by Anura Guruge
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Yes, I know that there is no reason, whatsoever, for me to feel sorry for Imran Khan, but I do. Yes, Imran had the world at his feet, and all the women he ever desired at his beck and call, all his adult life. He enjoyed a level of success in every sphere, and particularly with women, that strugglers like I can only gape at in amazement.
I have always liked Imran, 11 months my senior — despite the few controversies, in and out of cricket, that he got embroiled in. He was one heck of a cricketer. Always exciting whether batting, bowling or fielding. He was a giant. I have seen him in person a few times when we were both in England at the same time. Once, famously, I saw him in the car park of the Hampshire Cricket Club, Southampton Grounds, canoodling with a young lady. I did say “Hi, Imran” as I walked past. It would have been rude not to acknowledge him.
Other than all the pleasure he has given me as an outstanding cricketer, there are two things in my life that relate directly to him in one way or another.
1/ The title of my first, and financially my most successful book, “SNA: Theory and Practice“, in 1984, was conjured by a rather brilliant young lady who was an ex-girlfriend of Imran’s during his time in Oxford. She was in charge of marketing for the publisher. I did not have a title for the book. But I explained to her what it was about and how I structured the book to first explain the architecture and then how the architecture was implemented. I was thinking along the lines of “SNA: Architecture and Implementation”. She came up with the much better title. Given that she knew that I was a cricket fanatic she would remind me, every time we met, that she knew Imran in the Biblical sense. Wish I could remember her name. So that is the first connection.
2/ Imran explained to me why I so often get accused of being arrogant. Since Imran cleared it up for me it no longer bothers me, not that it bothered me overly, at any time, arrogance a great body armour against slights such as that. I couldn’t help it and still can’t. Despite my best efforts I can come across as arrogant and I am. Imran, in his 1988 book, “All Round View“, explained to me why he and I are both arrogant — though he, obviously, has better reasons to be so, than I. In 1988 I was living in the U.S. but had bought the book in one of my many trips back home. I was reading it one night, in bed, when I came across this paragraph about how his parents had brought him up to be arrogant. It was an Eureka moment. I sat up in bed. I realized. My (adoptive) parents too had brought ME up to be arrogant. It was a part of how we were brought up. Cultural. We, the first generation of post-independence kids to aspiring upper middle class families, were expected to be arrogant. It all became clear. Since then I don’t give a jot when my wife accuses me of insufferable arrogance. What can I do? My (adoptive) parents brought me up to be so. If you don’t believe me, ask Imran.
Anyhow. I feel bad for Imran. This was unnecessary. But I doubt whether he has any shortage of women clamoring to provide him with sucor.
All the best Imran. You deserve the best. Cheers.