October 25, 2021

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England v India: Haseeb Hameed and the brutal agony of the golden duck

In overall, 1,655 adult males have been dismissed 1st ball in Examination cricket.

Some of individuals are baffling. Both William Whitty and Sanath Jayasuriya managed to be out for a single. Neither ended up run out – they ended up each caught. How they scored a person run and were being dismissed from the only delivery they confronted is a thriller.

Some are infamous. In 1981, Ian Botham’s next-innings nought against Australia at Lord’s completed a pair and was a person of his last functions as England captain. What adopted at Headingley is etched into cricketing folklore.

Other folks are a very small speck in the background of the match. England’s Alan Wells was out initially ball from West Indies in 1995 and never played Test cricket yet again.

None, while, can match Haseeb Hameed for the collective feeling of heartbreak, devastation and desolation.

This was supposed to be his wonderful return. The great redemption. Affirmation that everything is doable with perseverance, belief and hard get the job done.

Hameed went 1,717 times involving England appearances. The waif-like youth hardly out of faculty, ‘Baby Boycott’, a 19-year-old batting like a veteran for 3 Tests in India in 2016.

Then and now: Hameed in 2016 and 2021

And then? Nothing at all. A 5-12 months roam in the wilderness that started out with a broken hand and plummeted to a deficiency of type that threatened his profession.

Some never ever wavered in their belief that he would arrive once more – even when he went a full period averaging only 9 in initially-course cricket.

The Bolton boy had to up sticks to get back on track. His shift from Lancashire to Nottinghamshire not only noticed the runs return, but individuals in the know chat of bigger strength and maturity. For a though, the England recall has felt inescapable.

Anybody who has at any time played cricket, at any amount, will know about the indignity of a golden duck.

If the humiliation of owning a nought by your name just isn’t enough, there is the amount 1 next to it, etching in historical past the truth you have been not able to survive a single, measly delivery.

Some batsmen liken getting out to a sort of sluggish demise, comprehensive with the perception of grief that follows.

A golden duck is an immediate execution. Not even the probability to say your very last words from the gallows, due to the fact the firing squad have pulled the trigger prior to your neck is in the noose.

The anticipation of an innings is to surprise the place the journey will just take you – the pictures, the sweat, the verbal joust with the bowler – still a golden duck is the best bursting of a dream, like ending an experience just before you have packed your baggage.

In reality, a golden duck can choose considerably less time than it can take to set your pads on.

Who has not waited to bat entire of optimism? For Hameed, the hold out lasted practically five many years.

Out he came, cheered to the crease by the Lord’s group, swinging the bat as he moved in the direction of the crease, wearing a upper body guard that seemed like a person experienced stuffed a car door inside his shirt.

3 occasions he checked his guard, scratching at the ground to make absolutely sure he would be in just the ideal position.

What followed was inexplicable. A straight ball from Mohammed Siraj missed, in cricketing phrases, by gentle yrs. Middle and off stumps castled. A golden duck. After all that.

Haseeb Hameed
Haseeb Hameed averaged 43.80 from his a few Checks just before this match

Lord’s allow out a collective gasp of dismay. Hardly ever has these a amount of optimism been so swiftly destroyed so brutally.

Then the lonely and disconsolate trudge back again. Even the most difficult coronary heart would have required to run above and give him a huge cuddle, explain to him anything will be Alright and that cricket is a silly recreation in any case.

Continue to, when you have endured what Hameed has been by way of, to even be back again playing for England is a victory in itself.

Even though he experienced the agony of a 1st-baller, he was continue to equipped to emerge on the dressing place balcony, sharing a joke with his team-mates.

In 1902, South Africa great Jimmy Sinclair, a man who once escaped a prisoner of war camp and performed rugby for equally the Springboks and England, manufactured 104 in opposition to Australia after registering a golden duck previously in the match.

That is the point about Check cricket – there’s normally the next innings.

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