Sunday, November 16, 2008

Even International Teams Cannot Match the Badshahs-Heroes Rivalry

The Lahore Badshahs take on the Hyderabad Heroes for the ICL bragging rights tonight. With the best of 3 finals tied at 1-1, the winner takes all in tonight's match.

There is a lot of history between the two sides, which makes today's match even more compelling.

Rewind to November 2007 when the first ever ICL tournament kicked off.

The Hyderabad Heroes team in that tournament was captained by Inzamam Ul Haq and coached by Moin Khan. The team included Abdul Razzak, Azhar Mahmood, Chris Harris, Nicky Boje, Ambati Rayudu, Shahabuddin, Ibrahim Khaleel, IS Reddy, Alfred Absolom, and others.

The Heroes didn't win much in that tournament.

Fast Forward to March 2008 and the 2nd edition of the ICL 20-20 Championship kicked off.

A dozen and a half Pakistani cricketers had joined the ICL and there was a new team playing the tournament - the Lahore Badshahs.

Inzamam, Azhar Mahmood, and Moin Khan had all moved from the Heroes and were part of the Badshahs now.

Razzak however, remained with the Heroes.

The Badshahs cruised through the group stages and entered the finals series unbeaten.

Up against the Heroes in the finals, the Badshahs stumbled for the first time in the competition.

They lost the 1st final by 6 runs and were down 1-0.

The 2nd final ended in a tie and the Badshahs' players failed to hit the stumps even once in the bowl out, hence conceding the ICL championship to the Hyderabad Heroes.

Inzamam and Moin Khan had lost out to a team they had captained and coached in the previous tournament.

And their main nemesis in both the finals was their old team mate Abdul Razzak who was also the player of the tournament.

Fast forward to October 2008 and 2nd season of the ICL kicked off with the 3rd edition of the ICL 20-20 Championship.

The tournament started with a rematch of the previous tournaments final and the Heroes were victorious once again on the basis of run rate as the match ended prematurely due to the lights of the stadium switching off 6 overs into the Badshahs innings.

The tournament went on, the Badshahs gained steam with every match, qualified for the semis, went past te Superstars in emphatic fashion, and then waited for the Heroes to join them yet again in a best of 3 finals.

In the 1st final, Abdul Razzak, a former team mate of the Badshahs and the one who had denied them the title in the previous tournament, yet again proved to be the thorn between the Badshahs and a victory.

Tempers flared as Razzak smashed his way to 69. The Badshah bowlers seemed flustered by Razzak's onslaught and the casual taunting by Razzak got under the skin of Rana Naveed and other bowlers.

But this time the Badshahs were not going to stumble.

Despite an imposing total of 170, the Badshahs raced to their target with 5 balls to spare.

The Badshahs were 1 up but they had to win 1 more match.

Come the day of the 2nd final and tension between the 2 sides was evident.

The Badshahs wanted to win badly and not repeat the same mistakes of the previous tournament.

The Heroes wanted a 2nd title and were not going to fall without a fight.

158 should have been an easy target for the Badshahs but Abdul Razzak, their enemy number 1, shook them up with 2 early crucial wickets.

The Badshahs were rocked and were staring at defeat with the scoreboard reading 87-6.

Their innings ended at 150 but not without drama. Sami, batting on 18 and looking good, smashed Boje to the long off boundary. Kemp running around took a stunning one handed catch while still in air.

The catch was cleanly taken but the Badshahs thought otherwise.

For a minute it seemed like Oval 2006 but this time sense prevailed over Inzamam and the match continued but not before some foul verbal exchanges between Azhar Mahmood and Steve Rixon, the Heroes' coach.

Come today and the teams go one on one in the 3rd and last final of the series.

With so much history, stress, tension, and drama between the Badshahs and the Heroes, you should expect nothing less than a totally charged up contest.

A contest that even the rivalry of two international sides cannot match.

Make your pitch on this post...

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20 Pitched:

  1. life_in_binary said...


    i wonder which match will Ten Sports be broadcasting live today?? as of now it is the Pak vs WI match and i have a feeling since it is an international odi we will miss out on the icl final!

    i called up ten sports office in the morning and was unable to get an answer out of them!!

  2. life_in_binary said...

    got the answer to my question..icl final will be aired on ART prime 310!

  3. Trideep said...


    It definitely is a hot rivalry.. We can see how much charged up LB's are today.. esp Azhar Mahmood.

