was the Bolan Pass route up to Quetta with its 1:25 gradient, the steepest main line in South Asia. Power shortages put an end to any further plans for electrification.

By the 2000s the traction lines on only one of the two  tracks were functioning. By 2009 the locos were showing their age and had been taken off passenger duties. The few which were functional were used on short goods trains. Here you can see one of these at Sahiwal (formerly Montgomery)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ56AcTBAL0

By 2011, it was decided to stop electric services: http://tribune.com.pk/story/124828/pakistan-railways-electrical-locomotives-wrapped-up/

But even in 2013 the media felt that extending electrification would be a good idea even with the limited locos and infrastructure. The theft of overhead wire was cited as one reason for abandoning electrification. On the other hand India and numerous other countries are extending electrification, which is well known to the media there. As in India, there is alleged to be a diesel lobby plotting against electrification.

http://nation.com.pk/editors-picks/23-Aug-2013/pr-s-electric-locos-turn-into-scrap-rusting-in-engine-shed

This TV report (in Urdu) is critical of the government’s decision, and also shows the railway worker’s reactions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBtDLBj4tH4

But it looks as if it will be a long time (if ever) when we can see electric locos running in Pakistan.

Reference: a good general description of most locos presently seen in Pakistan can be seen here:

http://pakistaniat.com/2007/05/19/pakistan-railways-3000hp-iron-horses-train-engines/

Even in 2019, current videos on Youtube show the traction masts still in position although the overhead wires have been removed.

Colonel Bogey and his successors

Most adults in Commonwealth countries have heard this tune, possibly through military bands which still play it. It dates back to 1914, but the words came later during World War 2. It became famous worldwide with the film “Bridge on the River Kwai” which was released in 1957, but was still making the rounds of cinemas in India in the 1970s.

Here is the “official version” by a British army band: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxguy0BYNzE

You are more likely to have seen this version from the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4k4NEAIk3PU

Although most of the film was shot in Sri Lanka, the actual bridge still stands in Thailand and is a popular tourist destination: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nYT79oxzBI

It is not very close to Bangkok, but many conducted tours will take you there and back in a day.

The tune became so ingrained in popular culture that: “Since the film portrayed prisoners of war held under inhumane conditions by the Japanese, there was a diplomatic row in May 1980, when a military band played “Colonel Bogey” during a visit to Canada by Japanese prime minister Masayoshi Ōhira”

As to the lyrics, Wikipedia goes into them in great detail: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitler_Has_Only_Got_One_Ball   Most versions had only the first four lines, though longer versions exist. Variations in the second line mention local prominent buildings such as the Albert Hall in London and the Free Trade Hall in Manchester. Also, as General Rommel was one of the few German military leaders who was respected by soldiers on the other side, the second line sometimes became “Rommel has three but small”.

Indian schoolboys made up other variations such as:

Hitler, he had but one big ball,

Rommel, he had three but small,

Nehru, he went to Peru,

And poor Gandhi, he had none at all.

Cricket odds and ends-2

As the Lord’s Test proceeds to its logical conclusion, here are some more odds and ends from bowling in Test cricket. These figures do not include the current Test in progress or the Australia vs ICC XI Test of 2005.

Most wickets taken by a player who did not take 10 wickets in a match:

325   RGD Willis (BB 9-92)

308   B Lee (BB 9-171)

291  JH Kallis (BB 9-92)

Now we move to wickets taken in an innings.

Most wickets taken by a player who did not take 9 wickets in an innings:

702   SK Warne (8-71)

560   GD McGrath (8-24)

519   CA Walsh (7-37)

Most wickets taken by a player who did not take 8 wickets in an innings:

519   CA Walsh (7-37)

421   SM Pollock (7-87)

414   Wasim Akram (7-119)

Most wickets taken by a player who did not take 7 wickets in an innings:

308   B Lee (5-30)

291   JH Kallis (6-54)

259   J Garner (6-56)

Most wickets taken by a player who did not take 6 wickets in an innings:

