Osama Bin Laden Hated Cricket Too

From Gawker/CNN:

We now know that the people who lived in the terrorist mastermind’s compound not only kept neighborhood kids’ soccer balls, but they kept cricket balls that came over the walls, too.

First: I’m glad Pakistani cricket is alive and well. Clearly, some Afridis-in-the-making were hitting those sixes.

Second: The ‘cricket ball’ problem was a difficult one to deal with in urban Mumbai, circa 1990s. If you hit it out of your “compound” and onto the street, you’d have to juggle oncoming traffic and risk death to get the ball back. Happily, I was too young to think too much about mortality. (Though I did lose a fair number of tennis balls. My mother once angrily asked me why I was responsible for providing the ball in the games, and I replied that the boys would play with the red rubber balls if I didn’t. And, God, those balls were scary as hell. Does anyone remember those things?)

4 thoughts on “Osama Bin Laden Hated Cricket Too

  1. I preferred the red rubber- a little slower off the pitch and the bat than a tennis ball.

  2. Golandaaz says:

    As a batsman I loved the red balls (we used to call it MRI balls because in our area they used to be marked with a MRI sign) The red balls were better for spin as well

    But for bowling fast, there was nothing to beat the heavy tennis balls. They used to be heavier than the green tennis balls and used to not travel too fast after hitting the bat

  3. Krish says:

    This is pretty incredible, but for a time in 1994, my friends and I used to play in a ground that was an abandoned field, and there was an open well (no wall) 15 feet to the left of the striker’s stumps. We bought a fishing net and covered the well, though it wouldn’t have helped if someone slipped into the well. Luckily, no one managed to kill himself though we lost quite a few balls that slipped through the cracks in the net. We also had the teeny problem of hitting sixes into the nearby houses. One of them had a girl who was around *that* critical age when mothers become all worried. And her mother thought we were hitting sixes into their compound purposely. Little did she understand that we cricket-crazy madmen were too obsessed elsewhere.

    • duckingbeamers says:

      Thanks for the comments. The red rubber balls certainly had their advantages — if you wanted to force a batsman to really have to hit a ball, then it was a good substitute. But didn’t they also have bounce issues?

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