That Was Definitely The Most Embarrassing Run Out In Cricket History
What did they always tell you in junior sport at school? People, what did they tell you?
They told you never to take your eye off the ball, that's what.
This is the lesson which Pakistani batsmen Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq completely failed to heed on day three of the second Test between Australia and Pakistan at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, and it has caused the most bizarre run out you will ever see.
Let's recreate the scene.
Peter Siddle bowls the third ball of the ninth over of the day to Azhar Ali. The batsman edges the ball just past gully. It looks like it's going for four. Yes, this cherry has a hot date looming with the rope. Or does it?
The Pakistan batsmen think it does, and meet mid-pitch for a conference. Perhaps they are discussing what they will have for lunch. The music between overs may be another hot topic.
But unbeknown to the men in the middle, the ball is dramatically slowing down. This is either an Abu Dhabi outfield which has been watered, or a ball which was not struck quite as sweetly as Ali assumed, or both.
The ball pulls up centimetres short of the rope.
Mitchell Starc swoops. He whips in his throw. Tim Paine removes the bails. All of this happens while the two Pakistani batsmen are still discussing the merits of whether a good finger bun has pink icing or not -- or something similar.
We have all seen mix-ups and comical run outs in cricket over the years, but it's doubtful if we have ever seen, or will ever again see, a man being run out without even realising it.
Azhar Ali, take a bow. And maybe offer to pay for your coach's hair replacement therapy next month.