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Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019

At 8’ 2”, Afghan cricket fan finds many admirers in City of Nawabs

Sher Khan is 8 feet 2 inches tall, 27 years old, and drew more attention with his presence at the Ekana cricket stadium—to watch Afghanistan play West Indies in the first ODI of their three-match series—drew more interest than the match itself.

cricket Updated: Nov 08, 2019 09:00 IST
Sharad Deep
Sharad Deep
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Lucknow: 8-feet tall Afghan cricket fan Sher Khan watches the one-day international cricket series between Afghanistan and West Indies, in Lucknow, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. Khan visited many hotels in search of a place to stay but no hotel allegedly agreed to rent him a room due to his height.
Lucknow: 8-feet tall Afghan cricket fan Sher Khan watches the one-day international cricket series between Afghanistan and West Indies, in Lucknow, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. Khan visited many hotels in search of a place to stay but no hotel allegedly agreed to rent him a room due to his height.(PTI)
         

The Afghan cricket team, despite having one of the top spinners in the world—Rashid Khan—in their ranks, don’t have many followers in Lucknow, their newly adopted home base.

But a travelling fan from Kabul has found himself, in unfortunate circumstances, as the centre of attention.

Sher Khan is 8 feet 2 inches tall, 27 years old, and drew more attention with his presence at the Ekana cricket stadium—to watch Afghanistan play West Indies in the first ODI of their three-match series—drew more interest than the match itself.

Sportingly, Khan shook hands with many in the crowd, and posed for selfies. But things were not going well for the man from Kabul. The night before the match, Khan had spent hours looking for a hotel, and been denied a room in each one he visited. The problem? He is too tall. A baffled Khan then approached the police, who accompanied him to a hotel in the Aminabad area, where he was finally given a room.

On Wednesday morning, he was forced to leave that hotel as well.

“The tall man has vacated the hotel this morning and left for some other place as a huge crowd of people gathered outside the hotel to see him,” Suresh, a local policeman who accompanied Khan to the hotel, said. “It was really irritating for him.”

Local police also had to accompany Khan to the stadium.

Khali resemblance

Part of Khan’s appeal is his resemblance to the Great Khali, a famed wrestler of Indian origin in the Americam professional wrestling franchise World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

Khan himself is a fan of Virender Sehwag, and said that he had hoped to become a fast bowler, but could not find a cricket academy in Kabul.

“If I had adequate training facility for cricket, I would have been a different man,” Khan said.