Hyderabad, Abhinav Mukund bowl Zaheer Abbas

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Sep 15, 2015, 7:44 am IST
Updated Mar 27, 2019, 8:11 pm IST
ICC president soaks in cricketing action at the RGICS
ICC president Zaheer Abbas is received by Hyderabad Cricket Association president Arshad Ayub as other officials look on at the RGICS in Hyderabad on Monday.
 ICC president Zaheer Abbas is received by Hyderabad Cricket Association president Arshad Ayub as other officials look on at the RGICS in Hyderabad on Monday.
HyderabadIt’s been 18 years since he last visited Hyderabad and ICC president Zaheer Abbas is understandably impressed by the sea change that the City of Pearls has gone through. He was bowled over by the airport. “It’s so beautiful. I thought I had landed in Singapore,” he remarked while speaking to Hyderabad Cricket Association officials.
 
The former Pakistan cricket captain is here on an invitation from the HCA to be the chief guest at Wednesday’s presentation ceremony of the ongoing Moin-ud Dowla Gold Cup final.
 
The 68-year-old hugged old friend and on-field rival Arshad Ayub (HCA president) and exchanged pleasantries with other officials as he reached the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium on the opening day of the three-day final. Later, he went around the stadium, enquired about the dynamics of in-stadia advertising with Ayub before catching up action in the title clash between Hyderabad XI and India Cements.
 
Abbas was also impressed by Cements opener and captain Abhinav Mukund, who was approaching his half-century then. “Who is this player,” he enquired with the HCA officials, before expressing his appreciation with: “He’s playing so well.”
 
Abhinav eventually went on to make a 154 to guide his side to 299. The left-hander was humbled by the ICC president’s words of appreciation. “I am honoured that he had kind words for me,” he told this newspaper.
 
“I am very happy with the way I batted,” the 25-year-old said, before summing up his liking for Hyderabad. “Ever since my U-13 days, I’ve always scored a century against Hyderabad, barring maybe one season.”
 
Abbas last visited Hyderabad in October 1997 when he led the Pakistan Veterans cricket team against Indian Veterans in the first match of the five-game series for the Independence Cup, organised by P. R. Man Singh, cricket administrator and manager of India’s 1983 World Cup winning team.
 
Abbas was 50 years old then, and had scored a modest 29 before being caught and bowled by Sandeep Patil as Pakistan replied to India’s 195 for 8 with 162 for 7 in the 40-overs-a-side game played at the Lal Bahadur Stadium. Man Singh was instrumental in bringing the former batsman nicknamed Asian Bradman to Hyderabad this time too.
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