When Lala Amarnath caught the Pakistanis red-handed trying to fix a Test in the 1950s!
Lala Amarnath (left) and Abdul Hafeez Kardar

Rajinder Amarnath, the youngster of the three Amarnath brothers, shares an interesting anecdote about his father, Lala Amarnath Life and Times: The Making of a Legend.

Abdul Hafeez Kardar invited Lala for a cup of tea when the latter was managing the Indian team on its tour of Pakistan in 1954. The Indian was resting on the sofa with his back to the door when umpire Irdis Begh came into the room and asked Kardar, “Any instructions for tomorrow’sgame, skipper?”

Lala tured to the umpire and quizzed, “What kind of instructions do you want?”

On seeing Lala, the umpire fled, while Kardar looked shaken.

A furious Lala threatened to boycott the Test if the Pakistan Cricket Board did not replace the dubious umpire. The only qualified First-Class umpire available was Pakistan’s selector Masood Salauddin, but Lala agreed to let him umpire than have Begh officiate the Test.

It remains the only instance of a selector doubling up as an umpire for a home Test. In fact, Salauddin gave Kardar out stumped, when he was on 93. Lala recalled that no other Pakistan umpire would have dared to do so.