A.K. Salamuddin had become famous at Aligarh University due to his fearsome pace. Regarded by many, particularly his contemporary players and observers, as the greatest of all bowlers in India at the turn of century, Salamuddin could change his mode of attack to suit any type of pitch. From a springy, modest run, his tall, erect figure would erupt into a bounding high action; his long arms and large, strong fingers extract maximum bounce and movement from the most placid of surfaces.
He was a master of deception and flight and could turn or swing the ball either way. Usually, he operated at a brisk medium pace but could maintain the same control at slow medium. At will he could bowl a late in swinging leg cutter, pitched to hit the off stump. The arch perfectionist, he was never tired of experimenting with a variety of grips and seam Positions.
An unfriendly, ascetic, menacing character, he ostracized the dearth of cricket matches in India. He was playing cricket at the Aligarh University much before the organizers recruited the Muslims' team in the inter-communal tournaments. Salamuddin was a conventionalist and was principally taken to England in 1911 on the special recommendations of Dr. Pavri, another legend of quick bowling in India.
Such was his muscle power that once he sent a bail 38 yards after having bowled a batsman in a university match. Later in his career he developed into a powerful lower-order batsman. A strong driver, he was capable of executing some fearsome strokes against all types of bowling with great freedom. In the pre-war era (pre-World War I), his exploits on the field made him a celebrated cricketer and after the tour to England in 1911, he became an overnight star in India.
Salamuddin was a genuine all-rounder. His destructive bowling, hard hitting batting and exceptional slip fielding made him the most prominent cricketer at Aligarh from 1902-1907. Though more of a fast medium, he at 27 was considered the best prospect for the 1911 tour to England. He was an amazingly fit bowler who in England appeared in 22 matches on the trot, missing only one.
England in 1911, Salamuddin against the M.C.C, at Lord's, took 5 for 128 in a tireless spell of bowling. His wickets included I. Tarrant (15), J.W. Hearne (4), A.E. Lowton (75), G.J.V. Weigale (103) and N.C. Tufuell (38). At Leicester he took another haul of five wickets (5 for 79 in 35 over’s) in the first innings. He added two more wickets to his tally in the second. At Taunton, against Somerset, he was seen at his devastating best. Salamuddin took his third five-wicket haul of the tour (6 f or 64 in 17.1 overs). However, cricket being a great leveler, in the second innings, Brand massacred him during his knock of 125. His twelve over’s cost him 73 runs. Bowling short and wide, Salamuddin was hit all over the Place.
Against Durham, he scored 85 not out and then took 3 for 50 and 4 for 45 ending the match on a high note. Playing against Scotland, he scored his tour highest of 120 and at Bristol against Gloucestershire he hit another half-century before being caught by Brownlee off Dennett. Over all on tour, in 39 innings Salamuddin amassed 692 runs at 23.06 besides collecting 73 wickets at 24.24 in 609.5 over’s.
Khan Salamuddin was born on October 16th, 1888 at Hasty Sheikh Darwesh, Jullundur (Jalandhar) in province of Punjab in India. Salamuddin came from a thorough-bred and well to do family and laid the foundations of cricket in the clan that saw his nephew M. Salahuddin, his son represented India against Jack Ryder's Australia in 1936, and brother-in-law Baqa Jilani played Test cricket for India in 1936. His nephew Jahangir Khan's son Majid Khan captained Pakistan, his great grandsons Bazid Khan and Kamran Khan have been active first class cricketers while grand-nephews Javed Burki and Imran Khan went onto captain Pakistan.
Salamuddin's nephews Humayun Zaman and Javed Zaman played first class cricket while Fawad Zaman was a regular Services player. His grandson Asad Jehangir won Oxford Blue and played first class cricket in Pakistan. Babar Zaman, laved Zaman's son and Majid Khan's son-in-law and Nisar Zaman, Brigadier Fawad Zaman's son also played first class cricket. Babar in fact represented regional and board teams in international matches. Farrukh Zaman, another nephew also played first class cricket.
Interestingly, Jehangir Khan also held the All India javelin throw record and represented his country in the 1st Empire games. Niaz Khan captained Pakistan at hockey. Another relative, Shafi Khan Burki held the pole vault record. Arif Ali Khan Abbasi, another star administrator also belongs to the clan.
Salamuddin returned from England in 1911 and appeared for Muslims against the Europeans in the Bombay Quadrangular Tournament of 1912-13. At the Marine Lines Ground in Bombay, he helped his team to a seven-wicket win. However, it was another Lahore Gymkhana bowler Saleh Mohammad who dominated the Europeans' first innings. Saleh took 5 for 27 in 22 overs while his new ball partner A.K. Salamuddin took 1 for 41 and was taken off after having bowled only nine overs. S.A. Aziz was brought in his place and he immediately made the impression taking 3 for 31 in 12 over's.
Salamuddin batting at number four scored 26 in the first innings. Saleh Mohammad devastated the Europeans with figures of 6 for 45 in 17 overs. Salamuddin took 0 for 13 from six over’s before leaving the field with a side strain. Having been the second highest scorer in Muslims' first innings, A.K. Salamuddin joined M. Yusuf Baig with his team was in dire straits. Needing 75 runs to win and with Nazir Hussain and K.A. Tamboovala falling cheaply, Salamuddin batted with an unending passion taking Mohammedans to an emphatic win.
Baig and Salamuddin starred with a 53-run partnership. Beg got out with 20 runs still needed but Salamuddin along with Abdul Aziz took his team past the victory target. Salamuddin batting brilliantly made 25 not out on a difficult pitch.
He returned to the Muslims team for the 1912-13 final of the Bombay Quadrangular Tournament played at the Gymkhana Ground (Mumbai) against the Parsees. It ended in disaster for Salamuddin and his team with Parsees winning the match by an innings and 177 runs. H.D. Kanga hit 150 and J.S. Warden 85 helping Parsees to post 333 in 101.4 overs. However, Salamuddin unlike rest of his colleagues excelled with the ball taking 3 for 39 in 15 overs. Nevertheless, he failed with the bat scoring 8 and 0 in the two innings.
Salamuddin left first class cricket for the next 14 years. He was 39 years of age when he represented Aligarh University Past and Present team against the Marylebone Cricket Club at the Muslim University Ground in February 1927. He opened the innings and was bowled by Maurice Tate for nine with his team slumping to 86 all out in only 34.4 over’s. While Ghulam Mohammad devastaed the tourists, Salamuddin provided the major breakthroughs. He took wickets of Andrew Sandham (52), G.S. Boyes (21) and Arthur Gilligan (9). Furthermore, he held a well-judged catch in the out field dismissing R.C.J Chichester-Constable off Ghulam Mohammad.
Salamuddin was 27 years of age when his wife gave birth to his son Masood Salahuddin on December 24th 1915 at Merath (now Meerut), Uttar Pradesh in India. Like his father, Masood was a right-handed batsman and a distinguished right arm fast bowler. Masood played first class cricket for 24 years and later on became a first class and Test umpire. He also managed Pakistan's team to England in 1971.
Masood made his first class debut for the United Provinces against Delhi in the 1934-35 Ranji Troph Twice he was selected to play for India against Australia in 1935-36. He also appeared for the Muslims against the Rest in 1940-41 and after partition joined Pakistan Railways. Masood's only representative match in Pakistan came against Ceylon when he appeared for the Commander-in-Chief XI at the Rawalpindi Club Ground.
Salamuddin died in 1975 aged 87.He played 16 first class matches during a career spanned over fifteen years. He scored 381 runs with the highest of 50 at 14.65 besides taking 17 catches close to the wicket and in the outfield. However, he collected 40 wickets at 29.65 with the best of 6 for 64. Thrice he took five wickets in an innings at an economy rate of 3.17. It was Salamuddin's passion for cricket that saw his family taking the game seriously subsequently producing five Test players, two for India and three for Pakistan.
Saleh Mohammad was an above average left-arm medium fast bowler. There was a true spirit in his bowling. He bowled untiringly in long spells, maintained accuracy, length and showed remarkable control of swing.
He was a keen and alert fieldsman and when needed batted with skill and determination. Saleh was 34 years of age when selected on the Muslims team for the first ‘time in 1912-13. He was a left arm bowler of quality and dominated the Muslims cricket in the pre and post World War I eras. His deceptive speed made him more difficult to attack. Critics thought that Saleh should have travelled to England with the first All India team in place of the average looking Shafquat Hussain.
Amongst an imaginative and varied armoury was an extremely swift and deadly in swinging ball delivered without any discernible change of action. A master of line and length, his sensitivity and command of rhythm as a violinist was revealed in his bowling. From a behind the back action balanced by a high right arm, he swung the ball considerably and could be unplayable on drying or slightly crumbling pitches. His bowling played a key role in Muslims first appearance in the Inter-communal Bombay Quadrangular Tournament and subsequently, he coached quite a few future Test players. His son Inayat Khan was a more than utility first class player and played representative cricket.
Born in 1879 in India, Saleh Mohammad also attended Aligarh University. In a seventeen-year career, he represented Muslims and Northern Punjab in 22 first class matches scoring 408 runs at 16.32. As a safe out fielder, he took sixteen catches and collected a tally of 55 wickets at 20.58. His best innings performance included 6 for 45. Mind bogglingly his economy rate was only 1.84 runs per over. Saleh was a strong-minded and a super fit cricketer and was 50 years of age when he last played in a first class match.
He made his debut for the Muslims against Europeans in the Bombay Quadrangular Tournament of 1912-1913. Saleh’s debut was sensational as he took 5 for 27 in 22 over’s in his maiden innings and his haul of wickets included J.G. Grieg. T.H. Watts, A.W.H. Travers, W.S. Halliley and C.H.E. Wilson. As Muslims crumbled against Wilson’s bowling, Saleh batting at number nine emerged as the third highest scorer of the innings with a hard-hit 19. Saleh terrified the Europeans in the second innings taking 6 for 45 in 17 overs. Saleh Mohaiiimad took 11 for 72 on debut.
Against Parsees, Saleh Mohammad collected match figures of 6 for 47 including an unbelievable 3 for 11 in 23.1 overs. He bowled seventeen maiden overs in Parsees’ second innings. In 1914-1915’s Bombay Quadrangular, Saleh helped Muslims to a 139-run win by taking 4 for 32 and 1 for 18 in the match. K.A. Tamboovala starred with a haul of six wickets in the second innings.
Muslims lost to Europeans in 1915-16’s Bombay Quadrangular by an innings and 141 runs. Saleh took 1 or 64 in 39 over’s, quite dismally, Muslims were bowled out for 21 with eight of the batsmen failing to score. Following on, Muslims were shot out for 39.
Saleh was by now a household name and could devastate top quality batsmen on flat tracks. A match was arranged between India and England in aid of the Women’s’ Branch of Bombay Presidency War and Relief Fund at the Gymkhana Ground in Mumbai. India included several top players and Saleh Mohammad was one of them.
However, the team from England comprised of county professionals and easefully won the match by an innings and 263 runs. PA. Tarrant took 9 for 35 in 19.4 over’s and single-handedly bowled India out in the first innings. J.C. Greig scored a spectacular 216 helping England post a total of 568. Saleh Mohammad did not bowl in the inning because of a muscle injury. Nevertheless, he opened India’s second innings and failed to score. Tarrant again ran through the Indian top and middle order taking 7 for 34 in 16.3 over’s. In a twelve a side match F.A. Tarrant took a match haul of 16 for 69. It was the best performance in a first class match in India.
Next year, Muslims lost to Parsees by 156 runs. Saleh Mohammad took 1 for 46 and 0 for seven and scored 25 & 10 in the match. In 1917-18, against Hindus, Saleh Mohammad took 3 for 39 and 1 for 52 in the two innings. By now, already 38 years of age, Saleh had lost his pace and was sporadically using the new ball.
In 1919-20, against the Europeans, Saleh took 0 for 31 in 16 over’s. It was Syed Ibrahim who dominated the innings with figures of 7 for 54 in 22.4 overs. Muslims won the match by five wickets with Saleh taking 1 for 7 in nine over’s with the new ball while Abdus Salaam replacing him finished with a haul of 5 for 63. Muslims lost final against the Hindus by an innings and six runs. Saleh made an attractive looking 36 in his team’s first innings total of 136 but went wicket less in a 28 over spell.
The Muslims-Hindus match in the Bombay Quadrangular Tournament in 1920-21 was drawn. Saleh Mohammad bowled with the old ball taking 2 for 56 in an economical 31 overs but did not take any wicket in the second innings. Muslims beat Sikhs in the first match of the Lahore Tournament by an innings and 74 runs in 1922-23. Mostly redundant in the match, Saleh took 1 for 14 in a wearying ten over spell in the second innings. Europeans beat Muslims by 169 runs dashing their hopes of winning the Lahore Tournament. Saleh bowled well, taking 3 for 16 in 9.4 overs. In the second innings, he put his team in control by taking three wickets for 21 in a hostile spell of 22.3 over’s. Saleh was ostensibly back in form.
In 1923-24, Sikhs drew their opening match with the Muslims. Saleh took 2 for 34 and 0 for 22 in the drawn game. Muslims won the Lahore Tournament beating Hindus by four wickets. Saleh bowled an economical spell of ten over’s failing to take any wicket, conceding 13 runs. In the second innings, his figures were even better. He took 2 for 20 in 11.2 over’s. Saleh’s highest score of the career was achieved in this match when he made 44 before being adjudged leg before the wicket off Hansraj.
In 1924-25, Europeans and Muslims drew the first match of the Lahore Tournament. Saleh took one wicket in the first innings and 4 for 29 in the second. Sikhs lost to Muslims by six wickets in the final. Saleh was simply outstanding with the ball. He took 2 for 2 in an eight over spell. He then helped his team to go past the 200- mark with a dauntless 35 not out. In the match against Hindus in the Lahore Tournament in March 1926, Saleh failed to impress his detractors.
In November 1926, Saleh was chosen on the Northern Punjab team that played against Marylebone Cricket, Club. At 47 years of age, he was asked to bowl 39 over’s in the first innings. He took 3 for 121 and did not show any signs of exhaustion. He was almost 49 years of age when asked to appear for the Punjab Governor’s XI against the Muslims at Lahore’s Bagh-i-Jinnah in March 1929. Saleh took 2 for 62 in 25 over’s in the first innings and 1 for 30 in seventeen over’s in the second.
