“Breaking Chief Instructor’s Wicket during Gunnery Staff Course”

By Lt Col Masood Alam (Retd), 2nd SSC

Lt Col Masood Alam, Air Defence

Lt Col Masood Alam

Editor’s Note: Lt Col Masood Alam (Retd) is from Air Def. After the retirement, he has settled in Karachi.

In 1984, I was attending Gunnery Staff Course (GSC-O/22) at AA School, Malir Cantt. Our Chief Instructor, Lt Col Jamil, was very fond of playing cricket and he had formed a cricket team of instructors. We were told that the instructors’ cricket team was very strong and had recently won many matches in Malir Cantt. Their main batsman, Maj Tahir Mahmud Qazi (Later Lt Gen), had scored a century in the last match.

Any how, I convinced the students to form a cricket team. We regularly practiced in the games period and soon challenged the instructors’ team. Our challenge was accepted and a match was held. We won the toss and elected to field. After the fall of the first wicket, in came the century maker. As luck would have it, I was the bowler at that moment. On my second ball, Maj Tahir Qazi, the century maker, was clean bowled. In came the Chief Instructor to bat and to the horror of every one, on my fourth ball of the same over, he too was clean bowled and his middle stump was broken into two pieces.

Capt Tariq Gill (Later Lt Col), who was fielding in the slips, picked up both the pieces of the wicket and started to dance. It was a very funny site and all the students were clapping with joy and excitement. Seeing this euphoria, some of our instructors got annoyed, and one senior instructor shouted from outside the ground, “Gill, Stop it.”

I shouted back from the field, “Sir, it is the game and we are just celebrating”.

We won the match by a big margin. The main contributors from our team were my two Course mates; Maj Humayun Anwar, Maj Rashid Zia Cheema and two junior officers; Capt Qazi Najib, and Capt Tariq Gill (Late). This broken wicket is one of the most prized possessions of mine, which is still displayed on one of the walls in my house. I don’t have any picture of that match but below is the photo of the broken wicket held by late Capt Tariq Gill. The photo was taken in my room in BOQs.

Match between Gunnery Staff Students and Instructors at AA School Malir Cantt in 1984

Here is the photo of that most talked about historical broken wicket that has been displayed on a wall in my house in North Nazimabad, Karachi.

Broken wicket displayed at Lt Col Masood Alam's house

Related Pages:
Humour in Uniform
Army Jokes (in Urdu/Punjabi)
Pakistan Army Blog (Retired Officers)

Editor’s Note: 
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  1. Maj (R) Khalid Saeed Shah, Arty says:

    You rekindled good old memories. You have been good at all the events you participated. Kindly write down about the events during your tenure at Arty Centre, Attock as well.

    • Lt Col Masood Alam (Retd) says:

      Dear Shah Jee,
      Thanks for the good words. Yes, Arty Centre is great source of memories which can not be completed without your name and your contributions in sports over there. God willing I shall write about Attock too.

      • Maj (R) Khalid Saeed Shah says:

        I am indebted sir, your love and support remains unconditional as ever. We cherish those moments spent together starting with marathon table tennis games between us, cricket matches, and participation in inter unit competitions. You scored a penalty in Football match final, I being custodian at the goal posts and finally cricket match at the roof of your house in North Nazimabad, Karachi.
        Do you remember we left you alone sleeping in the Arty Mess watching late night cricket highlights of Channel-9 (Kerry Packer addition-1) on PTV which resulted in temporary BOLE CHAAL BAND between two of us for quite some time?

        • Lt Col Masood Alam (retd) says:

          Thank you Shah Jee for reminding the good old memories. Yes, sir, those were the golden days. I am sure like me you also enjoyed a lot over there. I remember we were very popular with the civilian sportsmen of Attock. where ever a civilian sportsman would meet us he would ask “Sir jee, sanoo kab match do gay”.
          Yes, I remember we used to fight a lot but that was sportsmanship and love.
          Do you remember Chess match with a newly posted doctor? I was on leave and you made the doctor believe that he was the best chess player around and he could beat me easily. On my return, a plan was made by you. Match was arranged, you asked me to lose first game. I did so, Doctor was to happy with all the officers witnessing his victory. You and ‘Dandan Shikan’ (Maj Asmat) made the doctor to play another game and the bet was doubled to 4 chickens. This time the doctor was check mated very easily, he could not believe, another game was played with the same result. There is a lot to write but I have already taken lot of space. More next time.

