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The Kissing Episode and Abbas Ali Baig

November 21, 2011  by: Madan G Singh  Points: 12   Category: Cricket    Views: 485

Abbas Ali Baig is the only cricket player in Indian history to have been kissed by a young girl after he helped India draw the test against Australia in 1959.

         

must confess that I have not seen the Bombay test in 1959 against the Australian team led by Richie Benaud. My father however saw the test and what I have written is recounted by him. This was the third test of the series and the Indian team was led by GS Ramchand a hard hitting right hand batsman and a competent pacer.

The Advent of Abbas Ali Baig

The Indian team included a young man who had made a century on first appearance against England just a season earlier in England when he had hit 112. India had risen form its sick bed and beaten the Aussies in the Kanpur test due to the bowling effort of Jasu Patel. Thus the series was 1-1 as both the teams came to Bombay.

Ramchand won the toss and India batted. But Davidson in an inspired spell clean bowled Pankaj Roy and had Polly Umrigar caught in the slips and the score read 21-2. Abbas Ali Baig stepped in and along with Contactor who hit 108 helped India to a total of 289. Baig made 53. Baig in particular made a tremendous impression as he deftly handled the Aussie attack.

Australia now batted and declared at 387 for8 and India came into bat. At the end of the day (4th) Roy and Contractor had seen India to 92-0. The last day dawned and people thought that India could easily draw the game, but alas both the openers were dismissed and India were a precarious 109 for4, The aghast crowd was silent as they saw India sliding to another familiar defeat.

The Kissing Episode

However Abbas Ali Baig played a stellar innings of 58 and Ramnath Kenny kept him company as India drew the match. Baig negotiated the pace of Meckiff, swing of Davidson as well as the spin of Richie Benaud with ease. It was a great knock marked by some superb drives to the fence.

When Baig returned to the pavilion a young girl in a frock rushed forward and planted a number of Kisses on Baig. In fact Vijay Merchant in the Commentators box counted the kisses on the radio in excitement 1, 2, 3. 12...13. it showed the love of the Indian masses for the game of cricket. How else could a 20 year old girl do such a thing? Any way this has never happened after that and Baig will be remembered for this. Inexplicably Baig faded from the scene, but the kissing episode can never be forgotten.




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