Saleh’s last match of the career came against the Muslims. Playing for the Punjab Governor’s XI in February 1930, he took 0 for 31 in 14 overs in the Muslims first innings and was not asked to bowl in the second.
Born at Moradabad, United Provinces, India in 1888 Syed Hussain was 23 years of age when he was taken to England in 1911. One of Aligarh’s out standing and most loved characters; Syed Hussain was a wonderfully agile and aggressive wicket keeper and a gutsy lower order batsman who reveled in crisis. A devoted resident of United Provinces, he was renowned for a piercing appeal of extraordinary volume for such a lithesome man. Although he honed his skills as a wicket keeper against the high pace of AK. Salamuddin and devious spin of B.P. Baloo, he contributed substantially to India’s tour of England in 1911. With the World War I over, he involved himself in management and business, pigeon breeding, writing and listening to political broad casts. Hussain was about 24 years of age when he decided to leave cricket to concentrate on his mainstream career.
Syed Hussain had kept wickets for Aligarh University and his chances of making the team were bleak in presence of Nur Elahi, the first choice wicket keeper. However, Nur pulled out of the tour due to domestic problems and Syed Hussain was selected. Hussain on tour appeared in eight matches and scored 52 runs at 4.33 and besides taking two catches and stumping two others. An average of 4.33 and four victims were not a testimony of his influence on the team that actually was. He was a disciplined man and helped the manager in maintenance of the accounts. Back home, Hussain never appeared in the inter-communal Bombay Quadrangular and the Lahore Tournaments.
Hussain’s debut was for India against Cambridge University at the F.P. Fenner’s Ground. He kept wickets and hardly retrieved any ball because the two Cambridge openers D.C. Collins and H.G.H. Mullholland batted breathtakingly pulling on over 200 runs for the first wicket. Collins scored 111 and Mullholland 153. However, it was Syed Hussain who stumped Collins off left arm spinner B.P. Baloo to provide the first breakthrough. Hussain was a bit untidy with gloves in the later half of the innings conceding 16 byes in a total of 434. Asked to bat at number ten, Syed Hussain was out without scoring with Bruce-Lockhart trapping him leg before the wicket off a ball that could have been hit anywhere in the field. Following on Indians were shot out for 180 in 66.4 overs. Hussain was bowled by M. Falcon for three and his was the last wicket to fall in the match.
Against Lancashire at Old Trafford, L.W. Cook bowled Hussain for 1 in the first innings off a ball that came in with the arm. Hussain had no clue about the viciously spinning ball and looked completely out of sorts against quality bowling. Nevertheless, his keeping against B.P. Baloo’s devastating bowling was absolutely breathtaking and during eighteen overs of most intimidating spin, Hussain did not concede a single bye. Baloo took 7 for 83 in 18 overs. However, he again failed with the bat in the innings, caught by KG. MacLeod off B. Barrell.
India lost to Northamptonshire at the County Ground in Northampton. W. Wells bowled Hussain on the first ball he faced. However, in the Northamptonshire innings he took a spectacular right-handed diving catch off B.P. Baloo to dismiss J. Seymour. However, his impression was soiled when he let go one through his pads for four byes off A.K. Salamuddin later in the innings. He conceded six byes in a paltry Northamptonshire total of 104.
In India's second innings Wells again bowled Syed Hussain for 9. Hussain took another blinding catch in the second innings when he held one from J.N. Beasley off M.D. Bulsura but not before he had conceded four byes. The worst was still to come. Against Yorkshire at The Circle Hull, Syed Hussain conceded 28 byes in a total of 385. It seemed that the Indian wicket keeper had butter fingers. Furthermore another batting failure, a first ball duck in each innings heightened Hussain’s misery in the match.
At Taunton against Somerset, Hussain gave away eight byes in a small total of 157. The second innings was worst. He conceded 25 byes. Nevertheless, he was able to stump E. Robson off Shafquat Hussain.
At Mossilee, Galashiels against Scotland Syed Hussain scored 14, his top score on tour. However, he gave away eighteen byes in a total of 250. Against Sussex at Hove he conceded ten byes in the first innings and another nine in the second. At Bristol against Gloucestershire another 14 byes went through Hussein and in the second innings, he conceded 19 more to end the tour on a disastrously. So disappointed was Hussain that he decided to retire from first class cricket and back home, his only involvement with the game was in shape of financial support. He was a huge donor when it came to cricket. This brought an end to a career that had once taken off at the Aligarh University.
An impregnable batsman, light-footed and immaculate, Yusuf Baig was one of the most resourceful Muslim cricketers who was a master of off driving and late cut. His leg glances illustrated good taste and an unblemished control. Besides being attractive as a bats- man he was also an incredible slip fielder.
Starting his career in 1902, he scored a hundred in the school shield match at Poona in 1905. He first played for the Muslims in the Bombay Quadrangular in 1912 scoring 22, and continued to participate in the tournament until 1921. He captained the Muslims for three years from 1918 to 1920 and won admiration for his shrewdness, boldness and valor.
In 1913 in the final against the Hindus, he scored 44 delightful runs. In the 1916 Quadrangular, he made scores of 58 and 63 against the Parsees. In 1917, he thumped a timely 40 against the Hindus. As captain of the Muslims in 1918, he made 43 against the Parsees. The highest score of his career was 231 not out against Poona Gymkhana for Bombay Muslims. He was revered for his nicety and was a fatherly figure to most of the Indian Muslim cricketers.
Yusuf made his first class debut for Muslims against the Europeans in the Bombay Quadrangular Tournament in 1912-13. An early dismissal of C.M. Ali saw Yusuf walking in. He took his guard and started with a blissful off drive. Baig firm looking and determined batted conscientiously before one false stroke cost him his wicket. He pushed C.H.E. Wilson to E.J.H. Haughton standing at extra cover making an impressive 35. Another obdurate innings of 28 brought Yusuf, the much awaited acclaim in the newspapers.
No Muslim batsman brought a more refreshing outlook to his cricket or had a more intense abhorrence of defensive ploys than Yusuf. An exceptionally gifted, stylish top order batsman, he was blessed with that rare gift of natural timing and dismissed the ball with effortless power. He was a punishing hut never reckless hitter, a polished, wristy player with a full range of on-side strokes and a majestic off-drive. A cheerful man of great charm, he was a captain who commanded easy respect and maximum effort. Only in his second first class match, he was asked to lead the Muslims. Against Parsees in the final of the Bombay Quadrangular Tournament, he was Muslims’ captain. Yusuf scored 22 and 4 in his teams an innings and 177-run defeat and also kept wickets.
Next year Yusuf scored 0 & 16 against the Parsees. Muslim won the match by 18 runs. He made scores of 7 & 44 not out against Hindus in the final, ending in a draw. In 1914-15, Yusuf achieved scores of 8 & 9 and 4 & 5 two matches, looking out of form and shape.
Despite his run of low scores in the previous two matches, Yusuf Baig was chosen on the Indian team that played against England in December 1915 at Bombay’s Gymkhana Ground. He scored 15 & 28. In 1916 Yusuf returned to form without a blemish scoring 58 & 63 at Bombay against the Parsees. However, Muslims still lost the match.
Against Hindus, Yusuf made scores of 40 & 20 and at the end of the season he appeared for a combined team of Hindus and Muslims that played against the Europeans and Parsees in December 1917. He scored only nine in the only innings. Such was his image as a player that he was selected on the Lord Willingdon’s XI that was pitted against the Maharaja of Cooch-Behar’s XI at the Deccan Gymkhana Ground, Pune in August 1918. Yusuf batted with composure scoring 34 not out in his only innings.
Back again and playing against the Parsees in Bombay’s Quadrangular Tournament at the Deccan Gymkhana Ground, Pune Yusuf scored a gritty 43 before his innings ended in a mix-up. He was needlessly run out in the second innings for four. In November 1918, representing India against England at Bombay Gymkhana Ground, Yusuf made 36 in his only innings. Spurred by P. Vithal’s 149, CK. Nayudu’s 122 and Maharajah of Patiala’s 83, India posted 500. H.J. Vajifdar however was the star taking 1 for 36 and 9 for 43 in 36 overs and bowled his team to an inning’s win over a strong England side.
Muslims beat Europeans in the Bombay Quadrangular match in 1919-20 by 34 runs. Yusuf was in prime form but his innings was cut short with J.H. Parsons taking a spectacular catch at point off FIA. Tarrant. He made 31 most attractive runs. In the second innings, the situation was reversed. Tarrant took a breathtaking catch off J.H. Parson’s friendly medium pace. Baig scored 15. In the final against the Hindus, Yusuf failed to save his team from an innings defeat scoring 1 & 9.
Muslims were again pitted against the Hindus in the first match of the Bombay Quadrangular of 1920-21. Yusuf Baig fielding in the slips took two amazing catches, one to his left ending V.V. Kantak’s innings and the other to hit right dismissing C.K. Nayudu. Having failed with the bat Baig took another fine catch in the leg slip ending J.G Navle’s short stay at the wicket. Baig did not bat in the second innings. In 1921-22 playing against the Parsees for the Muslims, Yusuf made 11 23 and subsequently faded out of first class cricket. Baig’s contribution as a player and as an administrator provided Muslim cricket an identity and added value to the sub-continental game.
Abdus Salaam was a real hero of Muslim cricket. He was one of the superstars in the post World War 1 era in India. He should have played Tests but missed the opportunity as he had retired in 1930 after a thirteen-year career in first class cricket. His retirement came two years before India played its inaugural Test in 1932. He was a devastating all-rounder. Salaam played for the Muslims from 1917-18 until 1929-30 and also represented Northern India in 1927-28. At his peak Salaam was genuinely fast bowler a dashing late order batsman, a superb midfielder and an inspiring, popular and aggressive captain.
An attacking player, Salaam was one of many cricketers seeing their careers interrupted by niggling injuries. A mainstay of Muslims team he played very straight, could drive off either foot and, like most all rounder’s was very strong off his legs. Of medium height 5ft 9 inches and strongly built, he remained a superb out fielder to the end of his career and occasionally bowled slow off swings. Gaming a regular place almost immediately after making his first class debut for the Muslims in 1917-18 he had to wait for another ten years before being chosen on the Northern India team. He as Muslims first all- rounder of stature comparable to F.A. Tarrant of the Europeans.
Abdus Salaam played 33 first class matches and collected 907 runs at 20.15. His highest was 117 not out, his only score over fifty in first class cricket He held 22 catches and took 150 wickets at 18.14. His top bowling effort was 7 for 28 for the Muslims. During his thriving career he returned with 13-five wicket in an innings mark and twice he completed ten-wicket haul in first class matches. His economy rate was 2.52 and a strike rate of 43.56.
Salaam was a natural player, an all-round sportsman and a gifted man. He was one of the very few who impressed British critiques. Salaam had flair and an unlimited charm. He also had the distinction to captain Indian Gymkhana in England much before India became full member of the I.C.C.
Khawaja Ahmad Saeed was another great Muslim cricketer. Born on March 11th, 1911 at Lahore, Saeed was a competent batsman. One of the chief architects in making Sind cricket strong, Khawaja Ahmad Saeed played first class cricket with seriousness and then turned out as umpire in various Test and representative matches. An exciting and talented middle order batsman, Ahmad Saeed developed into a highly astute umpire. He was a fleet-footed player of spin and could hit the ball with amazing power off either foot. Although he possessed complete repertoire of strokes and was capable of taking an attack apart, he inexplicably allowed himself to be tied down by ordinary bowling on occasions. His sound technique and inexhaustible patience eventually stood him in good stead in a struggling Rawalpindi and Southern Punjab batting line ups. Recalled to lead Rawalpindi in 1958-59 and 1959-60, Saeed failed to make an impression as a player. He was then summarily and inexcusably dismissed. He was a fine all purpose batsman who did not turn his talent into deftness.
Saeed Ahmad continued to serve cricket in Pakistan at the grassroots and also officiated as an umpire in Tests. Khawaja Ahmad Saeed was three months short of his 65th birthday when he died in Lahore on December 15th, 1976. During a first class career that spanned over twenty years, Saeed appeared in twelve matches and scored 442 runs at 22.10 with a highest of 99 not out.
Khawaja Saeed Ahmad made his first class debut at the Pune Club Ground in the semi final of the 1939-40 Ranji Trophy for Southern Punjab against Maharashtra. Saeed scored 36 and 0 in the match. It was his only match in India. However, he was named on the Punjab Governor’s Xl in the match against Punjab University in February 1948. Saeed along with Fazal Mahmood put on 116 runs for the fifth wicket, scoring a stylish 68. In the second innings, he fell without scoring. Next year, in March 1949, Saeed bagged a pair. He batted himself into form while representing the Pakistan Combined Services against the M.C.C at Sargodha in March 1956 scoring 5 & 45. Appearing for Punjab ‘B’ against Bahawalpur at the General Headquarters Ground in Rawalpindi in 1956-57’s Quaid-i-Azam Trophy Saeed smacked a breathtaking 83 not out in the first innings. Against Punjab at the Punjab University Ground, he failed miserably scoring 0 & 4.
In 1957-58, against Pakistan Railways at the Pindi Club Ground, Saeed scored 6 & 19 in the match. For Punjab ‘B’ against Punjab at Lahore’s Punjab University Ground, he kept wickets scoring 20 and 99 not out, his highest first class score helped his team to 237 for nine in 123 overs.
He batted with undying resilience and looked set for a big score before being stranded at the non-striker’s end. At the Peshawar Club Ground against Peshawar, Saeed followed his 99 not out with scores of 2 and 8.
In 1958-59, Saeed appeared for Rawalpindi against Pakistan Combined Services at the Pindi Club Ground failing to score in the only innings. Against Peshawar, He made scores of 0 & 14. The next year, against Pakistan Combined Services he made 19 & 14 while captaining his team. Subsequently, Rawalpindi were knocked out the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy and Saeed never played first class cricket again.
Affectionately known as ‘Manhey Khan’, a genuine fast bowler from Mamdot Cricket Club, Munawar All Khan was selected on the first official Pakistan team that toured India in 1952-53. However, he had to withdraw at the last moment with his employers not allowing him the leave of absence. Tall, handsome and a thorough gentleman, Munawar was a tireless and preserving right-arm fast bowler who would try to bowl as rapidly at the end of an exhausting day as he had with the new ball in the freshness of the morning. He took a curving, lengthy run up and arched his back like a bow in his delivery. Although he proved effective in first class and representative matches, injuries and job compulsions aborted his very promising career.
