In most sports there are moments captured by camera which are unintentionally homoerotic. Sometime back, HuffPo profiled some such shots but most of them were from contact sports like American football, Ice hockey and wrestling where such photos are inevitable.
Here in our little, but densely populated, corner of the world, we have cricket which is a gentlemen’s game and chances of such photographs are minimal but our boys in green do not disappoint us and do provide our photographers with some gems.
Afridi is the undisputed national object of man crushes, it was but inevitable that he would get some love
But here, Yuni Bhai insists on piggy backing Akhtar …
… who in turn takes advantage of Mohammed Asif …
but he eventually gets crushed by SRK
PS: Though Afridi is the undisputed man crush but the one person common in all these pictures is Shoaib Akhatr, does this mean Lala faces some stiff competition in his own team?
PPS: What’s with SRK and Pakistani cricketers, I mean seriously?
In 21st century Pakistan, cricket can be called the opiate of the masses, and the hardest most potent drug of all is one Shahid Khan Afridi. Pakistan has produced far better cricketers than Afridi who brought greater accolades and honor home, some were even bigger stars and some had more charisma but no one invoked as much passion among its subjects as Shahid Afridi does, for he is, undoubtedly, Pakistan’s favourite son.
Pakistan, unfortunately, is divided on most matters, whether it is the matter of royalties for natural resources, water distribution or Veena Malik’s conduct in the house of Big Boss; what Pakistanis agree on, wholeheartedly is that Afridi is essential to cricket in Pakistan and they would want him around for as long as he can play. Afridi is the biggest – perhaps the only – leveler in Pakistan. He belongs to everyone and is adored by all with the same intensity.
Pakistanis whether living at home or abroad love Afridi, whether they are young, old or senile, they love Afridi. Whether they are male, female or a hermaphrodite, they love Shahid Afridi. Whether they are gay, straight, confused, bisexual, trysexual or asexual, they love Shahid Afridi. Whether they are tribal or urbane went to one of the Peela schools or something as elitist as Aitchison or KGS, they love Shahid Afridi. They love Afridi because essentially they can all see a little bit of themselves in him, for he is a quintessential Pakistani – irreverent, restless, a little rough around the edges, impulsive, talented, street smart, ambitious but a little clueless (ok, Pakistan is a lot more clueless, but this is not the place for that rant), quirky and oh-so-endearing.
Though his heart is always in the right place, like most of Pakistanis, the line for right or wrong is a little blurry for him. He has danced and hopped and walked on a pitch to make it work – of course for the country –got caught and was forgiven by all because he was doing it for the motherland. He tried chewing a ball with over a couple of dozen cameras zooming in on him – again for the country – and we absolved him. He was impulsive and did not think but we forgave because we all have been guilty of doing the same. Afridi, probably like most of the Pakistanis, believed that the end justifies the means and was willing to go to any lengths to win it for us, even if meant chewing a ball with Umar Gul’s sweat on it!
Afridi has announced his retirement as frequently as Lindsey Lohan has attended rehab – which is an insane number of times – but he always comes back and we always welcome him with open arms
Though Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammed Asif have gained more notoriety for getting banned, Afridi too has had his share of bans for pirouetting on the pitch in Faisalabad, for mistaking the ball for an apple in Dubai and hitting a spectator with his bat in South Africa. He also received various reprimands from PCB for shooting from his mouth. Unlike Akhtar and Asif, Afridi is can transgress like no other and is still forgiven by all.
Just like most Pakistanis, Afridi too has gone through an identity crisis. He got into the team as a leggie and then scored that record breaking earth shattering mind numbingly stupendous century and deluded himself for a very long time that he is a batsmen. He then thought of himself as a batting all rounder. However, unlike most Pakistanis, he has metamorphosed into what he was always destined to be – a bowler. Though his heroics as a bowler are legendary these days, the idea of an Afridi six still has aphrodisiac like qualities and despite coming to terms with the fact that he is mainly a bowler, we all yearn for those blows that have enthralled us all for oh so long.
Just like other Pakistanis, Afridi refuses to learn and continues to make the same mistakes. While Pakistanis continue to elect the same old faces and vacillate between democracy and dictatorship, Afridi continues to squander his wicket playing one suicidal shot after another. He may shake his head and vow never to slip-up again but every time he puts on the pads, out goes the memory and the rush of blood propels him to do the same – all Pakistanis have been guilty of this, hence we forgive our mercurial Lala for all his follies.
