|A stance to make uncle Ijaz Ahmed proud|
I wasn’t looking for Camp Nou in Barcelona, though I was looking for the new Qatar Airways Barca T-shirt – not for myself but for my 11 year football fiend of a friend, Vasu. Now you can buy that tee everywhere, and for up to 82 Euros. I ran into Indians, Pakistanis, Catalans, even some Spaniards, prepared to sell me that Barca tee at every conceivable price. There was something about the longing for home in that Indians eyes, I just had to buy it from him.
As I trooped out from his shop behind the Cathedral, little did I know of the temple that lay ahead. I turn, and there they are – in a square big enough to be called a square in cricket parlance. I get a silly grin when cricket or a sexy woman totally unexpectedly stare me in the face.
|"The bowler has been damaged quite badly" - Ramiz|
There they are – four of them, with a pitch that seemed twice as long than necessary. We’re in Barcelona dammit, I have to bowl – that’s another thing, I’ll ask for a bowl anywhere on earth; that’s one way to warm up, start with a bowl and work your way to a bat.
|Actions speak louder than line and length|
I know they’re Asian, start by speaking in Hindi, they reply. They’re Pakistani. I make a lame joke about an India-Pakistan match in Barcelona, they’re unamused. I bowl. Wide outside off. The pitch is much too long. I bowl again. Wide outside leg. I bowl again, spin. Big wide outside leg. I bowl again, on target, outside off. Tonked past the cathedral.
This is where I know, there will be no batting. I have overstayed my welcome.
As I walk away, a few photographs, they seem to be getting on just fine. This India Pakistan rivalry is way too overrated.