Born on December 24th, 1924 at Lahore, Munawar first played first class cricket for Northern India in 1944-45. Subsequently he appeared for Sind in 1947-48 and 1948-49 and East Pakistan in 1 954-55. He also appeared for Pakistan in representative matches and unofficial Tests from 1948-49 until 1951-52 and represented Ceylon-India-Pakistan Combined XI in 1949-50 and Karachi-Sind in 1949-50.
Munawar made his debut for Northern India against Bombay in the semi-final of 1944-45’s Ranji Trophy at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. Spurred by a diligently 145 by A.H. Kardar and individual half centuries from MR. Bhide (60) and Imtiaz Ahmad (55), Northern India posted 363 in 134.3 overs.
Munawar All Khan was erratic and his line wavered in the first spell but he came back diligently taking his maiden wicket having U.M. Merchant caught at gully by Mian Mohammad Saeed. In a terribly long Bombay innings in which K.C. Ibrahim scored 67, R.S. Cooper 68, R.S. Modi 113, D.G. Phadkar 73, U.M. Merchant 183 and K.K. Tarapore 41 with the total reaching 620 in 207.3 overs, Munawar bowled 20 overs taking 1 for 76. Munawar conceded eleven runs in three overs in the second innings with Bombay winnings the match by ten wickets.
For Sind against Punjab, at Lahore’s Bagh-i-Jinnah in December 1947, Munawar took Mohammad Amin’s wicket. He bowled 26.2 avers taking 2 for 91. This was the 1st first class match played in Pakistan. For nearly fifty years, this match was not included in the list of 1st t matches. However, a senior sports journalist GuI Hameed Bhatti and another cricketing freak Abid Ali Kazi decided to take out scorecards from a heap of dust and found a report that suggested that Punjab versus Sind match played in 1947 was actually the first 1st class match in Pakistan’s history. This match was played for Quaid-i-Azam’s Relief Fund for the Refugees.
Playing for Sind against the West Indies at Karachi’s Gymkhana Ground in November 1948-49, Munawar took a blinding catch of G.M. Carew off Anwar Hussain and then bowled the star cricketer and the touring captain Jeffery Stollmeyer for four. He also bowled P.E.W. Jones off a vicious delivery that cut back and raced onto the stumps, finishing with figures of 2 for 82 in 23 avers. In the second innings West Indies lost only two wickets in eighteen avers, one of them of D.S. Atkinson bowled by Munawar All Khan for eight.
Selectors named Munawar on the Pakistan team for the one-off Test, the first representative match ever played in the country at Lahore’s Bagh-i-Jinnah in November 1948. Munawar was the man of big matches. He trapped G.M. Carew leg before the wicket, bowled J.D.C. Goddard, took a return catch to dismiss Sir Clyde Walcott and bowled John Trim ending the innings with a haul of 4 for 103 in 21.4 over.
Munawar was an automatic choice when Commonwealth XI came to Pakistan in 1949-50. At Lahore’s Bagh-i-jinnah, he had W.E. Alley caught by Maqsood Ahmad in the slips for twenty and bowled J. Pettiford finishing the innings with 2 for 93 in 20 overs. Munawar travelled to Colombo to play for a Ceylon-India-Pakistan Combined Xl against Commonwealth XI in March 1950. At the P. Saravanamuttu Stadium, he bowled only five overs for ten runs and was not tried again in the innings as Dattu Phadkar took 6 for 39 in 25.4 overs. In the second innings, Munawar took W. Place’s wicket, and then trapped J.K.C. Holt leg before the wicket. His 2 for 18 in six overs had actually put Pakistan in control.
Munawar played for the Karachi-Sind Xl against Ceylon at the Karachi Gymkhana Ground in March 1950, drawing the first blood dismissing L.E. de Zoysa without scoring reducing Ceylon to 2 for 1. Munawar took 1 for 23 in eleven overs. Ceylon followed on and Munawar again bowled L. F. de Zoysa for six. In his second spell, he bowled S. Jayasinghe and S.S. jayawickreme in quick succession. Munawar bowled S. Coomaraswamy ending the innings with figures of 4 for 39 in twelve overs.
Selectors named Munawar to share the new ball with Fazal Mahmood against Marylebone Cricket Clun at Lahore’s Bagh-i-jinnah in November 1951. Munawar bowled R.T. Spooner for 16 in the first innings. He took 1 for 34 in eleven overs. M.C.C. XI posted 368 for 1 in 105 overs. J.D. B. Robertson scored 70, R.T. Spooner 168 not out and T.W. Graveney 109 not out. Munawar conceded 90 runs in 23 overs without taking a wicket.
Munawar was posted to Chittagong where he appeared for East Pakistan against India at the MA. Aziz Stadium in December 1954. He bowled Pankaj Roy for 13 and P.H. Punjabi for 37 and routed G.S. Ramchand towards the end of the innings. Figures of 3 for 74 in 21 overs silenced his critics. Subsequently, Munawar left cricket to assume a new role of a manager in a multi national company. Munawar played nine first class matches most of them against the international teams. He scored 70 runs at 5.83 and collected 23 wickets at 32.73 with the best of 4 for 39.
To achieve independence from the power and might of the British Empire was considered to be an exceptional achievement but to gain independence and create a new nation simultaneously required courage, imagination, patience, perseverance and men of vision. These characteristics were the hallmark of the men who once marched through the strands of time to create the new nation of Pakistan. It came as no surprise therefore to see these very qualities in the forefront amongst the men who were the flag-bearers of Pakistan cricket team.
One such pioneer was Imtiaz Ahmad who cut, hooked and pulled with such dedication and power that all the rocks and boulders that obstructed Pakistan’s path to the I.C.C were strewn away within the first five years of its existence. Time tends to fade pictures of the past but history has a strange way of clutching on to its heroes, so that four decades after Imtiaz called it a day, the memories still flow to recall his deeds of valour and chivalry that at one time set alight the minds and imagination of a nation of over a hundred million people seeking an identity of its own.
Dark complexioned, with somewhat flat and a broadened nose, ardently cumbrous eyebrows, unimaginably flexible, medium-stature, with capacious shoulders and curling set of ears, Pakistan’s wicket-keeper Imtiaz Ahmad was a perfect gentleman and above all a scintillating cricketer. Having seen his father represent the famous Mamdot Club, Imtiaz from his childhood wanted to play first class cricket.
Starting his cricket at Islamia High School Bhatti Gate, Imtiaz grew into one of the most talented players in the subcontinent. He piled centuries after centuries at the school ground that now has become part of the Shrine of Ali Hajweri (Data Ganj Baksh).
Imtiaz Ahmad was born on January 5th, 1928 the date coincides with the birth of the former Prime Minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Despite the diversity of work and professions, both became heroes in their respective fields. Bhutto exploited his political acumen, feudal background and talents to become one of the strongest men of his times; Imtiaz thrived on his real cricketing precocity.
Son of a Superintendent in the State Bank of India, a man who had himself played cricket patronised Imtiaz’s career. Imtiaz to all intents and purpose inherited the art of wicket keeping from his role model, his father. His elder brother, Mushtaq Ahmad was also a renowned cricketer, a batsman who represented Islamia College and the Punjab University.
Cricket therefore was family’s possession. Imtiaz played his early cricket for Ravi Gymkhana and at seventeen rose to prominence when he hit an undefeated hundred against the Australian Services Xl at Bagh-i-Jinnah 1945-46. Coming into bat at number six with A.H. Kardar, seizing the advantage, methodically and unerringly. He hit two hundreds for Northern India Cricket Association in the Ranji Trophy matches and missed the England and Australia narrowly with the selertos trusted D.D. Hindlekar and J.K. Irani ahead of him. Critics think his young age was the only bar otherwise he was always superior to both, Hindlekar and Irani.
Interestingly, Imtiaz took up wicket keeping accidentally for Ravi Gymkhana as Ghulam Mohammad failed to turn up for an important match. He was requested to stand in. Tired of sitting as a substitute, he grasped the opportunity and went on a cricketing tour with the club team to Karachi. Eventually, Ghulam Mohammad was dropped and Imtiaz became club’s first choice wicket keeper. In 1950, Imtiaz was appointed his club’s new captain and leading them to India, he hit a magnificent 188 against Delhi Cricket Association (DCA).
By the age of 16 Imtiaz was already playing Ranji Trophy matches for Northern India. In 1946, he registered his first century in international cricket playing against the Australian Service team touring India and what a dream innings it was. Representing North Zone, which consisted of players like Pakistan’s first captain Mian Mohammad Saeed and Jehangir Khan, he found himself joining the battle with the North Zone batting in total disarray and the scoreboard showing 106 runs for the loss of six wickets. This 16 year old coming at number eight then proceeded to give the Australian attack, consisting of illustrious names like Keith Miller Pepper and Pettiford, a frightful battering in partnership with Abdul Hafeez Kardar. Imtiaz reached his century in 170 minutes hitting 13 fours and such was the ferocity of these two future greats of Pakistan cricket that they registered the 200 of their partnership in only 166 minutes. The match ended in a draw but Imtiaz covered himself with glory.
Time and history then steeped in as the birth of Pakistan created a void, which lasted until November 27th 1948, when for the first time in the history of Pakistan, the team faced a strong West Indian side for a one-off unofficial ‘Test’ at Bagh-i-Jinnah, Lahore, formerly Lahore Gymkhana. Imtiaz at first with responsibility then with gusto hit 76 in the first innings sharing an opening partner ship of 148 runs with Nazar Mohammad and followed this in the second innings with a classy century eventually failing to a brilliant catch by John Goddard, the touring captain.
Three years later when it was most imperative that Pakistan should do well against an M.C.C side led by Nigel Howard, Imtiaz played well for his 43, which was Highest by any batsmen on either side in the first innings. He defied Brian Statham and Derek Shackleton as wicket tumbled all around him falling eventually to an unbelievable catch by Alan Watkins off the latter. He helped Pakistan to a slender but important psychological lead of seven runs in the first innings. Pakistan eventually won the match by four wickets but not before an unusual incident occurred.
Anwar Hussain, playing in his usual style was given a standing ovation by the crowd as the scoreboard registered 50 against his name but even before the cheers died down, Anwar was out and the scorer then showed him as scoring 48. However, on the strength of this win and the generally efficient performance of the team, Pakistan were granted official status by the ICC. In between these innings Imtiaz played the highest knock of his long and illustrious career when representing a Combined India-Ceylon-Pakistan team (Prime Minister’s Xl) against a Commonwealth side, which consisted of bowlers like Ridgway. Shackleton, Ramadhin, Dooley, Dovey and Frank Worrell, sharing in century partnerships with Rusi Modi and Vijay Manjrekar on his way to an undefeated 300 not out at the Brabourne Stadium in Bombay.
The merit of this innings can be judged by the fact that Ramadhin had only the previous year along with the help of Alf Valentine wrecked the English batting and had helped the West Indies team to win the series handsomely. Ramadhin at the time was considered to be unplayable and Imtiaz was the first batsman to put this myth to the sword. It is to Ramadhin’s credit that he recalls this innings rated as one of the finest ever played by a Pakistani batsman.
From such heady Imtiaz gradually faded into the more mundane in terms of statistics but not before becoming the first wicket keeper to hit a double century in a Test match. Coming into bat against New Zealand in 1955 at Lahore with Pakistan staggering at 111 for six wickets, he carried the attack to the bowlers and changed the eventual outcome of the match by adding 308 runs with Waqar Hasan before being bowled by Moin for 209. This was the highest score by any batsman in Pakistan at the time but was superseded four years later when Rohan Kanhai scored 217 for the West Indies and subsequently Inzamam Ul Haq demolished all records by hitting 329 against New Zealand in 2002-03.
Imtiaz give a good insight into his own character when he says his favourite stroke was the square cut after leaving the crease to meet the ball. But for his entire adventurous attitude, he always played for the team rather than for personal glory. This was reflected well in his performances over the years. In 1958, in the historical Garfield Sobers’ Test at Kingston, he hit a typically aggressive 122 against Roy Gilchrist and Company before Sobers and Hunte virtually took over the whole Test. In 1960-61, against India at Madras, he got his long awaited hundred but against Ted Dexter’s English team after being appointed as captain, he got three consecutive ducks before playing a substantial innings of 86.
On a calm sunny evening with the game destined to be a draw, the only interest left was to see if Imtiaz would get his first ever century against England. Dexter posted all his men to positions where Imtiaz could get an easy single. Desperate to get to the three figure mark before time ran out, Imtiaz hit out only to be caught by Mike Smith in the deepening Karachi gloom.
Another tour of England in 1962 followed and once more that elusive century betrayed him when he was out on 98 playing in his last Test at The Oval, the scene of one of his and Pakistan’s greatest triumph when combining with Fazal, he took seven catches behind the stumps and helped Pakistan to a famous victory in 1954. It was on this tour also that Pakistan playing in its 40th Test at Leeds took the field for the first time without this rock of their cricket. As a matter of fact it was the 53rd Test if one includes the 13 unofficial Tests and not in anyone of these had they taken the field without him.
Having started at the age of 16 in the Ranji Trophy for Northern India, he first played for Pakistan at the age of 20 and now 14 years later, he sat in the pavilion for the first time ever to watch his team mates struggling and eventually losing by an innings. The malarial parasite had bowled him out of Test cricket. It was rather ironical that after finishing the tour on a relatively successful note, he was completely neglected by the Pakistani selectors and was never again selected to play an official Test match for his country again.
Imtiaz was born into a cricketing family and was fortunate to have a father who took keen interest in his game. He learned the art of wicket keeping at a very young age from him remembering at all times that keeping his feet in the right position and maintaining a perfect balance was the most essential aspect of the art. How well he repaid his father’s trust can be assessed by the fact that he ended his Test career having dismissed 93 batsmen from behind the stumps. He toured India in 1952-33 as a second choice wicket keeper but Hanif’s performance was found wanting by his captain Kardar and Imtiaz superseded him in this department to make the job his own. He continued to fulfill role for Pakistan quietly and efficiently right to the end of his career and retired with the reputation of being one of the finest wicket keepers to have donned the gloves from the Indian subcontinent.
Imtiaz was the first cricketing cavalier of Pakistan and the first to establish rapport with the crowd. Most of his batting was done at a time when wickets in Pakistan were in a transitional period- varying from coir mailing to turf. It would be wise to think back on the number of times that touring teams have used this as an excuse for an inept performance. For much of Pakistani cricket was played on mailing during the early days, only for the Tests to be played on turf. This lack of playing facilities would have retarded the progress of most of the greatest batsmen, yet this perfect gentleman continued to perform with great skill and vigour through his long uncomplaining career.
