An India-Pakistan partnership and an Indian-origin cricketer in the 4th Ashes Test
The Ashes, tracing its roots to the 19th century, is the oldest cricket series between two nations, and getting pride of place in featuring on such a historic stage is no mean feat. 19-year-old Indian-origin Anuj Dal, playing his first season of professional cricket, got the chance to do just that in the 4th Ashes Test at Nottingham on Friday.
The latest of several Asian-origin cricketers to take the field for England’s national team, Dal came on as substitute fielder for Ben Stokes, who went off the field after having picked up a niggle on Day 2.
NHS old boy Anuj Dal fielding for England at Trent Bridge pic.twitter.com/nWBhBjxMJi— Paul Balen (@paulbalen) August 7, 2015
Dal was picked as England’s designated 12th man for the Test because he plays for the second XI of Nottinghamshire, on whose home ground the fourth Test is being played.
His presence had an instant impact on the match as well, an Australian wicket falling immediately after his ‘debut’.
High School old boy Anuj Dal comes on to field as sub and England immediately take a wicket! Sadly the catch didn’t go to him.— Kevin Fear (@kevinfear) August 7, 2015
Great to see our very own 'Nudger' @AnujDal getting on the field for England today.— Kimberley I.C.C (@KimberleyICC) August 7, 2015
India-Pakistan at the Ashes
Anuj Dal was not the only Asian-origin individual on the field of play though. The umpires officiating the 4th Test are India’s S Ravi and Pakistan’s Aleem Dar, making this only the fifth occasion in history when an Indian and a Pakistani umpire have colluded in a match – this being the first Ashes match.
S Ravi has impressed in the limited chances he has got since being promoted to being a Test umpire recently while Aleem Dar is one of the most senior umpires around with 97 Tests under his belt.
The first time such an India-Pakistan partnership was forged was 18 years ago in 1997, when Srinivas Venkataraghavan and Javed Akhtar officiated over a Pakistan vs South Africa match in Rawalpindi.
The scheduled series between India and Pakistan might not see light of day in 2015, but the Asian contingent at this year’s Ashes are sure making themselves felt – on the cricket field and the social media.
Sir S Ravi. Indian Umpire standing in one of the Ashes games in England. Proud feeling. Bright future for Indian Umps. Happy weekend— surya 212 (@surya_14kumar) August 7, 2015
Umpire S Ravi completing the Big3 on the field. #Ashes— Subash Jayaraman (@thecricketcouch) August 6, 2015