  2. Brig (R) Asghar Saghar (19 Long Course) says:

    I fail to find any humor in this anecdote!

    • Lt Col Masood Alam (retd) says:

      You are right, there is no humor for the batting side but just put your self in the shoes of students (who are bullied by the instructors ), you will find the both joy and humor.
      Thanks and regards.

  3. Badar Butt says:

    ‘Off Breaker’ and ‘Leg Breaker’ are very common terms in cricket but ‘Wicket Breaker’? Hahaha. Sir, you hold a unique record of adding a new term in cricket. Nice shot, Sir.

  4. Major (R) Munir Ahmed, FF ( 2nd SSC ) says:

    Dear Col Masood,
    Thank you for sharing an interesting anecdote. It is nice to know that you have been a wicket breaker bowler of your time. It reminds me of a cricket match played between Staff College & FC teams at Quetta back in 1984. Being part of FC team, I was performing as umpire while my DIG was batting. I declared him LBW out on which I was not not only bullied badly but also remained on no talking terms for quite a long time.

    • Lt Col Masood Alam says:

      Yes, dear Munir, your DIG did not show SPORTSMAN SPIRIT. It does happen at times. Umpires and referees are always vulnerable. But one has to stay firm as you did. Well done, Munir.

  5. Lt Col (R) Mazhar Faiz, Sigs (50th PMA) says:

    Those were the days when life was simple but joy and happiness in small events was great and life long. We at this stage of our life still chase the golden period of our life.
    Thanks for sharing this nostalgic anecdote.

  6. Gen Tahir Qazi says:

    Dear Masood,
    Great. I think I am once again cleaned bowled. I do remember this match. Those were the times that we had very good teams at the School. In 70’s it was Hockey and then Cricket. One more reason for me to visit Karachi and see the broken wicket.

    • Lt Col Masood Alam says:

      My dear Sir,
      Thanks for reading my article. After that match you rewarded us by selecting a few officers (including me) from our GSC-O/22 for the School team. I had a wonderful time in SAAA which is unforgettable. Sir, you were my instructor during Gunnery Staff Course, then I was GSO (2) in AA School when you were still IG there and later I was commanding a unit in Gujranwala when you were GSO-1 (Ops) in Corps HQ, I enjoyed your company a lot. Your narration of jokes and witty answers were source of enjoyment.
      Sir, stay healthy and happy.
      Best regards,

  7. Lt Col (R) Qadeer A Ch. 24/29 Punjab says:

    A nice anecdote. Well done, Masood Jee.

  8. Brig (R) Babar Aziz Beg, Sigs (1st SSC) says:

    A nice anecdote. One should never take panga with Chief Instr. It was lucky that you survived. That’s how I met you in Washington back in 1986 where I had come from School of Sigs, Augusta, GA.
    Stay blessed.

    • Lt Col Masood Alam says:

      Welcome sir. What a pleasant surprise. Nice to see your comments and thanks that you remember me. I always remember the daal which you ordered in the restaurant of Washington. Those were unforgettable days. Your company was wonderful. Please keep in touch.
      Best Regards,

  9. Tariq Jamil Gill was an awesome person. He was always looking for a moment to be happy and witty. I have written an anecdote related to him which happened in 1981 when I was ADC living in AD Offrs’ Mess. The reference is as under:

    • Lt Col Masood Alam says:

      Dear Jalal Bhatti,
      Yes, Tariq Gill was a very witty and happy-go-lucky person. Your article has described him well. Your telephone in question has many interesting stories right from the time it was installed for the first ADC AA Command.