Nothing that he did was ordinary and those who watched him play were left with many memories of him. For the crowd stood up and cheered, as when he went down on one knee and swept the ball to the boundary. To have seen him trying to pull a ball from yards outside the off stump in the very first over of a Test match is another memory- one that would make the crowd gasp so that you could hear the whole ground heave a sigh of relief in unison when no harm resulted from the stroke. For didn’t he once play a lazy shot at Gary Sobers in his first over and ended up by having his stumps knocked off the ground only to return to the pavilion and say sheepishly to his skipper- Kardar- that he head completely forgotten that Sobers could bowl genuinely fast.
Imtiaz Ahmad was one of the rare breeds of cricket. He was always in demand. During a glorious career, he represented Pakistan from 1952-53 until 1962, Northern India from 1944-45 until 1946-47, Punjab in 1947-48 Punjab University in 1947-48 and 1948-49, Pakistan Universities in 1949-50, Pakistan Combined Services from 1953-54 until 1964-65, Rawalpindi in 1959-60 and Pakistan Air Force from 1969-70 until 1972-73.
lmtiaz also played first class cricket for North Zone from 1945-46 until 1947-48, V.M. Merchant’s Xl in 1946-47 Commander-in-Chief’s Xl in 1949-50, Ceylon-India Pakistan Combined Xl in 1950-51, lndian Prime Minister’s Xl in 1950-51, Bahawalpur-Karachi in 1951-52, Commonwealth Xi in 1951-52, LW. Cannon’s Xl 1953-54, Pakistan Combined Services and Bahawalpur Xl in 1954-55. Pakistan Governor General Xl in 1955-56, Chief Commissioner’s Xi in 1960-61, Imtaiz Ahmad’s Xl in 1961-62, Pakistan ‘A’ in 1964-65 and North West Province Governor’s Xl in 1973-74.
Imtiaz made his first class debut for Northern India against Delhi at Lahore’s Minto Park in the North Zone Ranji Trophy match in December 1944. He kept wickets impressively but scored only one run in his maiden innings. For Northern India against Southern Punjab in the North Zone Ranji Trophy match at the Bagh-i-Jinnah Imtiaz 39 and 100 not out, his maiden first class hundred. He hit his century in 190 minutes with eighteen fours.
For Northern India against Bombay in the semi-final of Ranji Trophy in 1944-45 at the Brabourne Stadium, lmtiaz scored 55 in 65 minutes in the first innings for North Zone against the Australian Services Xl, he hit a proficient 138 not out in the same season.
Against Southern Punjab, in the North Zone Ranji Trophy match in February 1947 at the Dhruve Pandove Stadium in Patiala, he helped his team to a 195-run win with 50 & 119. In the second innings, he batted for 226 minutes with twelve fours. Imtiaz like many others decided to stay back in Lahore after partition and turned out for Punjab against Sind in Lahore’s Bagh-i-Jinnah in December 1947. He scored 72 in the first innings. For Punjab University against Punjab Governor’s Xl in February 1948 at the Bagh-i-Jinnah, he hit 56 and 43 not out in the two innings. By now Imtiaz had become the top wicket keeper batsman in the newly formed country.
After his breathtaking performance against the West Indies in the first-ever-unofficial Test at Lahore, Imtiaz in March 1949 in the annual Punjab University-Punjab Governor Xl’s match hit 30 & 83 in the two innings. Against Ceylon at Lahore in March 1959; he made an inspiring 127 in the first innings and was now hailed as Nazar Mohammad’s most flamboyant opening partner. For Commander-in-Chief’s Xl against Ceylon at the Rawalpindi Club Ground, Imtiaz made 75 in the first innings on a difficult pitch and went to Karachi to represent Pakistan in the second unofficial Test. He was also chosen on the Combined Ceylon-lndia-Pakistan Xl that played against the Commonwealth at Colombo’s P. Saravanamuttu Stadium. He failed with the bat scoring 3 & 7 in the two innings.
Such was his stature that the Indian government invited him to join the Indian Prime Ministers Xl that was pitted against the Commonwealth in 1950-51. At the Brabourne Stadium, Imtiaz leaving behind all concerns about his impetuosity slammed 300 not out in the second innings. During this innings, he was associated in a 60-run first wicket stand with Rusi Modi, 84 runs for the second wicket with Syed Mushtaq Ali, 116 for the third with S. Jayasinghe and 188 for the fifth with Vijay Manjrekar.
Appearing for Bahawalpur-Karachi against the M.C.C at the Bahawal Stadium in November 1951, he scored 99 in the first innings. For a Commonwealth XI against the M.C.C. at R Saravanamuttu Stadium in Colombo in February 1952, he managed to score 42 in the only innings. Against Pakistan in the first-ever Test at Feroz Shah Kotla Ground against India, 0 & 41 in his country’s inning defeat.
Against Central Zone at Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground in Nagpur, lmtiaz hammered the weak bowling attack and hit a matchless 213 not out. At the Brabourne Stadium in Bombay, Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat first. Imtiaz Ahmad scored an enthralling 96 in the first innings with the visitors amassing 517 for four declared in 156 overs. In the fifth Test at Eden Gardens in Calcutta, he scored 57 & 13 in the match.
Imtaiz wrapped up the Indian tour with a delightful century against East Zone at the Keenan Stadium in Jamshedpur. During his innings of 103, he added 149 runs for the third wicket with Nazar Mohammad (123). Back home playing for Pakistan Vs Rest of Pakistan Imtiaz hit another munificent hundred (100) before Ismail Gul bowled him off a ball that kept low and came in to hit the base of the off stump. For L.W. Cannons Xl Hasan Mahmood Xl at the Karachi Goan Associtation Ground, Imtiaz made 52 delightful runs.
Against the Ceylon Cricket Association for Pakistan Services team at the P. Saravanamuttu Stadium in December 1953, he achieved scores of 33 &54. For Pakistan against the M.C.C at Lord’s in London in May 1954, lmtiaz made 96 in the first innings. Essentially the England wickets and swing bowling did not suit his type of play. lmtiaz was in a habit of pacing the innings by unleashing his on the up off and cover drives making him a suspect in overcast and heavy conditions in England. However, against Nottinghamshire, he hit 81 in the first innings before falling leg before the wicket to A.K. Walker, At Old Trafford; he hit 87 against Lancashire in the first innings.
Against England Xl, at the Central Recreation Ground at Hastings, Imtiaz made 78 in the first innings adding 143 for the second wicket with Waqar Hasan (79). Against the T.N. Pearce Xl at North Marine Road Ground in Scarborough, he made scores of 105 & 1. For Pakistan against Rest of Pakistan at the Karachi Goan Association Ground in October 1954, having freshly returned from England, lmtiaz got scores of 0 & 75 not out.
Against India II the first Test at Dhaka’s Bangabandhu Stadium in January 1935, his 54 set the pace in the first innings. In the third Test at Lahore where Maqsood Ahmad scored his Test highest of 99, Imtiaz scored 55 in the first innings. For Pakistan Combined Services against India at Rawalpindi, he scored 59 & 105, his first century of the series. In the fourth Test at Peshawar, lmtiaz made scores of 0 & 59.
For Pakistan Combined Services against Punjab at the Punjab University Ground in Lahore, Imtiaz’s 120 and 75 were enough to disprove the critics about his temporary loss of form. Against New Zealand at Lahore he created history by smacking his Test highest of 209. In West Indies against Barbados Imtiaz made scores of 35 & 81 not out. In the first Test at Bridgetown, he made scores of 20 and 91. In the second innings, he added 152 runs with Hanif Mohammad (337). Against Trinidad at Queens Park Oval in Port of Spain, he made 78 not out in the first innings. In the third Test at Sabina Park in Jamaica, he made 122 & 0 in the two innings.
Back home appearing for Pakistan Combined Services against Peshawar, he made 0 & 78 Against Lahore in the semi-final of the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy, at Bagh-i-Jinnah, he scored 60 in the only innings. Against Australia in the second Test at Lahore’s Gadaffi Stadium, he batted resiliently to score 54 in the second innings. In India against Baroda at Moti Bagh Stadium, he score 5 & 124 not out. Against West Zone at the Sardar Vallabhai Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad in November 1960, he hit 90 in 145 minutes in the first innings. Against India in the fourth Test at Nehru Stadium in Madras, he achieved scores of 135 and 20 not out.
In the first Test against India, he scored 19 & 69 in the two innings at the Brabourne Stadium. In the fourth Test at Nehru Stadium in Madras he hit 135 and 20 not out in the two innings. Imtiaz started the home season in 1961-62 with 49 & 56 against Rawalpindi and subsequently hitting 82 against Peshawar. Against Lahore ‘A’, he hit 54 & 15 in the two innings. Against Karachi Blues in the final of the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy he rattled his opposition with an innings of 251 in the first innings during his 269-run stand for the first wicket with Shujauddin Butt (126).
Against England in the second Test at Dhaka’s Bangahandhu Stadium in January 1962, Imtiaz leading Pakistan achieved the ignominious distinction of bagging a pair and followed it with another score of zero in the next Test at Karachi. His career looked severely threatened and his detractors had started to talk about his wearying concentration and reflexes. There was a clear-cut divide between Karachi and Lahore administrators. There were quite a few people promoting Hanif Mohammad to take over as Pakistan’s captain. Nevertheless, batting under pressure, he made a delightful 86 in 201 minutes with nine fours in the second innings. However, inside his heart he knew that his days as an international cricketer were numbered.
In 1961-62 in the Ayub Trophy for North Zone against Lahore, he scored 6 & 120. Against Pakistan International Airlines in the second innings, he made 166 not out in the first innings. Against Karachi, in the final of the Ayub Trophy, he made 0 & 124.
Tour to England in 1962 turned out to be lmtiaz’s last for Pakistan. His career was cut short due to in-house intrigues and power-sharing. However, back home, he represented Pakistan against the Commonwealth Xl and at Lahore’s Gadaffi Stadium scored 56 in the first innings. He appeared for Pakistan Combined Services in 1964-65’s Ayub Trophy at Bagh-i-Jinnah and scored 73 in the second innings. From thereon, he continued to play sporadically and extended his career into the 1970s primarily to strengthen the Pakistan Air Force team that was playing first class cricket at that time.
distinguished Test career, he scored 2079 runs at 29.28 with
three centuries and eleven fifties and held 77 catches and 16
stumps. In 180 first class matches he collected 10393 runs at
37.38 with the best of 300 not out, one of his 22 first class
hundreds. He held 321 catches and stumped 82 batsmen.
He donned the Pakistan cap in 1964 for the last time whilst leading them against Ceylon in an unofficial Test and finished with a career average of 29.28. Figures cannot reflect the complete joy and freedom one experienced whilst watching him bat.
In 1960 Imtiaz Ahmad received President Pride of Performance and later he was decorated with Tamgha-i-Imtiaz for meritorious services for the Pakistan from where he retired as a Wing Command. Imtiaz never disassociated himself from the game he followed so passionately. From 1967 to 1980, he served as a selector and from 1976 to 1978, he committee’s chairman. After having written a coaching manual in 1975 and having trained Under 19 cricketers for almost 12 years, lmtiaz now lives happily with his three daughters, and a son, Zaigham. lmtiaz’s brother Iftikhar Ahmed umpired first class matches in Pakistan from 1969-70 until 1975-76. A patrician, with blithe peculiarities and assuaged demeanour, lmtiaz without doubt will never be forgotten.
Rhythmic with long strides and a bound, tall handsome, massively built right arm fast medium bowler Fazal Mahmood extracted such control abd varied late movement, away from the off-stump, all at reasonable pace, that he was rated as the most difficult bowler of his times.
Fazal ranks as one of the great bowlers. He had a perfect harmonious action- his left arm flung high, his powerful body pivoting on a firmly braced left leg, and a flowing follow-through. Starting with a stutter, he would claim long strides in his gallop to the bowling crease and at the moment of delivery, would bring his arm vertically over his head and then leap forward as if crouching to spring clumsily. He was often warned of running on the pitch.
His hand commanded sensitive seam control and his stock ball was an in swinger but he could combine this with a lethal leg-cutter which turned as if it was a rotating leg break in responsive conditions. Brilliant on turf and unplayable on the mat, for the first decade, he carried Pakistan’s attack on his well-developed shoulder single-handedly helping Pakistan to set a winning sequence immediately after being given the full I.C.C membership in 1951-53. An intensely determined man, he had a typical style of appealing. Shouting, and staring in the eyes of the umpire, with arms high in the air and hair, shuffling across and the sound echoing in the stadium.
Born at Lahore, on February 18th, 1927, Fazal showed signs of rapid progress in cricket at Watan Islamia High School. From school his next destination was the olden Islamia College in Lahore where he partnered with Imtiaz Ahmad winning number of tournaments and attaining fame while still being a student. His father Ghulam Hussain, a Professor of Economics at Islamia College, was also the President of the College Cricket Club. The household often served as a central meeting point for the leading cricketers of the province. Hussain inspired his son to practice with assiduity and at the age of ten, Fazal started to bowl in the college nets. At eleven, he joined the Punjab Cricket Club and at 13, he was chosen on the Islamia College cricket team. At 14, he had become the superstar of his college.
Fazal took his cricket seriously and such was his craze then in all eagerness to play a club match, he bunked his classes. Next day, the headmaster summoned him in office punishing him for indiscipline. When Fazal extended his right hand in front of the frowning teacher, a crumpled newspaper cutting that was creased within the finger fell down. His teacher picked it up and unfolded to find that it was a Daily Tribune report highlighting Fazal’s match winning performance against the King Edward Medical College XI. He was impressed and instead of punishing him for leaving without permission, Fazal was introduced to the rest of the colleagues in the general assembly and a school holiday was announced, the next day. Fazal’s best performance for Islamia College came as captain when he took 5 for 13 against the Government College helping his team win the title.
Fazal’s father was his mentor and from 1940 until 1947 he personally supervised his son’s progress on the cricket fields. He was not allowed out for late nights and his training session started at 4.30 a.m. everyday. Having slept from 11.30 p.m. until 4.15 a.m. Fazal used to go out for running (5 miles) regardless of the inclement weather. Fazal was still at college when he played in the Ranji Trophy for Northern India in 1943- 44.
