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Tragic-comic life of Nasir Jamshed, who hit three hundreds against India

The Indian Express logoThe Indian Express 15-02-2017

“Aaj ki sabse badi khabar. Out hone aur catch chhodney mey sab say aage Nasir Jamshed ney aaj ek catch pakad liya.” Thus ran a clip on the news channel Geo TV after Pakistan’s game against the UAE during the 2015 World Cup.

The host chuckles before the video morphs into scenes from the movie Lagaan where a catch is held by a character least expected to pouch one, triggering hilarious reactions from other characters, before the clip cuts back to the bowler Shahid Afridi looking gobsmacked and mighty relieved that Jamshed has held a catch.

The 2015 World Cup was the height of Jamshed’s notorious popularity — his cricket was heavily criticized in Pakistan, and he was known worldwide more for a hilarious parody twitter account.

The parody’s bio had described Jamshed thus: “Pakistan’s slightly rotund, slightly gormless, slightly bitter, top order batsman. Critics say he is a son of a beach and born to naughty women.” The parody account was a raging success during the tournament, with followers from all around the world.

The World Cup ended and the parody account grew even more popular, and sometime in August that year, Jamshed opened an official twitter account. The world would be shocked to see a leaner picture of Jamshed pumping some iron in the gym. As the months rolled by, the twitter account offered a window into his life: news about his fitness, the birth of his daughter, his avowed aim to come back to Pakistan cricket, and frequent requests to send prayers and duas his way so that he can come back to Pakistan team. While the parody had more followers (69.1 k to his 31.1k), he would be in constant touch with his fans — from seeking prayers for his father who was in ICU for weeks without regaining consciousness to showing empathy when Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Irfan lost their fathers.

He played in the PSL and also in the T20 league in Bangladesh and even in Afghanistan. When rumours emerged that he had moved permanently to England, he took to twitter to scorch those speculations, reaffirming his intent to play for Pakistan again. His wife, who threatened to sue a few Pakistani news channels for reporting on the match-fixing allegations, is a doctor who would often post videos of his fitness and batting drills.

In England, he would be in Worcester at the Old Elizabethans cricket club to work on his fitness, and did manage to shed a few kilos, and achieve the transformation.

In a chat with his twitter followers, he shared some details about him from favourite food to most cherished moments. Biryani was his favourite and he listed three hundreds against India — his only international hundreds — as his most cherished moment in cricket.

In the end, though, it was his parody account that once again perfectly caught his most recent fall into fixing allegations. Hours after the news of his arrest came through, a post went up: “I let my buffalo down.”

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