308   B Lee (5-30)

219   A Flintoff (5-58)

151   RJ Shastri (5-75)

Most wickets taken by a player who did not take 5 wickets in an innings:

87    M Hendrick (4-28)

78    Mashraf Mortaza (4-60)

75    BM McMillan (4-65)

Most wickets taken by a player who did not take 4 wickets in an innings:

51    NJ Astle (3-27)

47    BL D’Oliveira (3-46)

46    SR Tendulkar (3-10)

Now the reverse cases:

Least wickets taken by a player who took 10 wickets in a match:

11    SF Burke

11    CS Marriott (only 1 Test)

13    HHH Johnson

13    JJ Krejza

Least wickets taken by a player who took 9 wickets in an innings:

17    JM Noreiga

29    JM Patel

99     AA Mailey

Least wickets taken by a player who took 8 wickets in an innings:

13    JJ Krejza

25    BJT Bosanquet

26    AE Trott (both for Aus and Eng)

Least wickets taken by a player who took 7 wickets in an innings:

9    M de Lange

9    T Emmett

13    KJ Abbott

Least wickets taken by a player who took 6 wickets in an innings:

7    PJ Cummins (only 1 Test)

8    GM Parker

9    WH Cooper

Least wickets taken by a player who took 5 wickets in an innings:

5 in 5 instances

Cricket odds and ends-1

(From 2015 and not updated)

Normal service seems to have resumed at Lord’s, complete with attritional batting by England. Here are a few odds and ends from Test cricket: (These do not include the current Test at Lord’s, or the Aus v ICC XI Test in 2005).

Most runs by a player who never scored 300:

15921 by SR Tendulkar (HS 248*)

13278 by RT Ponting (HS 257)

13265 by RS Dravid (HS 270)

Most runs by a player who never scored 200:

8463 by AJ Stewart (HS 190)

8029 by ME Waugh (HS 153*)

7728 by MA Atherton (HS 185)

Most runs by a player who never scored 100:

3142 by SK Warne (HS 99)

2084 by CPS Chauhan (HS 97)

1993 by DL Murray (HS 91)

Most runs by a player who never scored 50:

1010 by Waqar Younis (HS 45)

981 by FS Trueman (HS 39*)

940 by CS McDermott (HS 42*)

Most runs by a player who never scored double figures:

45 by BJ Arnel (HS 8*)

34 by M Mbangwa (HS 8)

31 by Arshad Khan (HS 9*)

31 by GB Studd (HS 9)

Now the converse of these:

Least runs by a player who scored a triple century:

879 by A Sandham (HS 325)

2047 by LG Rowe (HS 302)

2061 by RM Cowper (HS 307)

Least runs by a player who scored a double century:

320 by DBSP Kuruppu (HS 201*)

501 by Taslim Arif (HS 210*)

503 by BJ Hodge (HS 203*)

Least runs by a player who scored a century:

112 by AG Ganteaume (HS 112)

130 by KL Rahul (HS 110)

144 by W Place (HS 107)

Least runs by a player who scored a fifty:

51 by HM McGirr (HS 51)

52 by KL Wishart (HS 52)

54 by SG Law (HS 54*)

Least runs by a player who scored double figures:

10 by several players

Performance in the first 25 Tests and ODIs

The learning curve can be quite steep in international cricket, although Bangladesh have now shown some signs of improvement since they started. Their performance in Tests is still quite dismal, and it is therefore worthwhile to compare how other countries fared in their first 25 Tests and 25 ODIs. It is often forgotten that India and New Zealand took some 20 and 25 years respectively to record their first Test wins. Here we see a tabulation of all Test-playing countries in their first 25 matches:

Test25

It can be seen that England (closely followed by Pakistan) lead the table. New Zealand, Zimbabwe, India and Sri Lanka had a rather unimpressive run of wins but were able to draw more consistently than Bangladesh.

Australia is the only team to win its first Test, and Zimbabwe the only one to draw its first Test. The other 8 teams all lost their first Tests.

Now let us look at the first 25 ODIs for the top 12 teams at the moment, being the 10 Test nations plus Afghanistan and Ireland. As in the case of Tests, we have removed the multinational teams. Apart from the ICC XI there are Africa XI and Asia XI to be removed.

