When Dunga meets Bunga Bunga

You have heard of Dunga (if you follow soccer). Even if you don’t, you would have heard of Berlusconi and his Bunga Bunga parties. And they come together in a small town in Pakistan.

The soccer player Dunga: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunga

It is mentioned that the nickname comes from the Portuguese for Dopey, one of the seven dwarfs.

As for Bunga Bunga, read a quick summary here. It is important to note that this phrase was not invented by the Italian leader but has a long history going back to Britain in the early 20th century:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-12325796

A more detailed description of the old hoax is in here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunga_bunga and here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreadnought_hoax

And they come together in a small town in Pakistan’s Punjab province:

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

It even has a train station, but this has not seen service for a few decades:

Dunga Bunga

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The two Stalins

As it appears, Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin will soon be the head of the DMK and possibly the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu at some time in the future.

His father thought it was a good idea to name him after the Soviet leader when he was born on March 1, 1953.

On that day the original Stalin suffered a cerebral haemorrage and subsequently died on March 5.

This coincidence is duly mentioned in the Wikipedia article on MKS: “M. K. Stalin was born in Madras, now Chennai, on 1 March 1953. He was named after Joseph Stalin, who died four days later.”

Incidentally, Stalin was a nickname he adopted in the course of his political career. He was born in 1878 with the name of Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili, which was Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili in Russian.

He was one of the relatively few non-Russians who were important figures in the Soviet Union. His name in Georgian was: იოსებ ბესარიონის ძე ჯუღაშვილი

Georgian looks unlike any other European language.

Also see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Stalin#Death,_funeral_and_aftermath:_1953

The last time it happened

The last time the West Indies won a Test in England was at Birmingham on June 15, 2000.

On that date:

Hillary Clinton was in the White House-as First Lady.

Few outside the US had heard of Barack Obama. They had heard of an eccentric millionaire called Donald Trump.

Few outside Gujarat had heard of Narendra Modi. If they had heard his name, they assumed that it referred to Sushil Modi, then and now the main BJP leader in Bihar.

While most Indians knew of Manmohan Singh as a former finance minister, few would have imagined he would become Prime Minister for a decade.

But some things do not change. On that date Vladimir Putin and Robert Mugabe were Presidents of their respective countries. They still are (though Putin took a break in between). Even North Korea has seen a change of rulers, admittedly from the same dynasty.

But there are other records which were more durable. England never won a Test against the West Indies  between April 1974 and February 1990 (almost 16 years, a little less than the period mentioned above).

And they never won a Test against the West Indies at home between July 1969 and July 1991, a 22-year stretch.

A long stretch, from Nixon to Bush Sr. , and from Indira Gandhi to Narasimha Rao via Morarji Desai and others. But Queen Elizabeth was there throughout, for a small part of her ongoing 65-year reign. So was Fidel Castro, who was undisputed leader of his country for 49 years.

The predecessors of Gurmeet Ram Raheem Singh

Quite a mouthful. You might as well call him by his stage name MSG, which is more commonly known as monosodium glutamate, which is supposed to be harmful to health.

There are, however, a number of real cases of multi-religious names. One is Major-General George Bharat Singh, who was prominent in the 1965 war. Unfortunately there is no suitable reference on the net, though you will find his name easily enough through Google.

There was a lesser-known but moderately successful cricketer named Ashish Winston Zaidi, who played for UP in the Ranji Trophy for many years:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/player/36137.html

The Indian film industry was fond of titles like this. The best known is “Amar Akbar Anthony”, but there were also “John Jani Janardhan” (with Rajnikanth, no less) and “Ram Robert Rahim” in various languages around the same time.

And the song “Love Charger” evoked memories of the chargers used by Papillon and his friends.

“From the beginning of the book you’re left in no doubt as to how hard you needed to be to survive. On the boat heading for South America each prisoner carries his own ‘charger’, a slim metal cylinder for storing your cash – cash that would be sorely needed in order to make a break.

I kissed this three-and-a-half-inch , thumb-thick tube before shoving it in my anus. It went up high into my large intestine. It was part of me.”

 

Little-known facts about Bangladesh cricket-1

A common question asked is “Was there any East Pakistani who played in Tests for Pakistan?” and most cricket fans, even from that part of the world, are not sure of the answer.

As Bob Dylan might say: the answer, my friend, is not blowing in the wind, but can be found after some research on the internet.

See this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Pakistan_first-class_cricket_teams

and a list of East Pakistani cricketers here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_East_Pakistan_first-class_cricketers

Note this extract:

“These included six Test cricketersMahmood Hussain, Mohammad Munaf, Mufassir-ul-Haq, Nasim-ul-Ghani, Naushad Ali, and Niaz Ahmed[6] No native East Pakistanis, Bengali or otherwise, represented Pakistan’s national side at Test level. The closest was Raqibul Hasan, who was twelfth man against the touring New Zealanders during the 1969–70 season, and the following season represented a full-strength Pakistan side against a Commonwealth XI.[7] Raqibul went on to serve as Bangladesh’s inaugural captain in the 1979 ICC Trophy, and later played two One Day International (ODI) matches for the team.[8] Two other East Pakistan players went on to play for Bangladesh in ICC Trophy matches—Ashraful Haque and Shafiqul Haque.[9][10]”

However, the information in this extract is not quite correct. The first 5 Pakistani players mentioned were indeed from West Pakistan and appear to have spent some time in East Pakistan for employment or other reasons. Mahmood Hussain and Nasim-ul-Ghani were fairly prominent in their time.

