England tour of India - Cricket: The Bangalore roots of Nasser Hussain
Published: Sunday, December 16, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore: It is a well-chronicled fact that England captain Nasser Hussain is India, rather Madras (now Chennai), born. But, the English skipper also has his roots deep in Bangalore with some of his family members now settled in this city. The Hussains, incidentally, are related to the Khans Sanjay and Feroze.Ali Mohammed, all of 59 and the first cousin of Nassers father Jawad (Joe) Hussain, reminisced with nostalgia the good old days of the joint family at Madras and gave an indepth insight into the man that the senior Hussain is in this exclusive interview with Thatscricket.com."We lived as a joint family till 1956/57. I was still in school and we then shifted. Jawad, who became Joe in England, is a very warm hearted Indian. He stays in England because of his four children sons Mehriar, Abbas, Nasser and daughter Benazir, who is a popular ballet dancer - but his heart is in India," Mohammed said."Jawad is my fathers elder brothers son. He is the fourth son and the last in the family. R M Hussain, the eldest, was an Indian hockey player (not selected for Olympics in 1948) and became a British citizen. The third brother Nawaz Hussain, who is also my brother-in-law (married to my sister), was also a former cricketer. Jawad was a student of Christian College High School, Chetput and Loyola College. After Loyola, he went to England," he said."He joined Morganite Resistor and went to England for training. He returned to India and went back for good in 1971 when Nasser was around five years old. But, he resigned from his job and set up his own business. He has got a very big cricket coaching school in Ilford, Essex. Thats why Nasser got to play and captain the Essex team."Nasser has grown in a good cricket environment as Jawad played Ranji Trophy for then Madras state for two seasons 1966 and 67. Nobody expected Nasser to be a cricketer, the elder boy Mehriar was the best at that time. Perhaps, Nasser took to the game after going to England," he said. Stating that the Senior Hussain was a good medium pacer, all-rounder and vice-captain of the Madras University team, Mohammed recalled an incident involving former Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal."Asif Iqbal was from Hyderabad and played for Osmania University. It was an inter-university match between Hyderabad and Osmania in 1959/60. Jawad bowled a full-blooded delivery to Asif Iqbal, who whacked it for a six with the ball landing on the road. I still remember that stroke of Asif Iqbal and I was a school student then, he said."Jawads elder brother Nawaz Hussain also played Ranji Trophy for Madras state. Nawaz also played for combined Indian University against SJOC Silver Jubilee Overseas Cricket team from England way back in 1950s."The family is also related to the Khan brothers Sanjay and Feroze. Jawads mother and Khans mother are first cousins. We are all Shia Muslims and we are a small community. My wife is also related to Nassers father. Her fathers sister is Jawads mother (Nassers grandmother), he explained."Nasser, however, is typically British because of his upbringing in the English environment. He has his own life style and his contact with the family has been whenever we go there. Though, his father visits us frequently at least once in 18 months or a year, Nasser hasnt come visiting us."We are hoping at least during this visit he would get some time to meet us. We dont know what the team protocol is and whether he would be able to leave the team and come, as he is the captain. Hopefully, well get some time to say hello to him," he added."But the Senior Hussain and his British wife Shireen are very warm as well as down to earth and a very simple family. Though she is a Britisher, she seems to be more Indian than many Indian women," Mr Mohammed said with lot of awe and respect for Nassers mother.It is not only Mohammed, but his son Hasan is also eager to meet Nasser Hussain. Yeah, I have been enamoured to know that a cousin of the family is captain of the England team. I have been waiting to meet him. I like cricket just as a sport. I didnt play much cricket," the final year Industrial Engineering and Management student of Bangalore Institute of Technology said. A former General Manager of a private firm in Bangalore, Mohammed has his own business with "unrelated interests" in mining and floriculture. "I go to England for my floriculture project as Im exporting roses to the UK. Every time, I went to England Nasser scored a century. So the father says that I should be in England every time his son plays," Mohammed signed off.