‘History of Pakistan cricket is woven into country’s history’

Updated February 04, 2019

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Pakistan's 1992 World Cup winning team that was led by now premier, Imran Khan. — File photo
Pakistan's 1992 World Cup winning team that was led by now premier, Imran Khan. — File photo

KARACHI: Wicket Say Wicket Tak, the Urdu translation of Peter Oborne’s book Wounded Tiger by Najam Latif, was launched on the last day of the Adab Festival Pakistan at Sindh Governor House on Sunday.

Answering a question put to him by moderator Saad Shafqat, Mr Oborne said he used to be sent to Pakistan as a reporter. It was an exhilarating experience for him. He saw cricket being played on every strap of ground. He realised that there were some false narratives being pushed about the country in the West. So he decided to write a book to tell the true story.

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“The history of cricket in Pakistan is woven into the history of the country,” he remarked.

Mr Latif said he chose the title Wicket Say Wicket Tak because he wanted to use a phrase that people were familiar with. Besides, the title suggests that the book moves from one tale to another (aik daastaan say doosri daastan tak). Working with Mr Oborne was an inspiring experience for him, Mr Latif said. Mr Oborne kept coming to Pakistan in the worst of circumstances. He has always shown the true picture of the country to the world.

Urdu translation of Peter Oborne’s book launched at Adab Festival

Journalist Qamar Ahmed said unfortunately there were no publishers in Pakistan who wanted to publish a book on cricket and pay for it. So, most books that see the light of day are self-published. Mr Oborne’s book is a masterpiece and Mr Latif is a perfectionist as a translator, he said.

Novelist and cricket enthusiast Richard Heller said it was Mr Oborne who drew him into Pakistan cricket by calling him in 2013 and telling him that he was writing a book. It led him to come to Pakistan for the first time, Mr Heller said. During the course of their research they took a train journey from Karachi to Lahore, and every time he would look out of the train, he would see cricket in progress somewhere.

“Pakistan has an amazing relationship with cricket,” he said. “Cricket is a game that has tremendous inner life, internal drama and you see that most in Pakistan cricket.”

Responding to a question about international cricket returning to Pakistan, Mr Oborne said it had already begun as West Indian women cricket team was these days touring the country.

Published in Dawn, February 4th , 2019