In 1946, he was invited to attend the national camp organized to pick the Indian team for the tour of England. However, he failed to impress the selectors. In 1947, he was again called for the camp prior to the Indian tour to Australia. Fazal, somewhat perplexed did not appear in the trials and eventually opted for Pakistan. From thereon, he never looked back and went onto become one of the finest bowlers in the history of Pakistan cricket. He played his first representative match for Pakistan against West Indies in 1948.
By the time Fazal took 6 for 40 in the first innings of the second Test against the M.C.C at Karachi, he had become a household name and was revered all throughout the country. In India in 1952-53, he took 12 wickets at Lucknow helping Pakistan to register their first-ever win in Test match cricket.
His exploits in England in 1954 saw him becoming a bowler of world fame. At Lord’s, he captured 5 wickets, including Dennis Compton on the first ball and virtually sensationalized the cricket world when at the Oval, treating England batsmen with disdain, he took another haul of twelve wickets in the match stamping his class. On tour, in all first class matches, he took 81 wickets at 17.53 including eleven wickets in the match against Worcestershire. In 1955, he was chosen as one of the five best Widen Cricketers of the year.
Fazal was at his best against Australia in the one-off Test played at Karachi National Stadium on a jute-matting wicket in 1956-57. He took 13 wickets for 114 helping Pakistan to win against one of the toughest teams in the world.
In 1957-58 in West Indies, he bowled 85.2 overs taking 2 for 247 in an innings in which Sir Garfield Sobers made a world record breaking 365 not out at Kingston, Jamaica. However, coming back into form, Fazal despite a chronic toe injury took eight wickets leading Pakistan to a face saving win in the fifth Test of the series.
Once A.H. Kardar retired, Fazal was automatically elevated as the second official captain of Pakistan. Against the West Indies at home, Fazal took 19 wickets in the series in 1959. After losing to Australia at home in 1959- 60 and drawing a boring series against India in 1960-61, he was sacked and was not selected on the team that toured England in 1962. However, he was eventually sent as a reinforcement joining the Javed Burki led side.
Fazal’s decline started when during the tour to India in 1960-61, he sought permission from the manager, Dr. Jehangir Khan to speak at a reception at the Ashoka Hotel in Delhi and despite having promised to maintain discipline, he forged arrogance and criticized the umpires, tour management, the Indian Cricket Board and the administrators. Back home he was punished and sacked as captain.
He was recalled to international cricket in 1962. He flew to London, reaching Trent Bridge for the fourth test and the next day, at 35 years of age, he delivered a marathon spell. Burki handed him the ball at about 11.30 a.m. and thus commenced his torture. He was relieved just couple of overs before lunch and then was again introduced into the attack continuing until about 5.20 p.m. His figures were 45-13-91-1.The internal rifts and Burki’s hard way of handling the former superstars was not taken amicably by the other colleagues. Fazal had shown his reservations after Javed Burki was appointed ahead of him. The final Test at Oval was as personal disaster for the aging Fazal. He was hit for three sixes in an over and finished with figures of 2 for 192.
Married to the elder daughter of the former Pakistan captain, Mian Mohammad Saeed, Fazal continued his love affair with cricket even after his retirement. With Master’s Degree in Economics, Fazal joined Pakistan Services as an Inspector of Police in 1947, was made a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in 1952 and in 1976 was promoted to his last office of Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG).
After his retirement from Police, he started his third career as a free-lance journalist. He contributed columns for various newspapers besides answering questions for the Sports Times (a cricket magazine). He also served as a selector in the early 1980s. Fazal having seen an extravagant life as a superstar eventually turned towards religion writing ‘Talash-i.Haq’, a religious book and also continued to make appearances as a television and radio commentator.
In 2001, he met with a serious tragedy when his middle aged son died of diabetic complications. Now, with a diminishing twinkle in his eyes, at 75, he is still seen roaming in the corridors of Gadaffi Stadium, Lahore, in his attempt to contribute for one last time for a game that made him a hero to young and old, to everyone in Pakistan.
Khan Mohammad is a different man today, A thoughtful patriarchal seventy-six year old, firm and built in a mould of a Western Broncobuster, he is a man with a definite aim. Perfect role model an affectionate father and an owner of a travel agency in Ealing, West London, England Khan lives far away from the maddening crowd.
His company and business enterprise is known as ‘Kayem’ a mythological name meaning ‘abode’. After disassociating himself from cricket, he worked hard to establish his business and now 26 years after it continues to grow Khan, quite imaginatively quit cricket at the age of 32and shifted to the United Kingdom where he has lived as an expatriate for so many years. His second home in Canada where he goes for holiday and work.
Nostalgic recollections take him to a peaceful house near Kashmiri Gate in the year 1927. A timber merchant Jan Mohammad, on December 31st, waited outside the bedroom for the new day, new and a new son. Soon, he listened to the cries of the newborn, at 12.30 a.m. January 1st 1928. He named him Khan Mohammad.
The only one amongst his four brothers to get into cricket, Khan began his education at the Central Model High School, Lahore and made a friend named Shujauddin Butt, another future Pakistan cricketer. Soon he started to show his prowess as a genuine fast bowler inspiring the management of the Friends Cricket Club. At the Central Model School, he found a perfect cricketing environment where cricket was the main sport and once a week, there used to be 30-minute period on the basics of the game. However, it was after he shifted to the Universal Cricket Club that his career began to thrive. At 19, he was chosen on the strong Northern Indian Cricket Association team (NICA). In three Zonal matches, he took ten inexpensive wickets emerging as one of the most promising fast bowlers in the Ranji Trophy.
Just before partition, he joined Islamia College, Railway road and played for the Punjab University. In 1948 he, missed the first opportunity to play for Pakistan against the West Indies as Munawar Ali Khan was selected ahead of him. However, he finally made his debut for Pakistan against Ceylon in 1949. He silenced his critics by taking 14 wickets in the two unofficial Tests. By the end of 1949, he had embarked on a journey to England to play professional cricket. The next three years saw him trying to convince the Somerset County management to select him of the first eleven.
Finally he played a representative match against the South African tourists. Just before signing a lucrative contract with Somerset in 1951, he received a telegram from the B.C.C.P to report to the cricket headquarters in Pakistan to undergo training in the camp prior to the tour of the M.C.C. Despite having a brilliant offer from the county, he decided to return to Pakistan to play for his country. Almost immediately, he made his present felt with a five wicket haul at Lahore taking 12 wickets in the two unofficial Tests and helping Pakistan to beat one of the strongest teams in the world.
He was an automatic choice for the tour to India in 1952-53. Despite having sustained a hamstring injury, he played in Pakistan’s first official Test at Delhi and became the first bowler to take a Test wicket for his country when he bowled Pankaj Roy around his legs for seven, providing the first blood. Soon, he took another wicket when Vinoo Mankad was beaten for pace. During the innings, he bowled 20 overs with great speed and hostility that added insult to the injury. He was ruled out of the series.
In 1954, he was named on the Pakistan team to tour England joining them from Manchester where he was playing in the Lower House Lancashire League as an overseas professional. The club administration did not allow him to represent Pakistan in the county matches but as a special case permitted him to play in the Tests. At Lords, he dismissed Len Hutton on the first ball and took four more wickets in the innings. His club awarded him £200 for his inspiring performance besides £1400 paid as part of the contract. He was one of the few overseas professionals playing fulltime cricket in England in the early 1950s.
At Trent Bridge, Nottingham where Dennis Compton scored an unbelievable 278, Khan claimed 3 for 155 in a 40 over spell. His two wickets were of Peter May and Len Hutton. Such was his commitment that he travelled on the motorway to Bolton to play a benefit match arranged for the West Indian fast bowler E.A. Martindale. Unfortunately while trying a bit too hard on a docile Bolton pitch, he strained his neck (cervical) muscles and did not bowl at his best in the Tests. Khan found himself in an awkward position when the B.C.C.P backed out of a pre-tour deal. He had been promised a match fee to be given in pound sterling but at the end of the series the contract was revoked. He refused to play for Pakistan in the series against India at home in 1954- 55. Nevertheless, the B.C.C.P accepted his demands and persuaded him to play for Pakistan again. He immediately made an impact in one of the most boring series ever by taking 13 wickets in the first two Tests. Surprisingly, he was dropped from the team and did not play in the third Test at Lahore’s Bagh-i-Jinnah. Returning for the fourth and fifth Tests, he added nine more wickets to raise his tally to 22 in a series that was mostly dominated by the batsmen.
Against New Zealand in 1955, he took 6 for 21 at Decca in a 16.2 over spell despite having been maltreated by the selectors, the previous year. In 1955-56, while playing against the M.C.C. ‘A’ he took 12 for 139 at Decca. Fazal Mahmood, his new ball partner took the other eight wickets. In 1956-57, playing against Australia in the one-off Test at Karachi, he bowled with fire taking 4 for 43 to help Fazal Mahmood (6 for 34) dismissing the tourists for a paltry 80 in the first innings.
The tour to West Indies in 1957-58 was his last stint with the Pakistan team he decided to retire from international cricket immediately after the tour. He took five wickets in an innings against Jamaica at Kingston launching himself perfectly in the series but despite taking 52 wickets at 23.96 in the side matches he was pulverized by Conrad Hunte, Everton Weeks and Garfield Sobers in the Tests. He did not play for Pakistan again.
During an action-packed career, Khan Mohammad rep resented Pakistan from 1949-50 until 1957-58, Punjab in 1947-48, Punjab University from 1947-48 until 1948- 49, Pakistan Universities in 1949-50, Somerset in 1951, Bahawalpur in 1953-54, Sind in 1955-56, Karachi Whites in 1956-57, Lahore in 1960-61, North Zone 1946-47, Commonwealth XI in 1950 and 1957Ceylon-India-Pakistan Combined XI in 1950-51, India Prime Minister’s XI in 1950-51, Bahawalpur-Karachi Xl in 1951-52, Pakistanis from 1952-53 until 1957-58, Pakistan Combined Services and Bahawalpur Xl in 1954-55, Amir of Bahawalpur’s Xl in 1955-56, Pakistan Prime Minister’s Xl in 1955-56 and Hyderabad Chief Commissioner’s Xl in 1959-60. In 54 first class matches Khan scored 544 runs at 11.57 with the best of 93 and took 214 wickets at 23.22. His top bowling performance was 7 for 56.
Khan made his first class debut against Southern Punjab for Northern India in the North Zone Ranj Trophy match in January 1947 at the age of 20, taking 1 for 38 in twelve overs in the first innings and 4 for 60 in 28 overs in the second. Murrawat Hussain Shah was his first victim in first class cricket.
Migrating to Pakistan, Khan appeared for the Punjab University against Punjab Governor’s Xl at Lahore’s Bagh-i-Jinnah in March 1949 taking 1 for 81 and 5 for 24 in the match. For Pakistan against Ceylon at the P. Saravanamuttu Stadium in Colombo, Khan took 3 for 36 and 4 for 24. In the second unofficial Test, he was the star with figures of 5 for 72 in the first innings. Playing for Ceylon-India-Pakistan Xl against Commonwealth at Colombo in February 1951, Khan bowled with sustained hostility taking the wickets of L.B. Fishlock, Sir Frank Worrell, K.J. Grieves, W.H.H. Sutcliffe and F. Ridgeway and ending the innings with 5 for 127 in 38 overs.
In August 1951, Khan represented Somerset against South Africa at the County Ground in Tauntont taking 3 for 74 and 2 for 30 in the match. Back home, he was chosen on the Pakistan team that played against the M.C.C, in November 1951. At Lahore’s Bagh-i-Jinnah, he took 5 for 84 in the first innings.In England in 1954 at Lord’s in London, Khan took wickets of Len Hutton, Peter May, Bill Edrich Godfrey Evans and Trevor Bailey ending with inspiring figures of 5 for 61 in the first innings. Against India in the second Test of the 1954-55 series, at Bahawal Stadium he took 5 for 74 in the first innings. In the fifth Test at Karachi, he was back in form taking 5 for 73 in the first innings.
Against New Zealand, Khan appeared for the Pakistan Prime Minister’s Xl at the Bahawal Stadium in Bahawalpur and wrecked tourists’ first innings by taking wickets of J.G. Leggat, John Reid, P.G.Z. Harris, T.G. McMahon and AM. Moir. He ended the first innings with a haul of 5 for 39 in 25.3 overs. In the third Test at Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka, Khan took his career best of 6 for 21 in 16.2 overs shattering the New Zealand hopes.
In February 1956, against the M.C.C, at Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka, he achieved his best first class figures of 7 for 84 in 38.4 overs. Khan took another haul of 5 for 55 in 27.2 overs in the second innings. At Peshawar bowling at his most devastating best against the M.C.C., he took 5 for 65 in the second innings.
Khan appeared for Commonwealth Xl against an England Xl at the Recreation Ground in Torquay in September 1957 and took first class career best figures of 7 for 56. In West Indies in 1957-58, his last tour with the Pakistan team, Khan took 5 for 72 in the first innings against Jamaica at the Melbourne Park Ground in Kingston. Against West Indies in the third Test at Sabina Pak khan returned with his worst innings analysis in an innings of a first class match. He conceded 259 runs in 54 overs without taking a wicket. Sir Garfield Sobers hit a then world record score of 365 not out in West Indies total of 790.
Khan represented Lahore against Pakistan Railways Quetta Xl in the final of the Ayub Trophy in 1960-61 taking 4 for 105 in 44 overs, in the only innings. He retired from first class cricket thereafter.
He got settled in England and completed his Advanced Standard Coaching Certificate Course and in the 1970s and 80s started a talent hunt scheme in Pakistan. A thin lad from Lahore joined his camp and went onto take more than 400 wickets in Test and 502 in one-day international cricket. It was Wasim Akram, one of the finest left-arm fast bowlers of all times. Whether someone believes it or not, Khan Mohammad had a major role to play in Wasim’s meteoric rise in international cricket. Khan at 76 still lives in England.
Hanif Mohammad was born at Manavadar, a small town in Junagadh in India on December 21st, 1934 (14th of Ramadan). He was the third of five Sons born to Sheikh Ismail Mohammad and Amir Bee. The proud parents despite economical limitations always encouraged their sons to play cricket, because Australian batsman Lindsay Hassett has been Ismail’s favourite and wanted his five sons to emulate his long standing hero.
