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Absolem had bettered world record before Tanvir
Gulu Ezekiel/GE Features | May 06, 2008 19:38 IST
Pakistan left-arm fast bowler Sohail Tanvir's remarkable figures of 6 for 14 for the Rajasthan Royals against the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League match at Jaipur on Sunday was acclaimed as a new world record in all forms of Twenty20 cricket.
As per the record book, only four other bowlers had taken six wickets in a Twenty20 match before Tanvir, the previous record of 6 for 15 being set by S R Abeywardene in a Sri Lanka [Images] domestic game at Colombo in October 2005.
But, then, how genuine is Tanvir's record?
There should be some dispute and debate over it, and, certainly, those who followed the preceding Indian Cricket League will argue that the record rightfully belongs to 22-year-old medium pacer Alfred Absolem, who represented Hyderabad Heroes, winners of the title in the second ICL season.
Of course, due to the pressure exerted on it by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the International Cricket Council does not recognise the ICL matches as 'official', even though ICL authorities have applied for official sanction.
Whatever the status, this should not take anything away from Absolem's feat recorded against the Ahmedabad Rockets, at the Lal Bahadur Shastri stadium in Hyderabad on March 21.
It is a rare enough feat to take seven wickets in a 50-over match. That Absolem grabbed 7 for 15 in his quota of just four overs puts the feat into perspective.
And those seven victims were hardly 'bunnies' either. Five of them had played international cricket, as Ahmedabad collapsed for 127, chasing Hyderabad's 175 for 4.
Just look at the big names he snared that day: Wavell Hinds (West Indies [Images]), Murray Goodwin and Heath Streak of Zimbabwe, Australia's Damien Martyn and Reetinder Singh Sodhi, who played 18 ODIs for India.
Absolem decided to quit first-class cricket and 'defect' to the ICL after playing just six matches for Hyderabad, frustrated with the selection process. Hopefully, the ban on the ICL players will be lifted soon and talents such as his will be allowed to get back to mainstream cricket.
Of course, the ICL is not alone in having the 'unofficial' tag attached to it. The same was the case with Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket matches of the late '70s and the 'rebel' tours of South Africa by teams from England [Images], Sri Lanka, Australia and the West Indies in the '80s when South Africa was ostracised from international cricket for its apartheid policy.