The Future of the Circle Line

Support for Third Man’s campaign to restore the Circle Line to its rightful place has been strengthened today by Diogenes’s accurate recollection that Zaheer Abbas, a true Prince among batsmen, had quite a circular back lift. 

TM would classify it as at least from Paddington to Sloane Square on the Circle Line.

Please enjoy this wonderful clip of ‘Z’ and Majid putting on 166 in the 1979 World Cup Semi-final.  A Slow-Mo early on gives a good view of the backlift and was that Bill Alley umpiring?

YouTube fans of Zaheer are legion.  Below he scores 108 off 110 against Australia in the B&H Cup 1981, this time wearing specs.

And for addicts here he makes 118 off 86 balls against India in an ODI at Multan in 1982.

You may also notice his ‘dip’ of the body just before the ball is delivered.  This too is frowned on by conventional coaches because of the danger of moving the head and of shifting balance.  But Lara dipped as well.  Does it set the batsmen who use it into a sprung coil from which they release themselves into the shot?

UNIMPORTANT FACT: Third Man once stayed in Z’s Bristol home in ’73 or ’74, though, the Master Batsman knew very little about it, however he can put on record how very sweet about it he was.  By his deed of kindness shall he be known.

IMPORTANT FACT: Zaheer used a very light bat, never more than 2lb 4oz might at times have been 2/2.

TM is looking for a copy of George Headley’s stance.  A photograph is pictured on the ESPN Leg Ends of Cricket link given yesterday, but it doesn’t appear easy to find.  Any clues, anyone?

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “The Future of the Circle Line

  1. diogenes_1960

    I first became aware of Zaheer at the same time as most Englishmen – during the first test of the 1971 series, when this complete unknown creamed something like 275 runs off Shuttleworth, Underwood, Illingworth, D’Oliveira, Lever…. I bet that Fred Trueman, if he was in the commentary box (not sure if he was on TMS by then), would have been saying throughout that a swift leg-stump yorker would do the trick… I think that, lower down the order, Asif Iqbal also got a century. As he grew older, his backlift developed a circular tendency too, unless my memory is fading.

  2. diogenes1960

    smiles…I do remember the opening over on the second day, delivered by Shuttleworth. It went for a torrent of runs. Trevor Bailey almost had a heart attack on air…”Brian Statham used to gwt depressed if he delivered a half-volley once a season…..”…It was true…it was an over of crap deli8veries but Z was batsman enough to make the most of it with the least risk. i feel a need to compare Z with, say, Everton Weekes. The cognoscenti always say that Weekes was the best of the 3…yet Walcott had the power and Worrell had the grace but somehow Weekes was the one they wanted to get out.

  3. Pingback: A Life in Dentristy or A Life in Cricket – You Decide « Down At Third Man

  4. diogenes_1960

    I just watched the first video you posted of the 1979 World Cup partnership between Zaheer and Majid…wonderful memories. You could see that the Windies were seriously rattled. Not sure if that was Bill Alley but it might have been… I think Everton Weekes was on hand for a few comments towards the end of that clip. Marvellous….do you have any memories of Majid? What a glorious, effortless player, very poorly used by the Pakistan authorities…maybe their Gower-equivalent. The guys who do really well like Javed Miandad, Imran, Wasim Akram are the fighters rather than the “casual” sorcerers like Majid.

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