Diplomacy and tact are alien to most Pakistanis; we are one of the most “in your face” people in the world and Shahid Afridi is a true son of Pakistan. Whether telling the world that PCB has announced the team without his consultation or calling Yasir Hamid an idiot with mental faculties of a 15 year old, Afridi never shied away from making his opinions known.
Lala is the only Pakistani and third player in the world to have scored 6000 runs, taken 100 catches and 250 wickets in ODI history. He is also the first, and to date only, cricketer to have taken 50 wickets in T20 and also holds the record for hitting maximum number of sixes ever but we also know that we don’t love him for his cricketing prowess.
Let’s admit it. Lala is not the best cricketer who has ever graced this land, nor is he most articulate, but he is magic when he is on field, even when he does not do much. But when it is his day, he is breathtaking. Back in 2005, I went to see an ODI against England in Karachi. The crowd screamed when Afridi’s name was announced as he was back in the side after two match ban. He came and played a short and sweet innings like he mostly do. He got run out because of a bad call from MoYo. So miffed was the crowd with MoYo that he dared to get Lala out, the a full capacity National stadium booed him and the stand I was in did not even cheer him for his half century. That was the day I was convinced that Lala transcends it all and appeal to people like very few mortals can. He can temper with the pitch and get banned, eat the cricket ball, cavort with Indian actresses, peddle awful soda drinks, kill animals and gets away with it all.
Afridi sells and every brand manager worth his salt knows it. He can add the cool quotient to something as mundane as rice or toothpaste and make it popular beyond its target audience because Lala’s audience is just about everyone. If anyone has doubts, they should check his title of Boom Boom on the shirts of the whole cricket team – a brand name that is coined after him. Heck, he has even made spin bowling look sexy.
Here is some Lala love for all Afridi fans.
Lala is not at home in test kit
Lala ki sawariyan
Lala is awesome in a car
But then Lala is just as awesome inside a plane
and no one can rock bus riding like Lala does
Lala – the sartorial wonder
Lala in a cap
Lala does wonders for chappals
Lala attempting Levity
All tied up and ready to go
on the right head, even namaz ki topi can be a fashion statement
Modeling for his own brand
Working a floral shirt
Working desi formals – with ice cream parlor chor in the background
Afridi with relief goods in Balochistan during 2007 floods
Afridi signed up for I-Own-Karachi campaign
Flood relief work in KPK
Flood relief work
Awww I got visited by Lala
Probably telling the mates how did he dance around the pitch and got banned
He models with mates when the occasion calls for it, sometimes even the crew joins in
Even Brett Lee is charmed by our Lala
But MoYo is more interested in Burger (Would Burger King be Halal enough for MoYo?)
Doing the kaptani duty
Convincing the coach that he indeed is a lucky bastard
With Rashid Lateef
Lala in groupie mode with Courtney Walsh
Younus loves him as much as we do
Lala inspires awe in his fans …
This kid is in seventh heaven
aray yaar camera tau hathao samnay se
Lala in the middle
Yes!!! got an autograph. My friends will be, like, so jealous.
demand for autograph is just as great among aunties..
and kids …
and gora people
the police walah is probably envied by his colleagues
Lala craze in unfazed
This girl is ecstatic but who can blame her,he is actually holding her hand
Lala the family man
playing with daughter
Come on Lala, keep your children away from Kakmal, he is bad influence
and he should also keep his girls away from Inzi and his towel clad gaddi nasheen son
With Aqsa and Ajwa
Lala in action
defying gravity with blond highlights
with gray hair at the temples
major lolz, Lala attempting to read ICC rulebook. Kakmal and Gullay are not even trying
Lets get that one
At times, Lala kills soft furry birds
but then he takes on a snake as well
Though he gets paid shitloads of money to peddle pepsi, he is not averse to other brands
Telling reporters to bow down to his awesomeness
Making prayers look cool (YK needs to shave though)
What??? Lala leading the prayers even when MoYo has a bigger beard and spend far more money on beard hair dye!!!
Under pressure, he can mistake the ball for an apple
If only I had food available, I would not have eaten that ball
Inzi bhai tau road pe lay aye hain yaar
that’s why I sell that shampoo
is that a hint of a paunch? the fans really don’t care
Lala can also work a pole without stripping
Self love much? ghar ke har kamray main apni hi photo
o ja bhai, rasta pakar
SRK wants a piece of Lala
Lala is so beyond cool that even Ashton Kutcher copied his look
With arms wide open
and still open
oh the arms
and that’s how it became the signature style
and here I am … again
I get escorts, but not the right kind
Come on man, you gotta listen to me..
yes, cheer me on
yar bhaji, you dont crack Patha jokes and I wont crack sardar jokes
Lala is so nice, he even takes care of the crying babies
Need some breathing space please
A towel over shorts!!! I think Lala is trying to hide the fact that there is less fab and more flab around the waist
An ass-tastic view
PS: this is perhaps the most time consuming post ever PPS: I initially posted some 85 odd pictures but then decided to go for a century, so added a few more.
