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When World’s Collide

Israel has been in the news a fair bit the past few days in relation to cricket.

Yes, you read correctly. Two of my greatest loves, united in some bizarre circumstances.

But first, I need to take you back to a little less than a week ago, when Australian batsman Phillip Hughes – a star cricketer with a very bright future – was struck on the rear left side of the head below the helmet by a short, fast ball known as a “bouncer.” He collapsed, was taken to hospital in a critical condition and had emergency surgery before being placed in an induced coma to relieve pressure on his brain. He later died on Thurday.

http://youtu.be/K7QaD3l1yQA

A cricket player dying from a cricket ball is an extremely rare occurrence, perhaps happening only once before.

So you can understand how weird-ed out I got when this happened only days later. In Israel!

Hillel Oscar.jpegIsrael cricket in mourning following freak accident

An umpire and former captain of Israel’s national cricket team has died after being hit by a ball during a match in the southern port city of Ashdod.

Hillel Awaskar, who captained Israel at the 1982 and 1997 Associate members’ trophy, was struck on the head while standing at the bowler’s end.

He was treated at the ground before being rushed to hospital, where he died a short time later. Awaskar’s death comes just two days after Australian batsman Phillip Hughes died after being hit by a bouncer in Sydney.

“We’re simply in shock,” said Israel Cricket Association chief Naor Gudker. “We know a ball was hit in his direction, he tried to escape it, he fell – what happened there is still being investigated.

“The entire Israel Cricket Association and players bow their heads in his memory. He was a wonderful man, cricketer, and umpire.”

Awaskar, 55, is survived by his wife, two daughters and a one-month-old grandchild.

The incident happened in the final match of the Israel Cricket League, where all teams stood for a minute’s silence before play out of respect for Hughes.

Then there’s this story, again connecting cricket and Israel in weird fashion.

Assim-AbassiA cricket player and his family originally from Pakistan face deportation from Belgium after he was seen carrying his bat around Brussels –which was mistaken for a weapon — and was labeled a “terrorist.”

On August 14, Assim Abassi, 22 was seen carrying the bat wrapped in cloth by a member of the security detail of the Israeli ambassador’s residence in the city, according to the Belgian news site Levif.be.

The guard snapped some photos and sent them to police, who then launched a probe to identify the man.

After a three-month investigation turned up nothing, the police then turned to the press which circulated the photos, generating a terror scare.

Local newspapers ran the pictures, warning of a possible armed, anti-Semitic killer on the loose.

According to the Daily Mail, Abassi saw his pictures in the papers and contacted police to let them know that the supposed weapon was a mere cricket bat.

“I wrapped my bat in my sweatshirt because it was raining and if it is wet I can’t play the ball properly,” Abassi was quoted in the Telegraph as saying.

Despite the clarification to police, Abassi and his family have “lost their right” to remain in Belgium, the Daily Mail reported, and the Pakistani embassy fired Abassi’s father, a diplomat, for “damaging Pakistan’s reputation.”

I have to admit when i first saw the headline about a Pakistani cricketer being mistaken fro a terrorist, I assumed it was this guy.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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