When mere name is enough for fame

Syed Faiz Ahmed

Cricket is a game of statistics and the people related with cricket history often has to excavate the myriad of cricketing statistics but sometime some incidents create great amusement for not figures but for names involved.
In 18th December 1979, the fourth day of the Perth Test saw one of the most interesting entries in the scoreboard and Lillee c Willey b Dilley has become a legend in cricketing tales.
In the royal game the name of the players have often been a source of light fun and many players could catch attention with their name even if they could not seal that with their performance.
Bangladesh is going to organise the under-19 World Cup from today and the participants, the budding cricketers around the cricketing world are not so famous yet but surely some them will attract even before the game with the names that they carry.
For instance, Indian player Washington Sundar will catch some attention for his first name that is named after the United States capital and its first president and also the latter part of his name that means beautiful in this part of the world and makes his full name a wonderful harmony of western and oriental culture.
Talking about US presidents and cricket one can remember West Indian first bowler Nixon Mclean, who never got more than three wickets in an international match and could never make himself a great bowler, is still remembered as he was named after Richard Nixon while he has brothers named Kissinger and Reagan and a sister named Golda Meir, named after two former US presidents and a former Israeli prime minister respectively.
Indian Washington will be probably the most interesting name in the tournament but Scottish player Mohammad Azeem Dar will also make people instantly think about one of the most known International umpires, Aleem Dar of Pakistan as South Africa’s Rivaldo Moonsamy will surely force people to recall the talisman Brazilian, who was one of the best footballers in his era.
Azeem’s team-mate Owais Shah will also feel some pressure of expectation if not for any other reason but merely for his name as he bears the same one of an English cricketer who got some international success.
Same thing can happen to Afghanistan’s Zahir khan, who is the namesake of the former Indian fast bowler though Afghan Zhair is much slower than the Indian Zahir as he is a spinner by trade.
Taking about the Perth Test of 1979, Australian Opener Julien Wiener faced the first ball of the match from Dilley and ironically both Dilly and Wiener are synonymous in colloquial dictionary, meaning the most delicate part of a male body.
And to make it even more ironic and a matter of black humour Willey is homophonic to ‘Willy’, meaning the same with those two words.
Perhaps South African under-19 player Willie Ludick faces the light humour from his team-mates not only for his first name but also the certain suffix of his second name.
But these are surely not to hurt anyone but to induce mere fun that increases the fraternity of the game.
That spirit of fraternity may make friendship between Bangladesh Skipper Mehedi Hasan Miraz and Canadian player Miraj Patel though they may not face each other in a match.
And like the Canadian Miraj all the players will enjoy the tremendous hospitality of Bangladesh during the cricketing extravaganza in the coming days and make their mark as the future of cricket.

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