  10. Very well written. Reading it one could ‘live’ through the excitement of that moment. Congratulations, Sir!

    • Lt Col (R) Rashid Zia Cheema says:

      Dear Chandna,
      Do you remember AAMG Course in the same AA School which we attended back in 1979? I still remember the jokes narrated by you and your ‘Philosophy’ in every joke which cannot be told in this Forum.

    • Lt Col Masood Alam says:

      Dear Chandna,
      Thanks for the nice comments. With your literacy ability it is expected that you will share /contribute your rich experiences of both your Army life and later the civilian life.

  11. Lt Col (R) Muhammad Arshad Meer says:

    Appreciable memories only you could store. I am great admirer of your this ability. You even remember complete names and can draw the seating arrangements of your class fellows of school days. You are highly valued source of inspiration for all of us.
    Stay blessed. Keep contributing.

    • Lt Col Masood Alam says:

      Dear Arshad Meer,
      Thanks for the complements and nice words. You have been great sportsman your self and a good narrator too. So why don’t you share your experiences too.

  12. Maj Rehmat Elahi says:

    This totally depicts the high spirits of team work.

    • lt col Masood Alam 2ND SSC Sher Shah -3 says:

      oh yes it is always the team work and team sprite which works and takes you to success..Regards

  13. Sir,
    Very Nicely Written account of Cricket Match. By the way, Maj Gen Tahir Qazi was Hon Lt Gen only.

  14. Col (R) Qaisar Rashid says:

    Well Done on performance in the match.
    Well Done again on preserving such a valuable possession.

  15. Masood Jee,
    Congrats on being such a strong bowler is something that goes without saying. However, the added value is the backing of a Gill Jatt! For the second time it allowed you to appreciate the qualities of the Gill Jatts – that is, presuming I was the first Gill in your life at the PMA! If not, welcome to the club anyway, with or without a glass of lassi! But then it must also be hot enough for sattoo and tukhmalanga, with ka’anjee on the way – so drink up bro, and cheers!

    • Lt Col Masood Alam (Retd) says:

      Dear Gill,
      Thank you for your nice words. Lt Col Tariq Gill was a very good friend of mine. He was an outstanding sportsman. He represented Pakistan in gymnastics. He was a true GILL, fearless, bold and very jazbati. Alas, like all good people he also left us too early. May ALLAH keep his soul in the highest level of Paradise.

      • Thank you, my friend, for your kind and appreciative words. May Tariq Gill rest in Peace.

        • Maj (R) Pervez Minhas (49th PMA) says:

          Lt Azam Gill,
          I remember the Jatt Gill”s action on Firing Range, which led you to where you are. Great.
          Then, 2/Lt Pervez Minhas, 19 Baloch.

  16. Lt Col (R) Rashid Zia Cheema says:

    Dear Masood,
    Very nostalgic anecdote, it took me 31 years back to the days of Gunnery Staff Course.
    What was my contribution in the match? I have forgotten.

    • Lt Col Masood Alam (Retd) says:

      Dear Cheema,
      Thanks for the appreciation. It was a team work and we won, that is important.

  17. Maj (R) Aziz ur Rehman (15th War Course) says:

    Had Col Masood Alam not been representing his formation’s football team in Army Football Championship in year 1978? If so, one must say he was a versatile sportsman.

    • Lt Col Masood Alam (Retd) says:

      Yes sir, I represented my formation (3 AA Bde) in 1976, 1977 and 1978. After my team was out of the tournament, I was given duty of referee and I conducted the finals at Kharian and Sialkot.
      Thanks for remembering, sir.

  18. Maj (R) Hasan Jawaid (1st SSC), USA says:

    Quite an interesting story. Having played cricket and hockey myself I am familiar with such eventful experiences. It was just your day, you took their prime wickets for duck, broke the stumps, won the game, celebrated the well deserved victory damaging their pride rubbing salt in the wound …what else is there not to make someone lose sanity?

  19. Col (R) Shah Alam, Avn (34 PMA), Canada says:

    Thanks for sharing this true story of shock & awe in the battleground of play field. Leaves the reader chuckling of the state of morale on the instructors’ team :)

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