World Cup Moments: White Lightening Allan Donald strikes on UAE captain

Published 02/09/2015, 8:30 AM EST
Allan Donald of South Africa hits Sultan Zarawani of the United Arab Emirates on the head with the cricket ball during the cricket world cup in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.


United Arab Emirates(UAE) had qualified for the 1996 World Cup after winning the ICC Trophy in Kenya under the leadership of Sultan Zarawani. Sultan Zarawani was the sole native Emirati in the team as the Emirates Cricket Board adopted a policy of recruiting expatriate cricketers from Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka for the national side.

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UAE played South Africa in their first match of 1996 World Cup and had to chase a target of 322 courtesy Gary Kirsten scoring his career best 188* off 159 balls. The match which was supposed to be cake-walk for South Africa, became even more so with such a huge score on the board.

Sultan Zarawani, the UAE captain came out to bat after the loss of 6 wickets for 70 and took guard to face Allan Donald without a helmet. Yes, you heard it right, Zarawani decided to face one of the ferocious bowlers of 1990’s during his peak without a helmet.

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The result, the first ball from Allan Donald was a bouncer which hit Zarawani on the head and he was down. What was even more shocking was, he still refused the helmet after being hit, but he could only survive 6 more balls and was taken to the hospital. Allan Donald is his autobiography admitted that he feared that he might have killed the batsmen.

Some people might call it brave, some might call it stupid. But only Sultan Zarawani can tell what he thought of his decision of facing Allan Donald without a helmet.

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Gurkirat Singh Gill

168 articles

A sports enthusiast since 2003 with my first experience of connecting with sports being the Cricket World Cup 2003. Studying Engineering in Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, University of Delhi, but pretty sure will not become an Engineer.

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