ODI25

Afghanistan and Ireland have a bit of an advantage as they played more matches against lower-ranked teams which are on the fringes of ODIs, though not good enough to dine at the high table of the main ICC rankings. As we might guess, the West Indies were the big bosses from the beginning though Afghanistan and England tie for the second place, closely followed by Australia. Zimbabwe and Bangladesh take up the bottom. Bangladesh sadly is at the bottom in both formats.

4 of these teams won their first ODI: Afghanistan, Australia, New Zealand and Zimbabwe while the other 10 lost their first matches.

It might be instructive to see how they fared in their first 50 Tests and 50 ODIs.

The Dannemora debacle

Ultimately the escapees from Dannemora failed to avoid capture for even 30 days, so the prison (officially called the Clinton Correctional Facility) can still claim that no one has successfully escaped from there in its 165-year history. It was a near thing, since if their getaway associates had done their jobs properly they may well have been in a faraway part of the country now (if not in another country).

Alcatraz still retains its place as the hardest prison to escape from. The best that anyone could manage was to reach the shore and collapse of exhaustion, which resulted in his capture within minutes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Paul_Scott

Apart from that, there is no known case of anyone escaping alive and reaching the mainland. One famous case (made famous by Clint Eastwood in “Escape from Alcatraz”) remains officially unsolved as no bodies were found, but if the trio did survive some evidence should have emerged in the past 50-odd years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_1962_Alcatraz_escape

The final scorecard reads:

During its 29 years of operation, the penitentiary claimed that no prisoner successfully escaped. A total of 36 prisoners made 14 escape attempts, two men trying twice; 23 were caught, six were shot and killed during their escape, two drowned, and five are listed as “missing and presumed drowned”.

Britain has had its share of famous escapees who succeeded in leaving the country and were never recaptured. However they did ensure that no Axis prisoner of war could escape and return to their country.

The only German who had been imprisoned in Britain and succeeded actually escaped after he was moved to Canada.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_von_Werra

There a few lesser known cases of Germans and Austrians escaping from detention in India and making their way to Tibet and Japanese-held Burma without being caught. Heinrich Harrer (“Seven Years in Tibet”) was commissioned as an SS officer (much in the same way that Tendulkar was commissioned in the IAF) so he should not really count.

More records by Imran Khan (Jr)

Note: This was written in July 2015 and has not been updated.

Imran Khan (junior), a Pathan like his better-known namesake, already has a couple of interesting Test records in his name.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/316363.html

One, he joins the select group of only 5 players with 5 or more Tests whose team won every Test he played in. Here are the other 4.

Allwin-1

Of these, GJ Bailey is a current player but is not very likely to play for Australia again. If one really looks into it, Baptiste and the others were not particularly distinguished players but happened to be in the right place at the right time. Perhaps Imran has contributed more to his side’s wins than the others. For instance, he has 14 wickets including a fiver in his 5 Tests. Baptiste has one fifty and 16 wickets (best a three-for) in 10 Tests. The other three are specialist batsmen with no fifties.

And Imran is now the only one to play 5 or more Tests without scoring a run:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;orderby=runs;orderbyad=reverse;qualmin1=5;qualval1=matches;size=10;template=results;type=batting

During his 5th Test he finally got a chance to face a ball in what was only his 2nd innings. He faced 8 balls in 24 minutes and was dismissed for zero. The only other time he batted was on his debut, when he spent one minute at the crease and did not face a ball.

Life on the border-Munabao (2)

Hope you have read the first part:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/life-on-the-border-munabao/

A bit of ancient history first, courtesy of a nice little book “Jodhpur Railway” by R.R. Bhandari, published by Northern Railway in 1982. Copies might still be available at the bookshop at the NRM in Delhi.

The start of this desert route came about by public demand in Sind province (which, unlike Jodhpur state, was ruled by the British). Thus a BG line was built from Hyderabad (Sind) to Shadipalli, a little east of Jamrao and Mirpur Khas. It was opened in 1892 and did not run at a profit.