    By the way what happened yesterday was uncalled for. When even the 3rd Umpire has ruled you out, you cannot challenge it further. They spoilt a very good and competitive match of cricket.

  4. Q said...

    Tri, I agree.. uncalled for but sense prevailed.

  5. Q said...

    LIB I too was unsure about which channel would show the match but I was at the ground again today so didn't watch the ICL final. Heard Imran Nazir thrashed them.

    Go the Badshahs!

  6. Soulberry said...

    Congratulations on both accounts Q. Yes, ICL was that much more watchable because of this competition.

  7. Obaid said...

    Hmmm, so there is some interesting cricket going on after all :)

  8. life_in_binary said...


    thrash is too little a word to describe what Nazir did to the heroes!

    couple of years ago Afridi had played an innings against india where he scored a century of some 40 odd balls and he has been called boom-boom since then; this innigs of nazir was better than that!!

    it was a toughy for me too deciding about lastnight, either to stay home and watch both the matches or head for the stadium; i opted to stay home and watch the badshahs play and the moment nazir hit the winning boundry i rushed to the stadium and was able to join the action in the 40th over! i got to taste both the wins! ;)

  9. Q said...

    Thanks SB!

    Obaid, interesting cricket has been going on for over a month now - The ICL was out of this world. The India v Australia series was quite awesome as well.

    And the Pakistan win over the Windies has been amazing!

    Not to mention what Imran Nazir did last night - I have never seen anything like that.. caught the late night highlights LIB and it was bloody awesome!

    Inzamam said "tees saal cricket khelna parta hai aisi innings dekhne ke liye"..

    It was THAT good!

  10. SledgeHammer said...

    ICL delivered once again. I will say it again - I prefer it to IPL (not that I dislike IPL).

    I was really surprised though at Sami's reaction in the second final. I know sense prevailed in the end, but that was five minutes too long. Wait a few seconds, look around for guidance, and start walking back. I think Inzi should have called him back much sooner.

    Now, why can't ICC learn from the ICL's referral system for all dismissals and make it mandatory for Tests and ODIs. It's quick, simple, and it works!

    BTW, what's Rana using on his hair? It works well! Nawaz Sharif would be impressed.

  11. khansahab said...


    In his latest interview Geoff Lawson has admitted Pakistan does not need Shoaib Akhtar and he said Fawad Alam is the next big thing for Pakistan.

    I saw another interview of his a few weeks ago when he said Fawad Alam deserves more chances and he also said that Fawad is the best fielder in Pakistan.

  12. Damith S. said...

    thanks q for the history lesson. i dont know too much about the icl as i dont get to see it at all and no one shows it where i live.

    lets hope for more great matches like this in the future as well.

  13. scorpicity said...

    Nazir creamed them up in no time... he is like dynamite!

    The only issue in this rivalry is that the LB's are an extremely strong side loaded with a team worthy enough to play for the national side in any tournament.

    While the rest are bits and pieces. Imagine if Razzak had also crossed over to the LB's... there would have been no contest.

  14. Q said...

    ICL totally delivered Sledge and I agree the review system needs to be implemented at the international level. Sooner rather than later.

    I think Rana got a transplant done.. he looks younger now! What the ICL money can do for u ;-)

  15. Q said...

    Khansahab, I agree with Lawson - Alam has a great future.

  16. Q said...

    Lets hope so too Damith. U can catch a lot of ICL action on youtube.

  17. Q said...

    Scorps the Heroes also boast of international quality players - Harris, Boje, Kemp, Razzak, Maher..

    I think Razzak was left behind as were Shabbir, Taufeeq Umar, and Hasan Raza to give more players a chance to play and to balance the teams out a bit.

    Next season could see another team from Pakistan.. the Karachi Maharajas maybe?

  18. khansahab said...


    Q, the Karachi Maharajas sounds dangerously close to Karachi "Mahajirs".


    I think they should go with a less gay name than "Badshahs" or "Shahenshahs".......something cooler like "Karachi Wildcats"

  19. scorpicity said...

    the Karachi Maharajas LOL... you serious Q... two teams!

  20. Q said...

    Hahah.. i didn't realise that Khansahab.

    Scorps I just came up with that name, but 2 teams from Pakistan is very much a possibility.. the Badshahs hav a squad of around 16 players.. additionally there are Razzak, Shabbir, Taufeeq, and Hasan Raza playing for other ICL teams.

    Thats 20 Pakistan players.. if u can get another 7-8 u can have 2 full squads - Lahore and Karachi!

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