Why is Justice Katju a big fan of Imran Khan? He is telling through old memories

Amalendu Upadhyaya
Posted By -

When Imran Khan came to my home town Allahabad

By Justice Markandey Katju

''Aane waali naslen mujhse rashk karengi hum aasron
Jab woh jaanengi maine Imran Khan ko dekha hai''

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is prominently in the news these days. I have been his strong supporter on the social media for long ( though I have never personally met him and am not connected to him in any way ), as he is bravely leading the democratic forces in Pakistan ( even from inside Attock jail where he is incarcerated in bogus cases) against the fascist reign of terror unleashed by the Pakistan Establishment.

Why is Justice Katju a big fan of Imran Khan
As I said, I have never personally met Imran Khan, but I have seen him once, and I would like to relate how this happened.

There was an Indian cricketer named William Ghosh, who played first class ( Ranji Trophy ) cricket for the Indian Railways from 1949 to 1968 ( though he never played in a Test match ).

William Ghosh was a friend of Imran Khan's father, who persuaded Imran to come to Allahabad ( my home town ) in 1984 to play a William Ghosh benefit cricket match, whose proceeds would go to Ghosh, who was then in some financial distress.

The match was played in the huge Madan Mohan Malviya cricket stadium in Allahabad. Though entry was only by tickets which had to be purchased, there was a massive crowd of spectators, all eager to see the legendary cricketer.

 I was then a lawyer in Allahabad High Court, and when I heard that the celebrity Imran Khan would be playing I decided to take the day off from court and witness the match along with my son Vikram, who was then 9 years old..

Imran flew from Pakistan to Delhi, and then travelled to Allahabad by train. I was told that on the train he ate orange after orange, and little else.

Imran captained the Geep XI team in the match. This was in the winter of 1984, and I still remember he wore a white woollen pullover with red lines near the neck and waist.

His team bowled first, and we all wanted to see his fast swing bowling. Unfortunately, some time before this match Imran had suffered a serious leg injury, and had been advised by his doctors in Pakistan not to run for a few months. So Imran did bowl, but he bowled without any run up, standing at the bowler's end, near the umpire. Even then he captured some wickets.

When his team's turn came to bat, Imran played a fantastic innings which Allahabadis who saw the match would never forget.

Since he could not run due to his injury, he decided to hit boundaries and sixes only, to avoid running between the wickets. His sixes dwarfed the size of the MMM stadium, with the ball landing outside on each occasion. If I remember correctly, he scored about 80 runs before being caught near the edge of the field while attempting another six, and his team won the match.

All this happened almost 40 years ago, but the recollection and flashback of that memorable day is embedded permanently in my mind.

(Justice Katju is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. These are his personal views.)

Post a Comment


Post a Comment (0)