After having lost two children, a son and a daughter who died very young, Hanif’s parents saw the ups and down of life very closely and the parental warmth was their main asset. Unfortunately Ismail, a hotel waiter, died suddenly in 1948 to see Wazir Mohammad, the oldest son seeking an employment in the National Bank of Pakistan to support his family. While Ismail himself was a proficient club cricketer, his wife was an Indian badminton champion and was also a top regional table-tennis player besides being outstanding in indoor games such as carom. She was to live to see his sons Wazir, Raees, Hanif, Mushtaq and Sadiq and grandsons Shoaib, Asif and Shahid playing first class, representative and international cricket. She died in 1995.
At an early age Hanif found a mentor, Master Abdul Aziz Durrani who had played for India against Jack Ryder’s team at Calcutta in 1936. He taught Hanif the basics of cricket and coached him unerringly. Aziz died in 1978.
Hanif played for Sind Madressah in the Rubie Shield and on a coir mat and scored a big hundred. He also played for Karachi Gymkhana and the Karachi Parsee Institute. He would have continued to struggle in first class cricket had not A.H. Kardar seen him score a magnificent 93 in a Flood Relief Match against Punjab Xl’s top class bowling comprising of Khan Mohammad and Amir Elahi. From thereon Hanif became a rising star. He followed his 93 with three successive centuries in three matches in the Sind Pentangular Tournament at Karachi.
At 16, he was picked to tour England with the Pakistan Eaglets and spent fifteen days in the Alf Gover Coaching School. While being at school, Hanif was an all-round sportsman and like his mother held the inter-school badminton title besides being an outstanding swimmer.
Hanif was an epitome of concentration and during the tour to England in 1954 when Shujauddin, his opening partner in one of the matches at Northampton suggested that they could take byes before the ball from Frank Tyson reached the wicket keeper he refused deliberately thinking that it effected his concentration and attitude. Hanif being a wicket keeper remained one of the safest and finest fielders in the team forming a strong nexus with Nazar Mohammad, Wallis Mathias and Agha Saadat Ali. An occasional right arm and also show left arm orthodox Hanif took one wicket of Panamal Punjabi at Peshawar in 1934-55.
Hanif’s captaincy reign extended from 1964untill 1967 and during this period most of the critics thought that his defensive approach made Pakistan a team that could hardly win anything. Actually due to the dearth of quality cricketers in the 1 960s Pakistan’s performance had suffered dramatically. Hanif’s career started to decline almost immediately after he scored a mammoth 337 at Bridgetown, Barbados against the West Indies subsequently showing hesitation against Roy Gilchrist leading to his relegation in the batting order.
Though Hanif opened for Pakistan after the tour to West Indies, in 1962 in England he decided to play in the middle order. On 1964-65’s to Australia and New Zealand he compelled his bowlers to play defensively and strange field settings did not add any feather in his camp. His only success as captain was achieved against New Zealand in 1964-65 in Pakistan, when the series was one 2-0. He captained Pakistan on the tour to England in 1967 though the team did not win any laurel still he hit a match saving 187 not out at Lords in the first Test. He was named as Wisden‘s Cricketer of the year in 1968.
In Karachi against New Zealand in 1969, he opened the innings with Sadiq Mohammad; the youngest of Mohammad brothers while Mushtaq was also playing the Test. It was only for the second time in the history of cricket that three brothers represented a country in the same test after W.G. Grace, E.M. Grace and G.E Grace appeared for England against Australia in 1880, unfortunately this proved to be Hanif’s last series for Pakistan as the B.C.C.P quite surprisingly asked him to seek retirement from international cricket. Hanif retired at the age of 34 but continued to play first class cricket for Pakistan International Airlines, his employers since1961.He was the only P.I.A. captain who took the initiative and arranged tours to East Africa, USA, West Indies, Ireland and the Emirates.
Hanif was a hero to young and old in Pakistan and was awarded President’s Pride of Performance in 1959. He never disassociated himself from cricket and continued to work for the promotion of the game, which he still does. He served as a national selector on numerous occasions. He saw Shoaib Mohammad, his son play 47 Tests and 63 one-day internationals for Pakistan.
Hanif’s international career started against Nigel Howard’s M.C.C. in the first unofficial Test at Lahore’s Bagh-i-Jinnah. He was 16 years and 329 days old. He opened the innings with Nazar Mohammad and also kept the wickets. On his international debut, he was involved in a 96 run opening stand with Nazar. His 26 made in 165 minutes impressed everyone who saw him defending against top class bowling. Needing 285 to win at Karachi in the second Test. Hanif opened in the second innings and defied the M.C.C. bowlers for 240 minutes making a match winning 64. Earlier, he had scored a brilliant 71 at Bahawalpur’s Dring Stadium against the tourists.
Hanif started Pakistan’s tour to India in 1952-53 with a century in each innings at Amritsar against the North Zone achieving scores of 121 and 109. At Delhi, in the ever-Test that Pakistan played, Hanif scored 51 and 1 against Bombay Cricket Association, he mustered a mind boggling 203 with the help of 23 boundaries in 447 minutes. In the third Test at Bombay, he was involved in a 165-run third wicket partnership with Waqar Hasan (65) in the second innings. The two batsmen battled against some fine Indian bowling for 345 minutes. He compiled 96 in 355 minutes before being caught at silly-point off Vinoo Mankad. In the fifth Test at Calcutta, he was involved in a 94 run opening stand with Nazar Mohammad making an obdurate 56. Hanif also hit 135 against South Zone at Hyderabad. He made 287 Test runs at 35.87 including three half-centuries and 630 first class runs at 105.00 with the help of four hundreds.
In 1952-53, Hanif appeared for Pakistan X against The Rest at K.G.A Ground in Karachi (benefit match of Amir Elahi) and in the second innings he scored 69 not out, adding 95 runs for the fourth wicket with A.H. Kardar (69 not out) to win the game for his team.
In 1953-54, in a match between Nawabzada Hassan Mahmood XI against Air Vice Marshall L.W. Cannon’s Xl at K.G.A. Ground in Karachi Hanif added 273 runs with Vijay Manjrekar (138) who had come from India to play in the match. He made 174 in his team’s 499 for eight declared. In his first match in the inaugural Quaid-i-Azam Trophy playing for Bahawalpur, he slammed 147 out of his team’s total of 252 in the first innings against Sind at the Dring Stadium. In the next match against Combined Services at the Agha Khan Gymkhana Ground in Karachi, he made another 118 as Bahawalpur declared at 424 for seven. By the end of 1953-54, Hanif has raised his tally of first class hundreds to seven in only nineteen matches and averaged 73.30.
In England in 1954, set 207 to win in 110 minutes against the Cambridge University at Fenner Oval, Hanif and Alimuddin put on 168 for the first wicket. But at Lord’s against the M.C.C. XI, he was bowled first ball off a full toss off left arm leg spinner Bob Berry. In the first Test against at Lord’s, in a rain interrupted game, Hanif batted for 160 minutes to collect 20 painstaking runs out of team’s total of 87.
In the second innings trying to save the match, he again showed his unmatched temperament and irresistible patience and batted for 140 minutes, mustering a compact 39. At Trent Bridge, he played neatly off his legs against Alec Bedser and Brian Statham and by the end of the day he had made 46 out of the 59 posted on the scoreboard. Against the Combined Services, earlier in the week, he had scored 87 with the help of 17 fours and a six in just 70 minutes. Against Northamptonshire, he went past the 1000-run mark but his first century of the tour came against Somerset at Taunton.
His 140 out of 224 on the first day was laced with 22 fours. However, at The Oval in the fourth Test, he failed with the bat though his throw to run out last man Jim McConnon won him a place in history. Against Essex at South End, despite Trevor Bailey’s 6 for 82, he carried his bat, hitting a timely 142. He was given five lives during his 300-minute stay at the wicket, smacking 17 hand some fours. Overall on tour Hanif made 1623 runs in 28 matches at 36.88 with two hundreds and ten half centuries, By the team he reached Pakistan his tally of hundreds in first class cricket had increased to nine besides having 16 half-centuries to his credit.
In 1954-55, Hanif played for Karachi. Against Railways at the K.P.I Ground in Karachi, three brothers, Hanif (84), Wazir (122 not out) and Raees (96) helped their team to win the match by a massive margin of and innings and 16 runs. In the next match Hanif scored the first double hundred in the history of Quaid-i-Azam Trophy and his 230 not out against Sind at the K.P.I. Ground was his second of the career. Races also hit a proficient 118 not out in the same innings.
Against India, in the first Test at Bahawalpur, Hanif made his first Test century (142) in his 19th innings. It at that time was the slowest Test hundred in the cricket’s history, as Hanif required 480 minutes that included balling on the entire third day to cross the landmark. However, his last 42 runs were scored in only 50 minutes. He made another big hundred against India while captaining the Combined Schools team at Karachi. His share was 163 out of a total of 267 for nine declared. In the final of the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy, the Mohammad brothers showed their cricketing supremacy against Combined Services at National Stadium, Karachi. Hanif standing in as captain of the Karachi team saw his side limping at 73 for three on the first day and scored 118 with Wazir hitting 109 and Races 110 to take the first innings total to 438. It was for the first time in first class history that three brothers scored centuries in the same innings. Karachi won the match and title by nine wickets. By the end of the season in 1954-55, Hanif had made 4250 first class runs at 53.12 with 13 hundreds and 17 fifties.
In 1955-56, Hanif played most of his cricket against New Zealand and the M.C.C. ‘A’. His 103 against New Zealand at Dhaka in the third Test of the series was made in 270 minutes and was his second hundred in Tests. His second century of the season was compiled against Donald Carr’s M.C.C. ‘A’ at Lahore’s Bagh-i Jinnah. Hanif exhausted 630 minutes at the wicket, making 142. His 50 came in 268 minutes, 60 in 324 minutes, 70 in 350 minutes and 80 in 411 minutes. During his innings, he was scoreless for 80 minutes. His hundred had come in 523 minutes, the slowest in first class cricket at that stage beating A. Dunn’s record achieved against Eastern Province for Griqualand West at Kimberley in 1947-48.
Due to Hanif’s tenacity, Pakistan scored only 107 runs in the entire third day against some immaculate bowling by M.C.C ‘A’s left arm leg spinner Tony Lock. By the end of season in 1955-56, he had scored 4820 first class runs in 68 matches at 50.20 with 15 hundreds and 18 other scores of fifty and above. In 1956-57, after having scored a highest of 62 in the previous five first class innings, Hanif came into his own against Karachi Blues at the Karachi Gymkhana Ground in the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy when his team Karachi Whites rattled 762 runs in the first innings. His share was a massive 228.
Now his tally had moved to 5181 runs in 72 first class matches at 50.79 with 16 hundreds and 19 fifties. In the 1957-58 season, he played only two innings and hit 123 at Agha Khan Gymkhana Ground against Sind ‘B’ for Karachi and in the next match versus Sind ‘A’ at the K.R.I. Ground scored 146 out of his teams 277 without loss. Now his career aggregate in first class cricket was 5450 runs at 52.91 with 18 centuries and 19 other scores over fifty.
In West Indies in 1957-58, despite a record breaking 337 in the first Test at Bridgetown, Barbados he was never his real self in rest of the series particularly against the gigantic West Indies fast bowler Roy Gilchrist made 628 runs at 69.77 in Tests and on tour accumulated 867 runs in nine matches at 57.88. His career runs increased to 6317 at 53.53 with 20 hundreds and 23 half-centuries. His other century on tour came against Trinidad’s impressive Queen’s Park Oval where he fell to a brilliant catch by wicket keeper R.A. Legall of S. Oliver for 101.
In 1958, Hanif went to England to play for Crompton in the Central Lancashire League. He also appeared in one match in the Torquay Festival. In the season, he made 789 runs at 43.83 besides taking 78 wickets at 11.60. He finished fourth behind Garfield Sobers averaging 78.33, Dattatraya Phadkar (58.20) and Vijay Manjrekar (47.66) in the League. In England that season he appeared in only one first class match for the Commonwealth Xl against an England Xl at Torquay, scoring 5 & 38.
Back to Pakistan Hanif took the world by storm during Pakistan’s 1958-59 first class season. Playing for Karachi against Bahawalpur at the K.P.I. Ground, in Karachi’s 772 for 7 declared scored in 200 overs, Hanif made mockery of the Bahawalpur bowlers by hitting a world record first class record of 499 (later beaten by Brian Lara for Warwickshire against Durham as he hit 501 in 1994-95). Hanif beat Sir Donald Bradman’s record of 452 not out for New South Wales against Queensland at Sydney in 1929-30. Hanif survived a confident leg before the wicket appeal off Riaz Mahmood on 93 but subsequently refused to get hit on the pads.
When on 498, he pushed Riaz to point and tried to run two but wicket keeper Tanvir Hussain removed the bails with Hanif stranded short of ground after having collected a smart return from Mohammad lqbal. He batted for 635 minutes and hit 64 fours. His first hundred came in164 minutes with 12 fours, his second in 268 minutes with 31 fours, his third in 395 minutes with 36 fours and fourth in 550 minutes with 52 fours. By the close on the third day, Karachi’s score stood at 383 for three and Hanif had already hit 31 fours in his 255 not out. After a day’s rest, Hanif aged 24 years and 20 day came back in an even better frame of mind the next morning. His team collected another 389 runs and Hanif’s share was another 244.
He reached three hundred before lunch and by tea had moved to 435. Hanif made 499 runs in ten hours and 40 minutes. The 22nd first class hundred in his 140th innings took. Hanif’s average from 53.56 to 56.98. On the final day, he also crossed the 7000-run mark in first class cricket and even more stunningly, he completed 2000 runs in the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy at 167.91. Later Sir Donald Bradman and President of Pakistan General (later Field Marshall) Mohammad Ayub Khan sent him congratulatory messages.
General Ayub also awarded him a cheque of £75 for his achievement. Later in the year, he was also awarded President’s Pride of Performance. Karachi won the match by an innings and 479 runs. Unfortunately, Hanif lost his team mate Abdul Aziz, aged only 17 years, who died on the cricket field after having been hit by off spinner Dildar Awan on the chest. He breathed his last while being taken to the hospital. He became only the second cricketer in the history of cricket to die during a first match after George Summers of Nottinghamshire at Lord’s in 1870.
Hanif starting moderately during the season picked his momentum against Hyderabad at the Municipal Garden Ground hitting a timely 129 and following it with 499 and in the penultimate game of the season, he scored another 130 out of his team’s 285 in the first innings against Combined Services at the K.R.I. Ground. In the last match of the year, the first Test against the West Indies at Karachi’s National Stadium, he notched yet another century scoring 103 before O.G. Smith bowled him through the gate. In 1958-59, Hanif appeared in five first class matches amassing 891 runs at a mind-boggling average of 148.50 including four centuries. In first class cricket, he had made 7251 runs at 57.54 with 24 centuries and 23 fifties.