Ultimately the British did some arm-twisting and persuaded the ruler of Jodhpur to extend the MG line from the then railhead at Balotra to Shadipalli. The line from Shadipalli to Hyderabad was then converted to MG, and the through MG connection was opened in 1901. The last section was transferred to the Jodhpur Railway. It was generally considered to be one of the best run mid-sized railways in India, and it was not surprising that they could run it at a profit.

An interesting sidelight from this book relates to the station now known as Marwar Jn. Marwar is the name of a region but not a town. This station came into being when the first connection from Pali (then an important town in Jodhpur state) was to be connected to the Ahmedabad-Delhi line. As it often happens, the optimum connection happened to be at a place with little local population. But it was chosen as the water supply there was more abundant than the other possible points. This station went through various names such as Kharchi, Jaswantganj, Jodhpur (which was OK until the line to the real Jodhpur was opened), Bitoora, Marwar Railway Jn and finally Marwar Jn. It is still essentially a railway town with few other activities.

By the 2000s, the MG system in Pakistan was on its last legs. Hyderabad to Mirpur Khas had been converted back to BG in the mid-1960s and the latter town had two expresses from Karachi. The pathetic state of the MG network can be seen from these extracts from a PR timetable of 2001:

PR-47

The BG connection up to Hyderabad is shown above.

PR-48

Here you can see the pair of trains which ran once a week between Mirpur Khas and Khokhrophar. They ran with ancient steam locos, as did the other MG lines.

PR-49

The line from Mirpur Khas to Nawabshah appeared to have only two trains a month, and only two intermediate stations functioning on the 129-km route.

PR-50

And this loop line from Mirpur Khas to Pithoro had one train a week, which ran only in the anti-clockwise direction and returned via the “main line” as you can see from page 48 above.

There were a few BG routes such as Quetta – Zahidan which had a similar pattern of service.

A recent picture of Hyderabad Sind station, which is a junction unlike its larger Indian counterpart:

Hyderabad Sind

By 2006 the Indian BG conversion had reached up to Munabao and was then extended up to the border. Similarly Pakistan converted the line up to the border. As Khokhropar was a few km away from the border, they decided to build a new station “Zero Point” just inside the border. There is a general understanding between the two countries that no new structures will be erected within a few hundred metres of the border, but India seems to have let this pass.

The geography of the border stations can be seen here:

https://www.google.co.in/maps/@25.7274878,70.2551959,14z

Also Gadra Road station, which saw some action in 1965:

https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Gadra+Road,+Rajasthan+344501/@25.7417899,70.607637,13z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x3945e4a2e3cae09f:0xa906cf73f5ba9fd!8m2!3d25.742726!4d70.6424989

The service began in 2006 with the Indian train running from Jodhpur to Munabao, the trans-border train running between Munabao and Zero Point, and the Pakistani train running from there to Karachi Cantt with commercial halts at Mirpur Khas and Hyderabad. The Indian train apparently runs non-stop. After a couple of years the terminus was shifted from Jodhpur to the suburb of Bhagat-ki-Kothi (BGKT) Apparently it was easier to handle security from the smaller station, which is more known for its diesel locomotive shed.

Bhagat ki Kothi

There are full immigration and customs checks at both border stations. The trans-border train is the true Thar Express, while the train from BGKT is correctly called the Thar Link Express. The trans-border train is supposed to be run by India and Pakistan alternately for 6 months. When it is the Indian train, everyone gets on to the same train they came by once the border formalities are over. It takes them to Zero Point, where everyone gets down and the passengers from Pakistan board for their trip across the border. Similarly, the Pakistani train from Karachi takes their passengers across their border up to Munabao and returns to Zero Point. Everyone gets down for the formalities before they board again for Karachi.

The formalities may take several hours on each side and frequent seizures of smuggled goods and counterfeit currency are made. Expired visas and other irregularities are also commonly found, although visas are supposed to be checked before boarding at BGKT.