However, the case of Niaz Ahmed is different.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/pakistan/content/player/42069.html

and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niaz_Ahmed

The Wikipedia entry is more detailed than the one on Cricinfo. Niaz Ahmed was born in Benares in the United Provinces (now Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh) and his family moved to East Pakistan after Partition. He appears to have spent his early life there, when he made his two Test appearances in 1967 and 1968-69. He and his family then moved to Pakistan after the liberation of Bangladesh and settled in Karachi. He died there in 2000.

While he appears to have been originally from UP and not a Bengali, he did spend his early life in East Pakistan and started his cricketing career there. Thus, although he did not achieve much in his Test career (2 Tests, 17 runs and 3 wickets) we have to consider him as the only permanent resident of East Pakistan to have played in official Tests for Pakistan.

Then there is Raqibul Hasan:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/bangladesh/content/player/56070.html

and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raqibul_Hasan_(cricketer,_born_1953)

He was indeed a Bengali, born in Dacca in 1953. He was also 12th man in the P v NZ Test at Dacca in 1968-69, though those outside the playing XI are ignored in the records. However, he did play in what might be called an unofficial Test side, for the BCCP  XI vs International XI in early 1971, just before the Liberation War began:

Scorecard of this match:

http://static.espncricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1970S/1970-71/INT-XI_IN_PAK/INT-XI_BCCP-XI_26FEB-01MAR1971.html

The BCCP  XI seems to be practically a full-strength Pakistani team, as most of the players did play in the Test series in England later in 1971-the same season in which India recorded its first Test and series win in England.

Note that the International XI consisted mainly of English players (essentially fringe and former Test players). Probably the best known members would be wicketkeeper JT Murray and the Australian bowler Neil Hawke. It is not clear how Pakistani test player Younis Ahmed and another Pakistani first-class player Wahid Yar Khan were playing in this team.

(Wahid Yar Khan, like Asif Iqbal, had grown up in Hyderabad in India and started his cricket career there before moving to Pakistan in the 1960s).

After this, Raqibul, like most Bengalis in East Pakistan, underwent a lot of hardships when the war resulted in  the deaths of many of his family and friends. He went on to be Bangladesh’s first cricket captain in the initial stages, and even played in two ODIs in the Asia Cup in 1985-86 besides a number of other limited-over matches (such as those in the ICC Trophy in 1979) which did not have ODI status. At that time Bangladesh was classified as an Associate and only their Asia Cup matches had ODI status.

So the question is now answered. Niaz Ahmed was the only permanent resident of East Pakistan who played for Pakistan in Tests.

And Raquibul Hasan was the only Bengali who played for Pakistan in what can be described as an unofficial Test.

 

A strange little cricket tournament

This was an international 50-over championship, but is not even considered as List A as the teams are not considered to be of a sufficient standard. This is one of the steps which need to be taken by teams aspiring for a higher status in cricket’s pecking order. In this recently conducted cricket tournament (held at Chiang Mai, Thailand), the participants were from different parts of Asia, ranging from Qatar to Bhutan to Thailand.

This was the points table:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc-wcl-asia-region-division-1/engine/series/1089458.html?view=pointstable

Also, the determined cricket fan can skim through the results and scorecards:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc-wcl-asia-region-division-1/engine/series/1089458.html

Note that China failed to cross three figures in all matches, with scores ranging from 28 to 74. Bhutan was slightly better as they beat China and once managed 104/9.

But one would be foolish to write off Chinese cricket. Hong Kong is doing well enough in the Associates. More importantly, remember how China came from nowhere to become a major force in the Olympics.

More about the lower rungs of cricket-playing countries in the link below. The rankings may not be up to date, but you do have a clear idea of who comes after Afghanistan and Ireland, with ranks going down to 30 (Italy) and 31 (Guernsey).

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

Tail piece: Anyone in that area who was bored by the cricket could also have played porn ping pong at this place:

http://www.pornpinghotelchiangmai.com/

Karun Nair’s Test records

You will remember the fuss about Karun Nair when he scored his triple century in his third Test at Chennai. We now look at his oddly skewed Test career after he has completed 6 Tests. This should be apparent from this sequence of scores:

KK Nair innings seq

He has a respectable average of 62.33. But he scored 303 of his 374 runs in one innings (81.0 %) and never made another score above 50. To be precise, his next highest score is only 26.

It is hoped that he will play at least a few more Tests and score more centuries. Until then, he holds a couple of records in all Tests. This does NOT include the highest maiden century, as Gary Sobers (365*) and Bob Simpson (311) are ahead.

Highest score by someone who scored only one century ( 150 and above):

Highest score with one century

KK Nair heads this list, ahead of England’s RE Foster who held the record for about 113 years. His 287 was the world Test record until early 1930 when Andy Sandham made 325 (in his last Test), though Bradman crossed it with 334 later the same year.

Foster, Kuruppu, Fawad Alam, K Ibadulla, C Bannerman and A Jackson  were making their Test debuts. Gillespie made his only century in his last Test while batting as nightwatchman. There are several other current players here led by MT Renshaw with 184.

Another quirky record is the highest Test score made by someone who never made a fifty (i.e. a score between 50 and 99). This gets a bit messy due to Statsguru’s limitations, but we get these figures:

Highest score by those who scored one century and no fifty (110 and above):

1 century no fifty

Highest score by those who scored two centuries and no fifties (all cases):

Two century, no fifty

And finally:

Highest score by those who scored three centuries and no fifties (all cases):

Three century no fifty

No one has scored more than three centuries without a fifty. For a short time KL Rahul shared the record with Bopara. But Rahul scored his first fifty soon after he scored his third century.

As we can see, KK Nair is the only one to score a triple century but no fifty. David Lloyd and Brendon Kuruppu are the only ones to score a double century but no fifty. And Ravi Bopara’s Test career may be over, but he also holds a record which may not be broken for a long time.

KK Nair is also the only current player with one or more centuries and no fifties.