In 1959-60, Hanif had scores of 66 & 19, 49 & 1 8 and 51 & 101 against Australia in the three Tests. However, playing in the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy, he made 151 against Bahawalpur at the Dring Stadium, 32 against Combined Universities at the National Stadium, Karachi 36 & 89 against Lahore at the National Stadium and 78 & 6 against Fazal Mahmood Xl for the Commissioners Xl at Hyderabad’s Municipal Gardens Ground. By the end of 1958-59 season, Hanif’s first class aggerate had increased to 7948 runs at 58.87 with 26 hundreds and 27 fifties.
Hanif made another 1000 runs for Blackpool in the Northern League before going to India with the Pakistan team in 1960-61. In the first match against the Combined Universities at Poona he clobbered a massive 222. In the next match, the first Test of the series at Bombay, he scored 160 & 0. Another century against East Zone at Jamshedpur (104) and three successive fifties 56 & 63 against India at Calcutta, and 62 in the fourth test at Madras saw Hanif ending the tour with an aggregate of 736 runs scored at 81.77. When he returned back, the tally of his first class hundreds had increased to 29 besides having scored 30 half-centuries. He played only one match for P.I.A. against Peshawar Commissioner’s Xl at the Peshawar Gymkhana Ground in 1960-61 scoring 5 & 77.
In 1961-62, Hanif scored century in each innings against Karachi Greens playing for Karachi Whites at the Stadium. He hit 133 and 146 in the two innings. He followed his second century in each innings achievement in first class cricket with a mammoth 189 against East Pakistan at Karachi. With scores of 24 and57 against Karachi Blues, Hanif came into his own with another century in each innings feat against England in the Dhaka Test. He made 111 & 104 in the two innings. Hanif hit 67 and 89 at Karachi in the second Test and made 71 for P.I.A. against East Zone at Dhaka. He hit two more half-centuries in the season including 77 against Commonwealth for East Pakistan Governor’s Xl at Dhaka and 65 run out versus the tourists for the B.C.C.P Xl at Karachi. In the 1961 -62 season, he mustered 1250 runs at 59.52 with five hundreds and six fifties and in Tests against England scored 407 runs at 67.83 with 2 hundreds and as many half-centuries. At the end of the season, he had also completed 10,000 runs in first class cricket and his aggregate stood at 10016 at 60.33 with 34 centuries and 37 fifties.
In 1961-62 Hanif was chosen to tour South Africa with the Commonwealth Xl. He hit 50 & 86 against Rhodesia at Show Grounds, Bulawayo and then 6 & 35 against a Rhodesian Invitation Xl at Salisbury. His next assignment was in England with the Pakistan touring team in 1962. He at last had a bad run of form still managing to hit 185 against Oxford University at The Parks, 109 against Glamorgan at Cardiff and 191 versus Middlesex at Lord’s.
Overall on the tour, he made 1044 runs at 40.15 with three centuries and two fifties. In Tests he could only score 177 runs with a highest of 47 in the ten possible innings at 17.70. However, he returned to form in the domestic first class season in 1962-63 with hundreds (104 against Railways at Lahore) and (170 versus Karachi at the National Stadium). In 1964-65 having failed miserably against the touring Australians and New Zealanders and also in a first class match for P.I.A. against the Rawalpindi Greens, Hanif at last managed to score 203 in a Test versus New Zealand at Lahore.
In Australia and New Zealand in 1964-65, Hanif started the tour with a gritty 90 against Queensland at Brisbane and ran into absolute form with scores of 104 and 93 in the one-off Test against Australia at Melbourne. He made another century at Adelaide against South Australia. In New Zealand, he achieved scores of 61 and 34 against Auckland, 98 against Wellington, 75 against Canterbury at Christchurch, 17 & 62 versus Northern Districts at Hamilton and 10 & 100 against New Zealand in the third Test of the series at Christchurch. On tour, he made 1029 first class runs at 60.52 with three centuries and six fifties.
Playing for the Rest of the World against England at Scarborough, he made low scores of 14 & 20 in 1965. He made 73 runs for Governor’s Xl against the Punjab University in a match that was last of A.H. Kardar’s prolific career. Back again in England to represent the Rest of the World in 1966, Hanif made 2 & 45 at Scarborough against an England Xl. In 1966-67 playing against Ceylon at Dhaka, he made 114 and finished the season with scores of 73 and 35 against M.C.C. U-25. Hanif represented the South Zone team.
Hanif was back in form in England in 1967. As captain of a weak team, Hanif managed to score 855 first class runs on tour at 45.00 with three centuries and as many fifties. His three hundreds 107 against Somerset at Taunton, 187 versus England at Lord’s and 118 against Worcestershire at Worcester were made in adverse circumstances.
In 1967-68, Hanif failed miserably in the first class matches as well as against Mickey Stewart led Commonwealth Xl. He made 554 runs in 11 matches at 36.93 with five fifties. In England playing for the Rest of the World against Hampshire at Bournemouth, he made 9 & 23, against Kent at Canterbury, he scored 79 in the only innings, against Australia at Lord’s he was out for 4 & 10 and in the last match against an England X at Scarborough he was dismissed for 19 & 2. Hanif now had started to lose his form, fitness and consistency.
In 1968-69, with two other scores of 50, Hanif hit 186 for P.I.A. against National Tyre and Rubber Co at Karachi’s National Stadium. In a total of ten first class matches, he scored 370 runs at 33.63 with one hundred and two half-centuries. However, during the season, he completed 15000 first class runs at 53.79 with 48 centuries and 60 fifties. He was back in form at the start of the 1969-70 season, hilling 109 versus Lahore ‘B’, 154 against Karachi Blues, 114 against Karachi Whites, 113 versus Rawalpindi Blues and 190 against Karachi Blues. Overall, he averaged 51.94 collecting 883 first class runs in 12 matches with five centuries and one fifty. He also achieved the distinction of reaching 50 or more first class hundreds in a career that began in 1951-52.
Hanif was dropped from the second Test team against New Zealand at Lahore in 1969-70 and the little master as many people say was compelled to seek an early retirement from international cricket by A.H. Kardar who headed the B.C.C.P. He retired after having represented Pakistan in 55 Tests scoring 3915 runs at 43.98 with 12 hundreds and 15 half-centuries, In 1970-71, he made an appearance for the Rest of the World against a Pakistan Xl at the National Stadium, Karachi scoring 5 & 58.
However, he made another century (104) for P.I.A against the Punjab University at Lahore. In 1971-72 Hanif made 186 against Karachi Blues. In 1972-73, he had a miserable season scoring only 94 runs in four matches at 18.80. In 1973-74. Hanif’s highest in eight first class innings was 64 made against Railways. In 1974-75, he made two fifties in as many matches and the season proved to be last of his career. When Hanif quit playing first class cricket, his son Shoaib Mohammad, Nazar Mohammad’s son Mudassa Nazar and Raja Saleem Akhtar’s sons Wasim Hassan Raja and Zaeem Hassan Raja were playing alongside him. Hanif played 236 first class matches and scored 17022 runs at 52.21 with 55 centuries and 66 fifties.
Hanif’s cricketing experience in England was enormous as he played for Crompton in the Central Lancashire League scoring 789 runs in 21 innings at 43.8 in 1958, for Blackpool in the Northern League he hit 932 runs at 66.57 in 1959 and 1134 runs at 103.09 in 1960. Thus came to an end a career that still sparkles in her record books. Hanif remains a doyen of Pakistan Cricket, a legend who will never be forgotten.
At, the time of partition barely 3 years of age, Mushtaq Mohammad grew under the influence of Wazir and Hanif. He was virtually a toddler when his elder brothers made their debuts for Pakistan. The other two being batsmen of top-class ability Mushtaq went onto become one of the finest all-rounder’s in the history of Pakistan cricket.
A batsman of some quality and enterprise, he was also a tormenting right arm leg spin and googly bowler who delivered after hastily running towards the crease and used lot of shoulder in pushing the ball through the air. The quality that made him different from his elder brothers was an amazing ability to play hook, cut and pull against the genuinely quick bowlers. In his later years, he turned out to be one of the shrewdest Test captains. A fine coach, a well-respected manager and an astute selector, Mushtaq served Pakistan cricket in various capacities with distinction.
Mushtaq Mohammad was born on November 22nd, 1943 at Junagadh in Gujarat. He has a tremendously skilled cricket playing family. Besides Mushtaq his brothers Wazir Mohammad, Hanif Mohammad and Sadiq Mohammad played Test cricket for Pakistan. His nephew Shoaib Mohammad (Hanif’s son) represented Pakistan in Tests while Asif Mohammad and Shahid Mohammad, both Raees Mohammad’s sons like their father were regular first class players while Sadiq Mohammad’s England born son Imran Mohammad is also a quality first class cricketer.
Mushtaq made his first class debut at the age of 13 years and 41 days for Karachi Whites against Sind at the Municipal Gardens Ground and scored 87 at number nine in his maiden innings. He shared a ninth wicket stand of 140 with A. Rehman Dyer (25 not out). He became the world’s youngest Test cricketer when he made his debut against the West Indies at Lahore at the age of 15 years and 124 days. He was dropped from the team against Australia in 1959 but came back with a bang against India in 1960-61. He played sensibly to score 61 and 41, more than useful contributions, in the third and fourth Tests and at the age of 17 years and 82 days, he became the youngest ever cricketer to score a Test hundred when he hit 101 against India at Delhi in the fifth and last Test of the series. He stayed at the wicket for 210 minutes and hit 19 fours.
Against England in 1961-62 at home he scored 76 in the first test and averaged 31.00 in the series but in cricket season that year, playing for Karachi Whites he clobbered 418 runs at 83.60 in the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy besides compiling 1112 runs at 61.77 with four hundreds and same number of half-centuries. His highest was against East Pakistan at Karachi’s National Stadium when he hit 229 not out in Karachi White’s 416 for six declared. His 100 came in 109 minutes and 200 in 204 minutes. His total stay at the wicket was 229 minutes during which he hit 30 fours. He also scored century before lunch during the innings and was involved in a 153 runs third wicket partnership with Wallis Mathias (55). He also added 113 runs for the fifth wicket with Intikhab Alam (43).
On Pakistan’s disastrous tour to England in 1962, Mushtaq Mohammad performed outstandingly, collecting 1614 runs at 41.38 with three hundreds and eight other half-centuries. He topped the batting averages. Mushtaq batting at number three during the fourth Test at Trent Bridge top-scored in each innings with 55 and 100 not out, Urns becoming the first player to have scored two hundreds before turning 19 years of age. In the fifth Test at the Oval, he made scores of 43 and 72 to lift Pakistan’s dampened spirits. He was named as Wisden’s five cricketers of the year in 1963.
Mushtaq toured England again with the PIA Eaglets team in 1963 and averaged 55.9 with the bat and 16.00 with the ball. Against Northamptonshire, he made a hundred and found himself being offered a county contract for the 1964 season. For the next 14 years he played for the county. County cricket took him away from the international commitments against Australia and New Zealand in 1964-65. However, he was back again for the 1967 tour to England. He took his first Test wicket in the series and collected eight more at just over 17.00. From 1971 until 1975-76, Mushtaq became one of the top batsmen in the world and by 1976 he was captaining Pakistan. He scored many Test hundreds during the period that included one at Edgbaston in 1971 where he was involved in a 291 run stand with Zaheer Abbas (274). He also scored 1949 runs for Northamptonshire in the season at 5906. In the next three Test series, he collected 885 runs at 68.00. He made a brilliant century at Sydney in 1972-73 and then 203 at Dunedin against New Zealand in the same season.
He batted for only 383 minutes and hit 20 fours. Interestingly he consumed 165 minutes for the first fifty and the next 153 runs came in 218 minutes. He moved from 50 to 100 in 100 minutes, from 100 to 150 in 64 minutes and from 150 to 200 in 70 minutes. He shared a massive 350 run partnership with Asif Iqbal in 270 minutes for the fourth wicket. The last 150 of the partnership were made in 74 minutes. In the same match, he took 5 for 49 with his leg-spin equaling Dennis Atkinson’s record against England in 1954-55. He scored fifty in each innings of the last Test of the series guiding Pakistan to a first overseas series win.
Against England in 1973 at home, he made 66 and took five wickets at Lahore, and at Hyderabad he made 157 during which he added 145 runs with lntikhab Alam (138) for the sixth wicket. He was out for 99 at Karachi joining Majid Khan (99) and Dennis Amiss (99), a rare event in Test cricket. He topped the Pakistan averages with 327 runs at 81.75 and bagged 12 wickets at 24.58. In England in 1974, on a wet wicket at Lord’s, he made a defiant 76 adding 115 runs with Wasim Raja for the fourth wicket to ensure a draw for his team.
At the Oval, he made 76, putting on 172 in just 202 minutes with Zaheer Abbas (240). Against the West Indies in 1974-75, he scored his fifth Test hundred in only Ten Tests making 123 at Lahore. He made another delectable half-century against the West Indies at Edgbaston in the World Cup 1975 match. In 1976, he was installed as Northamptonshire’s captain leading them to a Gillette Cup win. He averaged over 50 with the bat and 27.00 as a bowler. In 1977, he resigned as Northamptonshire’s captain after a Packer controversy and did not eagerly accept the contract for the next sea son. He made over 16000 runs and took 551 wickets in 262 matches.
H e was also removed as Pakistan captain and the captaincy went to lntikhab Alam when A.H. Kardar, the President of the B.C.C.P charged him of indiscipline after having signed with the Packer Circus. Soon, Kardar backed out and Mushtaq as reinstated in 1976-77 leading the team to Australia and the West Indies. As captain he led Pakistan to a 2-0 win against New Zealand at home in 1976 and made another Test century at Hyderabad where Sadiq also scored a ton following it with 107 and 67 not out at Karachi where he put on 252 for the fifth wicket with Javed Miandad (206).
Mushtaq scored hundreds in seven successive series but the sequence ended in Australia where he went terribly out of form and mustered only 77 run in the three matches. Having lost the first Test by a margin of 348 runs, he inspired his team to win the match at Sydney largely because of a 12-wicket haul by Imran Khan. Mushtaq produced a match winning all round performance at Trinidad, Port of Spain. He scored a dogged hundred and then took five wickets in an innings. In the second innings, he hit another half-century and collected three more wickets to single-handedly win the Test do Pakistan.