These are the timings of the Thar Link Express:TharLink

And on the Pakistani side:

Thar Pak TT

Note that this website can be seen only in some countries, so you may have to make some adjustments.

The timetables are more of a work of fiction as delays for checking often take longer than expected.

When the new service started, India already had a daily passenger train between Barmer and Munabao. But on the Pakistani side there was only the 405/406 running between Mirpur Khas and Zero Point with no intermediate stops. Khokhropar, the only place of some importance in that remote area, found itself totally cut off as roads were in a poor condition. More recently a daily passenger train has been introduced on this route:

Pak Pass TT

The current timetable does not show any services on the MG lines on the Pithoro loop or the Nawabshah branch, so we presume they are now closed. Thus Pakistan is now an unigauge country like Sri Lanka, but unlike India and Bangladesh where the metre gauge and narrow gauge will be around for a long time to come.

Pictures of Munabao station:

Presumably the sign on the left is a new one set up when the trans-border services started.

Pictures of Zero Point:

This station was newly constructed when the trans-border route was opened in 2006. Note the Sindhi inscription.

The old border station of Khokhrophar:

Khokrophar

Here are a few videos of this train:

Arrival from Pakistan at Munabao:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvOiF6iGO0U

Leaving Zero Point for India:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dRtTjsqxI4

And passing through Chanesar, a suburb of Karachi:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SimkBa8ScQY 

Note the curious spelling of Mona Bahu.

It needs to be mentioned that it is a long and uncomfortable journey and not particularly worthwhile for Indian railfans. This is in contrast to the Samjhauta route where Lahore and Amritsar are both within an hour of the border.

They could, of course, travel from Barmer to Munabao by the local train. With luck, you might see some action between 12 noon and 2 pm on Saturday though the cross-border train is more likely to arrive late. Even if one could find a place to stay there, there is supposed to be a curfew between 7 pm and 6 am.

Life on the border-Munabao (1)

The Samjhauta Express gets all the news coverage, but its little known cousin the Thar Express remains away from the limelight. A look at its history.

While most of the railways in Pakistan came under the North Western Railway headquartered at Lahore, the metre gauge lines in Sind were run by the Jodhpur state railway. This is what the network looked like in 1933. Some smaller branches were not completed by then.Jodhpur Railway in 1933

This being 1933, there is only a little dashed line indicating the boundary between the British-ruled province of Sind and the state of Jodhpur. At around that time there was a mail train between Jodhpur and Hyderabad on the metre gauge, possibly with coaches from Ahmedabad which would have joined at Luni. Here you can see the “trans-border” timetable of the Jodhpur Railway in 1943, which was not too different from what it was in the 1930s:

Jodhpur1-1943

The rest of the Jodhpur Railway in 1943 is here:

Jodhpur2-1943

So we see the mail trains between Luni and Hyderabad Sind running without a stop at Munabao, although Gadra Road and Khokhropar seem to have been more important stations.

It would have been possible to travel by train from Bombay to Karachi by a roundabout rail route via Ahmedabad, but this would (at the bare minimum) have involved changes of train at Ahmedabad and Hyderabad. Probably ships were more convenient.

Came 1947 and the Jodhpur railway authorities continued to run trains into West Pakistan for a few months. There seems to have been some cross-border services up to 1965 but details are lacking. Apparently the Pakistani forces did intrude across the border to Munabao (as they did at Khem Karan further north), besides shelling Gadra Road which is close to the border. This station was to serve Gadra town which was now on the other side. All cross-border train services between India and both wings of Pakistan ceased after this.

In 1971, the Indian army returned the compliment and advanced about 50 km into Pakistan, capturing Khokhropar and a few other stations beyond it. Documentary films of that time show Indian diesels (probably YDM-4s) running to Khokhropar. Incidentally Pakistan Railways generally neglected these MG lines and never got round to getting diesel locos there, though they seem to have shifted some of the more numerous steam locos from East Pakistan to run the limited services (much to the delight of foreign steam fans).