First of all, let me congratulate on you on your impending divorce. People usually commiserate at an event like this one but I know you have fought long and hard for it and you totally deserve all the accolades for having won this battle, as the kids on internet forums say; EPIC!
You are a miracle worker. You have mastered the art of doing impossible things and that too effortlessly. Let me tell you why I believe that you are the smartest Indian woman ever.
First of all, what started off as a blitzkrieg news session on romance of Shoaib Malik & Sania Mirza soon turned into the saga of Shoaib Malik and Ayesha Siddiqui. Every PR firm in India and beyond should be queuing outside your doors to sign you up. You have managed to become the most talked about Indian, nay, South Asian in a very short span of time with doing much. All you had to do was produce a doctored photo (even an organization as virtuous as “Times Now” had to put the disclaimer on their website that they cannot prove the authenticity of the photo) and viola – a person as famous as Sania Mirza was relegated to the back and all of a sudden, it was all about you. Did Shoaib marry Ayesha or not? Did they sleep together or not? Have they made a child together or not? Heck, you even managed to drag a fellow Hyderabadi Mohammed Azharuddin into it and he was so scared of you (rightly so) that he claimed not to have known any Siddiqui family ever. After three days of this hoopla, people started asking, who is this Sania Mirza again. Now who else but you could have done THAT?
People thought that only skinny skanks in their twenties with their big hair and flawless skin stand a chance as serious gold diggers but you have proven them wrong. If rumors are to be believed you are at least ten years older than Shoaib, you probably weigh a 100 pounds more than him, you sport nerdy glasses and wear a black burqa and you still manage to snare him to sign the dotted line – twice – first on the marriage contract and then on the divorce papers. I am sure you must have made some decent amount of money (some say its 40 million Indian Rupees) in the process as well. Once again, you have accomplished the impossible. If the matrimonial ads of jeevansathi.com that spring up on every Indian website are to be believed, getting hitched is big shit. You would strike gold if you start a school where you teach girls to get hitched to eligible, preferably rich and famous, men with limited intellectual capacity and raging hormones. With your proven record, mommies and daddies will line outside your door with bags full of cash to get enrollment in your program. Your intelligence will make so many mommies and daddies and their not so comely girls very very happy.
Baji Ayesha, your ‘mahanta’ knows no boundaries. In this awful economy, you have even created business opportunities for some folks. With your allegations and counter allegations, bookies have started betting on the odds of Shoaib and Sania ever making it to the altar. If you manage to delay the wedding, even by one day, you will be making a lot of people happy – and richer – who have actually put faith in your abilities and betted against the wedding.
Your magic does not only work in India, it spreads it bounties across the border as well. You are so good that you have managed to get a totally useless Apa Firdaus Aashiq (our minister for Family Planning) to work, at least for one day. Her ministry is pretty useless (you can tell that by the number of children being born every second in Pakistan without any planning) but even she jumped in and said that she will present Shoaib and Sania Mirza a family planning kit. She can now claim that she has performed her duties as the minister for at least one day in her tenure.
You have also given the opportunity to extremely farigh PML-N workers in Multan to stage a protest against the FIR you lodged against Malik and provided them with a chance to vent their misplaced anger.
Who would have thought that people in India and Pakistan would ever see eye to eye on anything but you have forced “Save Indian Family Foundation”, a men’s rights organization, in supporting a Pakistani man Shoaib Malik. When you filed the case against Shoaib Malik under section 498A of Indian penal code, Save the Indian Family Foundation sprang into action saying that you have misused the domestic violence act and asked that the case be removed against Shoaib as soon as possible. If only you decide to put your magical powers to use for Pakistan – India peace, who knows we may settle water dispute and resolve Kashmir issue. Imagine, millions of children in both the countries who do not go to schools because the governments are busy piling up arms will be able to get education because of that peace and you will end up as the winner of Nobel Peace Prize! You will be right there with the likes of Obama and some other old white dudes. Only you are capable of bringing food and education to millions of South Asian children Ayesha, only you.
