Osama’s Hideout Location: A Mundane, Cricket-Loving College Town

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Abbottabad is now that unlikely place where America’s most wanted was captured. It may be hard for Westerners to imagine it as anything else. But to Pakistanis, it was just another picturesque mountain town with a lot of colleges. At least one of those colleges had a cricket team with a YouTube-savvy member.

As an example of how mundane life was there, his cricket-enthusiast videos are hard to beat. In one video, the batters appear to be playing in makeshift nets (the cricketing term for batting cages) as recently as last month. Cricket is a big deal in Pakistan and the town had a cricket stadium of enough merit that national cricketing stars like Mudassar Nazar would drop by to give lessons. The national squad apparently sometimes trained there.

(More on TIME.com: See pictures of Osama’s hideout)

In another video, players are been given elaborate trophies after New South Wales—which is actually the name of a state  in Australia that also has a decent cricket team—won what appears to have been a 20-20 match at a local business college. In a 20-20 match, each side gets to bowl —or pitch—120 balls at the other team. The team with the most runs wins. The whole thing has a charmingly middle-school sports trophy night tenor.


It’s impossible to tell, alas, if Osama bin Laden had a view of the game from his compound.

(More on TIME.com: See continuing bin Laden coverage)