By 1976, the Samjhauta Express between Amritsar and Lahore got going. Now that was the only way (other than very limited air services) for the ordinary passengers from India and Pakistan to cross the border. Anyone from western India who wanted to travel to southern Pakistan had to make a long detour up to Amritsar and Lahore.Gradually both countries got round to reopening this long-forgotten link.

To be continued.

Grexit meets Google Translate

You must have got tired of cliches like Greek tragedies.

One of the new words we have had to learn is Grexit, meaning Greece’s exit from the Eurozone (though they have not yet started talking about leaving the European Union).

A prophetic sign at Athens airport the day before the referendum (courtesy of Dr Sunil Mukhi):

Grexit sign

The European Union consists of 27 countries-refresh your memory here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_state_of_the_European_Union

And there are 20 or more official languages-which would be apparent when you see a passport or other important document from there. It goes without saying that translators have a field day translating every official communication into every other language. The UN manages with a handful of official languages.

We now see what Grexit (or rather “Greece leaves Eurozone”) translates into, courtesy of Google Translate. (“Greece exits” does not seem to convey the meaning as well as “Greece leaves”)

English:     Greece leaves Eurozone

Bulgarian:  Гърция напуска еврозоната

Croatian:   Grčka napusti eurozonu

Danish:     Grækenland forlader eurozonen

Dutch:       Griekenland verlaat de eurozone

Estonian:   Kreeka lahkub eurotsoonis

Finnish:      Kreikka jättää euroalueen

French:      Grèce quitte la zone euro

German:     Griechenland lässt Eurozone

Greek:         Ελλάδα αφήνει Ευρωζώνη

Hungarian:  Görögország elhagyja eurózóna

Irish Gaelic: An Ghréig duilleoga Limistéar an Euro

Italian:          Grecia lascia Eurozona

Latvian:        Grieķija atstāj eirozonai

Lithuanian:    Graikija palieka euro zoną

Maltese:        Il-Greċja weraq Eurozone

Polish:           Grecja opuszcza strefę euro

Portuguese:  Grécia sai da Zona Euro

Romanian:     Grecia părăsește zona euro

Slovak:           Grécko opustí eurozóny

Slovenian:      Grčija zapusti evroobmočje

Spanish:         Grecia sale de la zona euro

Swedish:         Grekland lämnar euroområdet

And the mother language:

Latin:               Greece relinquit Eurozone

Google Translate also covers a few sub-national languages such as Catalan and Welsh, though they haven’t got round to Flemish and Scots Gaelic so far.

The above translations would seem to cover most of the population of the current EU. Note that Serbia, Macedonia and Norway are not in the EU yet. Cyprus should be covered by Greek.

What short and snappy equivalents of Grexit can we expect? In Estonian it might be Kreelah (though this might be too close to Tarzan’s battle cry).  In French it could be Grèqui, and in Italian Grelas. The Irish would have a particularly bad time shortening it. The German language has a tendency to make long single words, but for the moment it could be Grieläs. The Germans are in fact also fond of short forms. In the former East Germany people were scared of the Vopos and still more terrified by the Grepos, i.e.

People’s Police: Volkspolizei: Vopo

Border Police:   Grenzpolizei: Grepo

Now let us see what Google Translate does with Indian languages for the same phrase. See for yourself how (in)effective it is.

গ্রীস ইউরো ছেড়ে

ગ્રીસ યુરોઝોનના નહીં

ग्रीस यूरोजोन के पत्ते   (particularly amusing)

ಗ್ರೀಸ್ ಯೂರೋಜೋನ್ ಎಲೆಗಳು

ഗ്രീസ് യൂറോ ഇലകൾ

ग्रीस Eurozone पाने

ग्रीस यूरोजोन छोडेर

ਗ੍ਰੀਸ ਯੂਰੋ ਨੂੰ ਛੱਡਦੀ ਹੈ

கிரேக்கம் யூரோப்பகுதியில் விட்டு

గ్రీస్ విడిపోతుందన్న ఆకులు

یونان یوروزون چھوڑ دیتا ہے

For once, the Bengali translation is slightly better than the one in Hindi. Probably you will find more amusement in the other languages. I wonder why the Tamil version is much longer than the others.