You have broken the boundaries of fame that even Ashwariya Rai has not managed to do so. Yesterday, I was surprised to find that my Chinese Uyghur teacher who has lived in Colorado for long and now teaches in Rotterdam and does not know jack about cricket asked me the latest on the Shoaib Malik drama. Between you and Aafia Siddiqui, the name ‘Siddiqui’ is shinning so bright, I see many people taking it up in future for getting famous. Who knows, Mahesh Bhatt may end up making a film titled “There is something about Siddiquis.”
I have two other far more important deadlines to meet but I am so impressed by your brilliance and intellect, I couldn’t wait to appreciate you any longer. You do know that you are a genius.
Baji Ayesha, you rock!!!
From an ardent admirer of your craft.
PS: As per ToI news report, Shoaib had to shell out 150 million Indian rupees in the out of court settlement.
Pakistan’s cricket board has got to be the most indiscreet sport regulating body in the globe. First they leaked the reports about Shoaib Akhtar’s genital warts to the world and now they are showing displeasure at his attempts to gain fitness after undergoing liposuction. While it may not have been the smartest move on Akhtar’s part – his whole life is a series of one bad decision after another – the board in general, and its deputy director general Dr Waqar Ahmed in particular, have been quite vindictive in repeatedly over sharing his medical condition with media down to the details of exact numbers of kilograms of fat lost during the aforementioned liposuction session.
Pakistan Cricket Board is not the most efficient sporting board in the world and is using one Shoaib Akhtar incident after another to deflect the spotlight from its own incompetence and mismanagement.
It’s not just the cricket board or the media that laps up every little morsel of salacious news about the likes of Meera & Shoaib Akhtar, everyone of us who consumes such news, laughs at it and shares it at various social networking sites are just as guilty. It’s about time we give them a break.
Late last night, after watching an exhilarating T20 world cup final and a crazy facebook status update war, my friend Andrew in London – he is a Canadian by the way – started sending me live updates via text messages about how Pakistani fans have taken over St Johns Wood Road by the Lord’s, the amount of money Pakistani expatriates have with people draping hummers in Pakistani flags and white BMWs with a green Pakistan Zindabad slogan pasted on it. I told him it is all those curry houses owned by Pakistanis across Britain that are responsible for the riches of the desi Diaspora.
This is the email I later got from him, it would give you an idea how London goes nuts on Sundays, especially when Pakistanis win a major cricket tournament.
A crazy day here in London. I went to the demo at the Iranian Embassy for an hour or so in the late afternoon. Spoke to an Iranian guy for about 20 minutes about what has been going on. Lots of noise and emotion!!
Walked across Hyde Park and headed up towards Lords. Traffic was backed up so I guessed that the final of the 20-20 Cricket World Cup between Pakistan and Srti Lanka had ended. Lots of crazy happy Pakistan fans were running around making noise. A few were drunk as well. Then a group of Sri Lankan Tamils came by in an anti-Sri Lanka protest. “Sri Lanka, terrorist!” You get the idea.
I walked around Lords after a bit and came upon the Western gate where the team buses were to come out. A crowd of a few hundred Pak fans had gathered. They had the largest flag of Pakistan I had ever seen. It must have been 30 feet long and 15 to 20 feet wide. Lots of Anglo-Pakistanis too so the chants were football like: “Are you watching India?!” “Green Army!” “Afridi (the team’s star player)!”
Someone had a sign that read: “I got my ticket from an Indian.”
After being in Sri Lanka when they won the World Cup in 1996 and following things since then, it is clear that Mike Marquese was right to call his book about the World Cup “War Minus the Shooting”.
PS: President Zardari has announced cash award for the team Pakistan and for the first time, I am ok with him spending our tax money like his personal treasure chest. Go Green Army, you made us proud. To quote a blogging buddy, you guys have gone from cricket chumps to T20 Champs. PPS: Now that Younus Khan has announced his retirement from the shortest form of cricket, would we see Afridi as the new T20 captain?
PPPS: Younus Khan finally revealed his true age. According to cricinfo, he is still 31, but in a post match interview, he said he is 34 and too old to play T20.
PPPPS: Has anyone noticed, this is Intekhab Alam’s second world cup as a coach (the first was in 1992), is he our lucky mascot?
The last photo was added because I just wanted Afridi to be part of this post
Disclaimer: The post does not mean to hurt any Indian reader, I just reproduced Andrew’s email.
It was not just Boom Boom Afridi, it was a BANG !!!
