“In the prime of his bowling life, Imran Khan looked the part better than anyone. Frame erect, chest flared out, hair flowing like a lion’s mane, he provided an utterly captivating sight. The backdrop could have been Karachi or Lahore, London or Sydney. The sky could be cloudless or overcast, the day still or breezy, the crowd massive or sparse. You always felt the same sheer majesty of his presence. He was usually looking down and to the side, polishing the ball on his trousers, a few motions down the front, then up the back, occasionally mopping his brow with his shirtsleeve. Eventually the moment arrived, and he turned at the top of his bowling mark. Quite apart from the delivery and its consequences, Imran’s walk back existed as an event in itself. This wasn’t any mere appetiser; it could be consumed as a silent entrée delicious enough to unleash waves of gratification.”
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