This past Sunday, the Australia Women’s team made history by defeating India Women in the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup final. The Aussies won their fifth Women’s T20 World Cup title in front of a record attendance at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The Australian openers, Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy stole the show with their batting performances whereas the duo of Megan Schutt and Jess Jonassen ensured that the hosts crush their rivals.
While the fans had their attention only on the players, very few took note of the fact that one of the two on-field umpires was Ahsan Raza, a man who survived two bullets when a group of terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team in Pakistan eleven years ago. A member of ICC’s International Panel of Umpires, Raza was also supposed to officiate the semifinal match between India Women and England Women.
Whenever someone mentions that incident I request him not to remind me of that tragedy: Ahsan Raza
Two bullets pierced Ahsan Raza’s lungs & liver to put him in a coma during the terrorist attack on the SL team bus in Lahore in 2009. He couldn’t walk for months. He returned to professional umpiring the same year. 11 years on, he stands in a World Cup final at the MCG. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
— Raunak Kapoor (@RaunakRK) March 8, 2020
As mentioned by Raunak Kapoor in his tweet, Raza went into coma after bullets were pierced in his lungs and liver during the attack. He could not even walk on his own feet after that assault, however, after a few months, he returned to professional umpiring and last Sunday, he was officiating the World Cup final match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The former Pakistani wicketkeeper-batsman disclosed that the wounds have healed however, the bad memories of that attack will always stay in his heart. He said as quoted The Bridge, “My wounds have healed but whenever I look at them I remember the gruesome incident. Whenever someone mentions that incident I request him not to remind me of that tragedy.”
It is worth noting that Ahsan could not make it big as a professional cricketer but he has achieved success as an umpire. His precise decisions are the reason why he was picked by the International Cricket Council to officiate a match so important as the Women’s T20 World Cup final. It will be interesting to see what’s next for the Pakistani umpire, Ahsan Raza.
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