For me, the moment of the match was when Afridi blew a kiss to Jacques Kallis after smashing his three consecutive deliveries to the boundary. When you are this confident, chances are, you are feeling good and you will do well and he did v. v. well.
Looks like Boom Boom is not only capable of a bang, he can blow a kiss or two :), after all, it is all about spreading the love and good cheer.
Some time last month, my friend Faras messaged me from London that he will be coming down to Karachi to watch the first Test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. I thought he was crazy and pulled his leg to no end after the run fest that test match turned out to be. His argument for traveling thousands of miles to come witness the test was simple. He said that it would probably be the last series to be played on Pakistani soil and he would want to tell his children that he was part of that historic event. Never more prophetic words were spoken. After the firing incident that happened earlier today in which Sri Lankan captain Mahila Jayawardene, along with few others were injured, no one in their mind would visit Pakistan. Karachi test was perhaps the last completed test played on Pakistani soil.
Why is Pakistani cricket always depend on someone else beating another team so that they can get to the next stage, why? I am sick of people speculating about possible scenarios
The possible scenarios
If India win against Sri Lanka, they go through to the finals, and the Pakistan-Bangladesh match becomes inconsequential.
If India lose, and Pakistan beat Bangladesh, Pakistan go through. This scenario will have both India and Pakistan tied at four points, but Pakistan would head into the final by virtue of more wins in the Super Four stage.
If India lose, and Pakistan lose to Bangladesh, India’s higher points tally will see them through.
If either of the India-Sri Lanka or Pakistan-Bangladesh games is tied or has a no-result, then Pakistan won’t be able to catch up with India on points, and will be out of the final.
I know I am repeating myself but Nadia Khan Show should come with a rating of at least PG15, if not more.
I caught glimpses of two shows recently and both were conducted in extremely bad taste.
First was with Younus Khan, the cricketer. There was a caller name Asghar who called in that show. He first proclaimed his love for Younus Khan and then asked him to take his name, pyar se! Imagine my reaction.I was eating breakfast and choked on my boiled egg (I know, very difficult to choke on a boiled egg but such was my shock at that request, I choked) and gasped, “Pyar se!!!!!!!” Younus Khan responded with, “Main apka naam tau le laita hoon – Asghar – but I must tell you, I am not that kind of Pathan, I was raised in Karachi.”
Before I could have gotten over this blatant display of homosexual love and YK’s equally blatant snub to that, Nadia Khan asked, in her trade mark extra subtle way, if he has had trouble with Shahid Afridi recently?To this query, YK responded with a resounding yes, there has been an altercation or two between them. However, nothing ever got out of hand. He then gave the reason why it had not happened. Once, they came back to the dressing room after some hot and heavy practice session and YK was lying in a tub of cold water, covered with ice. Apparently, Afridi had said something to flare him up but he did not do anything about it because he was in the tub, naked. His exact words were, “If I had not been totally naked and could have gotten out of the tub, I would have had a serious fight with him.” I was screaming, “This is too much information, I don’t need information about your clothing or lack of it on TV.”
The second show was where Mahleej Sarkari (the woman who became famous by declaring hots for Mushy) and her agent came to the show. Let’s just say that the show was a cheap attempt at getting higher ratings. The whole show was about Nadia Khan acting puritanical virgin who is all “haw hai, ap ne bikini pehen li, sharam naheen aye apko” to Mahleej saying, “Sharam kaisee, I take pride in showing my super fit body” to Nadia khan making faces “Hai Allah besharam kaheen ki” to Mahleej Sarkari’s agent saying “kill all mullahs” to me saying, “Hai Allah Mian Ji, Kithay phasaya jay?” To add insult to the injury, there were callers who were spilling beans about famous Pakistani tv actresses, that they were lesbian lovers who had their romantic pictures taken in Pataya and Phuket. Nadia Khan, in order to fulfill her honest journalistic obligations, insisted that the caller take the name of the two actresses which she promptly did.
Seriously, who needs Jerry Springer when you can watch Nadia Khan Show?
It comes twice a day everyday, especially before going to bed.
This Friday Times cartoon best capture the restoration hysteria that has engulfed our country. First it was about restoring the judiciary, then the politicians ask for restoration of Lal Masjid Khateeb (yeah, the same cleric who ran away in a black Burqa) and now some of them (read PM Gilani, Senator Enver Baig and MNA Hanif Abbasi) want to restore Shoaib Akhtar!
And I call for the restoration of Sanity!
PS: you can see the cartoon in original size if you click on the photo.