During the 2009 World T20, Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan played a scoop shot that caught everyone’s eye. To play this shot, a batsman has to go on one knee to a delivery and ‘scoop’ the bowler over the head of the wicket-keeper. The ball travels straight towards the boundary behind the wicket-keeper. However, not many know that this shot used by Dilshan was first invented by Mumbai’s first-class cricketer Iqbal Khan a couple decades ago.
Iqbal, who played Ranji Trophy between 1986 to 1998, first used this shot in a match against Saurashtra in 1991-92 season at Wankhede Stadium when he surprised everyone by playing that shot effortlessly. He even scored a hundred in that match.
During an interview with Mid-Day, Iqbal vividly recalled the incident. He said:
Former India Test cricketer, the late Hanumant Singh, who was our coach then, was also surprised, but was very happy to see an innovation in the middle. He patted my back and said ‘miya, kya shot maara.
Iqbal also said that the idea of inventing the shot came while working hard on the slower wickets in England’s League Cricket. With the ball not coming on to the bat and the runs becoming increasingly harder to score, he thought that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to scoop the ball behind the wicket-keeper. Fortunately, the experiment worked and Iqbal wasted no time in playing it in Ranji Trophy.
Former Indian captain Dilip Vengsarkar praised Iqbal’s new invention and said that when the batsmen looked to find gaps, Iqbal did an exceptional job to find it behind the wicket-keeper.
Iqbal played the scoop shot really well. Batsmen were always on the look to find gaps and Iqbal found one behind the wicketkeeper. He tried it and was very successful at it.
Iqbal, who was a part of the Ranji Trophy winning team under Ravi Shastri in 1993-94, described himself lucky to have played with the likes of some of the India’s greats.
It was an honour to play for Mumbai and lucky to be in the playing XI alongside great players like Sandeep Patil, Dilip Vengsarkar, Ravi Shastri and Sanjay Manjrekar.