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Towel as chest protector: Hughes recalls facing 'terrifying' Imran Khan

The former cricketer revealed that an ill-advised bouncer got rid of Imran Khan which made him very angry

Towel as chest protector: Hughes recalls facing 'terrifying' Imran Khan Photo Courtesy: PA

England’s former cricketer Simon Hughes, according to The Cricketer, recalled what it was like to face the ‘genuinely terrifying’ Pakistan’s legendary all-rounder Imran Khan after making him angry during an English county encounter.

The 60-year-old revealed that his captain had asked him to rest which prompted Imran to replace his helmet with a hat, however, the captain changed his decision and asked him to bowl another over.

“But actually the scariest moment was in a match at Hove. I’d been bowling to Imran Khan and had just completed a seven-over spell on a hot day. When Phil Edmonds, our Middlesex captain that day, said ‘okay have a blow, Yozzer’, Imran overheard,” Hughes wrote.

“‘Are you coming off?’ he asked. I replied that I was. I was the only quick bowler in the Middlesex team that day so Imran signalled for the 12th man to take his helmet off and bring out his floppy hat. Seeing this Edmonds at the end of the next over suddenly said ‘go on have one more’, adding ‘and let him have one!’” he added.

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The former cricketer revealed that an ill-advised bouncer got rid of Imran Khan which made him very angry.

“Imran stuck with the floppy and third ball I bounced him as instructed. He jerked his head back in surprise and the floppy fell on his stumps. He stormed off in high dudgeon. Of course, when I came in to bat at No.10 he was bowling down the hill at Hove (as the pavilion is side-on to the pitch at Hove the bowling always looks faster there than at other grounds). I had sourced as much protection as I could from the dressing room, including stuffing a towel down my shirt as a chest protector. It didn’t help.”

“Imran set a very attacking field and the sight of him steaming down the hill towards me was genuinely terrifying. I knew what I was going to get. Sure enough, it was a barrage,” he added.

Hughes revealed that Imran Khan had remembered the incident during their second encounter as well which made him regret his decision to bounce the legendary former all-rounder.

“Rip-snorters flying past my nose, I got one on the upper arm and one on the head via my glove which flew over the keeper for four. When I eventually fended one-off to be caught at short-leg I almost said thank you to the fielder. Imran never forgot either. He clattered me twice on the head in successive balls the next time I faced him at Lord’s. I never listened to any advice from Edmonds ever again,” he concluded.