Ramiz Raja recalls public flogging during Ziaul Haq era cricket match

Former captain says the flogger took a 'run-up' similar to that of Haris Rauf before delivering lashings

News Desk June 24, 2024

Former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja recently recounted an extraordinary incident from the era of former military ruler General Ziaul Haq, when a first-class cricket match in Gujranwala was interrupted by public flogging, drawing an unexpected crowd of 10,000 spectators.

The incident took place during a four-day match, which began in an almost empty stadium. However, as the game progressed, small groups of spectators began to fill the stands. Within hours, the stadium was packed, leaving the players puzzled about the sudden surge in attendance.

"At first, we were shocked. We had no idea why so many people had come to watch the match," Ramiz Raja said during an interview, who was captaining the team and fielding at the time. "Then, we saw the police arrive."

The police approached the captain, asking him to remove the wickets. Moments later, a convict escorted by officers and a flogger entered the field. The convict was bound to a post near the short-leg position, where he was flogged with a whip.

"It was surreal. The flogger took a run-up similar to that of Haris Rauf before delivering the lashings," Ramiz recalled. "The convict waved to the crowd like a hero after enduring the punishment."

The scene was both historic and bizarre, with the crowd dispersing almost immediately after the flogging concluded. The match resumed in a now-empty stadium, leaving players to reflect on the day's unusual events.


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