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.