Wasim Bari took over from Mushtaq in 1978
with him being committed with the Kerry Packer Cricket. However,
back again to the captaincy fold against India in 1978, he
scored 67 and 78 in the second and third Tests. In New Zealand,
the following season he took 9 or 119 (4-60 & 5-69), helping
Pakistan to win the first Test at Christchurch. Mushtaq retired
from Test cricket, quite suddenly, in 1979.
Such was his consistency that from 1969 until 1972, in every season, he scored more than 1500 runs and took fifty wickets. He also played Minor Counties for Northumberland (1980), Staffordshire (1982-83) and Shropshire (1984-85). He also appeared for Old Hill in the Birmingham League (1984-85).
Mushtaq represented Pakistan from 1958-59 until 1978-79 in Tests and one-day internationals from 1972-73 until 1978-79 Karachi Whites from 1956-57 until 1963-64, Karachi ‘C’ in 1957-58, Peshawar in 1959-60 Pakistan International Air Lines from 1960-61 until 1981-82, Karachi ‘A’ in 1962-63, Marylebone Cricket Club in 1964, Northamptonshire from 1964 until 1977 Karachi Blues in 1966-67 and 1967-68, Pakistan International Air Lines ‘A’ in 1969-70 and 1970-71 and Shropshire in 1984-85. He also played List ‘A’ matches, (domestic one-day matches) for Northamptonshire from 1966 until 1977 and for PIA in 1981-82.
Mushaq was always an above average cricketer and was declared as the Indian Cricket Cricketer of the Year in 1960-61, Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1962 and won The Cricket Society Wetherall Award for the leading All-Rounder in English First Class Cricket 1969. In 57 Tests for Pakistan, Mushtaq scored 3643 runs at w39.17 with the best of 201, his best of the ten hundreds scored for his country. Besides hitting 19 half-centuries, he also took 42 catches. As a right arm leg spinner, he took 79 wickets at 29.22. His top bowling performance was 5 for 28, one of the three five-wicket hauls in Tests.
Mushtaq started his first class career in 1956-57 and in the next 28 years played 502 matches amassing 31091 runs at 42.07 with the best of 303 not out. He compiled 72 hundreds and 159 half-centuries and held 349 catches. When Mushtaq ended his career, he was only 64 wickets short of the 1000-mark having taken 936 scalps at 24.34. His top bowling performance was 7 for 18, one of his 39 five-wicket hauls. Twice, he achieved the ten wicket in a match feat. In ten one-day internationals for Pakistan, Mushtaq scored 209 runs at 34.83 with one half-century and bowled only seven overs taking 0 for 23. In 180 List ‘A’ matches from 1966 until 1985 he scored 4471 runs at 29.22 with one hundred and 24 fifties beside taking 48 wickets at 30.00.
His was a prolific career, in 1960-61 in India Mushtaq scored 263 Test runs at 43.83, with one hundred and a Half-century. In 1962 in England, he collected 401 runs at 44.55, against England in Pakistan, he made 121 runs in four innings at 40.33 and in Australia, and He averaged with 244 runs. In New Zealand, Mushtaq averaged 104.66 with 314 runs scored in three innings. Against England in Pakistan in 1972-73, he scored 327 runs at 81.75. In 1976-77, Mushtaq averaged 71.00 in three Tests and in his last series for Pakistan in 1978-79 against India, Mushtaq scored 150 runs in three innings at 50.00. With the ball, Mushtaq took nine wickets in England in 1967, eight in New Zealand in 1972-73, twelve in Pakistan against England in 1972-73, 13 against West Indies in 197-77 and eleven more in New Zealand in 1978-79.
Mushtaq was a prolific first class cricketer scoring 796 runs at 49.75 in 1960-61 in India, 1112 runs with a highest of 229 not out at 61.77 in Pakistan, with four hundreds and as many half-centuries, 281 in at 102.80 in five innings in 1962-63, 593 at 53.90 in England in 1963 and 701 at 70.10 in ten innings in 1963-64. 1179 at 25.08 in 53 innings in 1966, 1211 at 31.05 in 1967, 938 in 14 innings in 1967-68 at 85.27 and 1619 at 35.97 in 52 innings in 1968.
Mushtaq scored 1831 runs at 39.06 in 1969 with six centuries and nine fifties and again reached the 1000 mark in 1970 when lie amassed 1482 runs at 36.14. In 1971, back to Northamptonshire, he collected 1660 runs at 33.87. In 1972, Mushtaq amassed 1949 runs at 59.06 with Six hundreds and eight half-centuries and in 1973-74 in Pakistan he collected 313 runs in just seven innings at 52.16. In 1974 in England he made 973 runs at 31.38.
In 1975, in 21 matches, his bat produced 1531 runs at 41.37 with three centuries and ten fifties. In 1976, recollecting his lost form, he mustered 1620 runs at 50.62 with four hundreds. In 1977, Mushtaq amassed 1469 runs at 45.90 in 21 matches.
With his leg spin bowling, Mushtaq took 57
wickets at 17.12 in 1966, 67 at 20.86 in 1967, 62 at 24.58 in
1968, 78 at 24.38 in 1968-69 and 58 at 28.50 in 1970.
Subsequently, he collected 50 or more wickets in 1971 (52 at
27.25), in 1972 (57 at 19.82) and in 1974 (53 at 20.86).
Gradually his performance declined and in the next nine seasons he failed to reach even the 500-mark in first class cricket. Having been left out of the Pakistan team in 1979, Mushtaq Mohammad took over as Pakistan’s coach in 1979-80 when Javed Miandad was appointed country’s captain for the home series against Australia. He immediately made an impact by selecting Tauseef Ahmad from no where to see the off-spinner becoming one of the finest bowlers of his type in Pakistan’s history.
Mushtaq in a distinguished career scored 508 runs for different Commonwealth teams at 50.80, 593 at 148.25 for Karachi Blues, 806 at 73.27 for Karachi Whites, 15961 at 39.12 for Northamptonshire in 262 matches with 32 hundreds and 89 half-centuries, 4451 runs for Pakistan at 44.06 with 15 hundreds and 20 fifties, 616 for Pakistan Eaglets at 51.33, 1973 runs at 58.02 for PIA and 3244 at 41.58 for the Pakistanis during an amazingly consistent career.
Intikhab Alam was a highly talented all round cricketer, who batted with pugnacity and bowled leg-spin, but always with a jovial air. However, he had the misfortune of establishing himself in when often his team’s ambition was to draw matches, and pitches at home were prepared to serve that end. He took over the captaincy when both the cricket and the country were in a state of volatility and insecurity, and has not been credited with the great strides that Pakistan made under his leadership. Subsequently, he has had a major influence in his country’s most successful ten years, the eighties, as their first choice manager.
Intikhab Alam Khan was born on December 28th, 1941 at Hoshiarpur in India. His father was a senior engineering contractor, and useful fast bowler in club cricket. Intikhab, too, started as a seamer, until his solid frame filled out rather than up and he turned to the leg spinners and googlies that were to bring him more first class wickets, 1571, than any other Pakistani before or since. His stocky stature, amiable demeanour and terrifically ease-going outlook belied certain shyness off the field and a steely determination on it.
Two years after first playing for Karachi, for whom his brother Aftab also played, Intikhab’s Test career began sensationally for Pakistan, as he took a wicket with his first ball of Australian Cohn McDonald with his flipper. He was just 17 years and 341 days old and the match entered the hall of fame, the first to be seen by an American President, Dwight D Eisenhower, who was at the National Stadium for the 4th day of the game, which regrettably was the second slowest day’s play in Test history.
It took him a couple of seasons to establish himself in the Test side, but he had hinted at his all-round potential as early as his second match, scoring 56 and taking two wickets in each innings against India at Calcutta. He played in the last three Tests of that tour (1960-61) and the first two against England the next season, though with limited success. He was in and out of the side on the tour to England in 1962, but by playing in the last two Tests, he started a sequence of 39 consecutive Tests spread over the next fourteen and a half years.
Pakistan went for over two years without any Test cricket, though he toured England again in 1963 with the Pakistan Eaglets, finishing with the most wickets (19 at 23.15) as well as touring Ceylon with Pakistan, and East Africa with P.I.A. in 1964-65, he made fifties in both the home and away one off matches against Australia, and set a ninth wicket record against them with Afaq Hussein at Melbourne. However he was still short of wickets, having taken only two wickets in the four Tests in Australia, but changed all that in the third Test at Karachi against New Zealand, taking seven for 92 in 50.4 overs in the match.
Again Pakistan went over two years without international matches, and Intikhab joined the West of Scotland club as their professional in the interim, where he developed the accuracy he needed for the slow wickets of the time. He toured England again in 1967 with the national team and finished top of the bowling averages with 35 wickets, including eight for 61 and four for 58 against the Minor Counties, seven for 52 and four for 51 versus Gloucestershire, and seven for 58 against Lancashire.
In the final Test at the Oval, which was to be his home ground for the next 12 years (1969-1981), he put highest ninth wicket partnership in all Tests (later to be broken by a South African pair). Coming in at 65 for 8, with Pakistan still requiring 159 to make England bat again, he made 51 helping Asif Iqbal add 190 at more than a run a minute to save face if not he match.
That winter he had an excellent domestic season playing for Karachi and Public works Department, taking 77 wickets at 21 .89 runs each. After his first year at Surrey in 1969, the captaincy of Pakistan came to him but it could not have come at a more fractious time. Hanif Mohammad the last of the founders of Pakistan cricket, had been ousted as captain after the trip to England, and the eccentric Saeed Ahmed had seen his one series in demonstrations that were commonplace in the country at the time.
The side not unlike the country, was going through a difficult period; Pakistan had won only two Tests in the sixties, and was playing with little ambition beyond drawing games. Intikhab’s first match in charge. Hanif’s last Test was drawn, but a further setback came when Pakistan lost the next in Lahore and with it the series to New Zealand for the first time, despite Intikhab’s fine efforts to square the rubber. In the third Test, the last to be played in Dacca, he took ten wickets in the match, usually recording the same figures (five for 91) in each innings, bowling nearly a hundred overs in all, and was only denied a push for victory by bad light, minor disturbance in the crowd and a pitch invasion.
However, the team was beginning to blend under his astute leadership. He took the side to England in 1971, where the previous year he produced some useful performances in five unofficial Tests playing for the Rest of the World, and for whom he was to be vice-captain for their winter tour to Australia (1971-72), South Africa arranged both series in place of scheduled tours.
He was desperately unlucky to lose the series against England. In the first Test at Edgbaston Pakistan made over 600, and following on, England were still 71 behind with only five wickets in hand when rain washed out most of the last day. After a rain affected draw at Lord’s Pakistan’s batting let them down as they chased 231 at Headingley. They lost their first six wickets for 45, leaving them 26 runs short of victory.
This unfortunate characteristic continued in Australia in 1972-73, where the batting twice collapsed under pressure when victory was in sight. Intikhab played several captain innings though, helping to double the score from 104 for 7 to 208 in a record seventh wicket partnership with Wasim Bari at Adelaide, making 64 in the first innings at Melbourne to build a big lead, and top scoring, with 48, in the second as he tried to hold the tail together.
The tour had not been a happy one; the 3-0 defeat was not a true reflection of the relative skills of each side, though Pakistan’s out cricket had been poor. The itinerary was not feasible for the tourists, giving them little time to do extremely well against decent opposition. Indeed their first match was in Sri Lanka and prior to the first Test; they played only two games against weak sides in Tasmania.
Most importantly, various groups had developed in the side, leading to two players, Saeed Ahmed and Mohammad Ilyas, being sent home from Australia and the B.C.C.P. had already decided to replace Intikhab with Majid Khan before the end of the trip to New Zealand. This caused further resentments, and came at a most inappropriate time.
For Intikhab was in the middle of leading Pakistan to its first overseas series victory and was at his best with bat and ball. An unbeaten half-century in the first Test at Wellington was followed by a match winning performance in the second at Dunedin; he bowled terrifically to take seven for 52 and four for 78 helping Pakistan to an innings win. A draw at Eden Park in the final Test, where Intikhab took six for 127, ended the series.
Back in the ranks at home against England and obviously, upset, he had a point to prove. He confirmed his all round worth in the second Test at Hyderabad with a brilliant century, striking four sixes and fifteen fours during an innings which confirmed his great power. He raced to 50 in 45 minutes, and hit England’s best bowler in that series, Pat Pocock, out of the attack; in all he batted for four and half hours, and had the presence of mind, when in the nineties, to go into the crowd to ask them to stop running onto the field. He also took seven wickets in the match. Four more wickets in the third at Karachi made him the leading wicket taker in the series, and he averaged over fifty with the bat. That winter had brought him 37 Test wickets and over five hundred runs.
He collected 72 wickets for Surrey in 1973 and after his best domestic season in 1973-74 in which he took 82 wickets at 20.34 for PIA, he was rightly restored to the captaincy. Pakistan went through the 17-match tour to England (1974) undefeated a feat not achieved since Don Bradman’s famous Australian side of 1948. The Tests were evenly contested but spoiled by the weather.
On a batting heaven at the Oval Intikhab took five wickets, and in the process became the first Pakistani to complete the Test match double of a thousand runs and 100 wickets. This was his 41st Test, and to put this in context, Wasim Akram took four more matches to complete his double, Intikhab lead the side ably throughout and was the leading wicket taker on tour, with 44 at 22.59.
Against the West Indies, that winter Pakistan showed their fighting qualities. Intikhab himself was hit on the head by a bouncer from Andy Roberts but carried on batting to ensure two evenly contested draws. He was not included in the World Cup squad of 1975, as it was unfashionable to use spinners in one-day cricket then, but he remained in charge of the side for the tour to Sri Lanka in 1975-76 for two unofficial Tests. His five wickets for 58 in the first innings of the second match helped square the series. However, an incident at a cocktail party in Kandy, after which Sarfraz Nawaz was sent home, ultimately cost him the captaincy. Even still, with the side developing well under his leadership, it was a surprise that he was deposed again for the hectic winter of 1976-77.
Although eighteen months had elapsed since the last official Test series, it seemed extraordinary that he was not even in the original squad to play against New Zealand. He was recalled at the 11th hour and finished the series at the leading wicket taker, with 15 scalps taken at 22.06.
When six of the leading players were involved in a pay dispute prior to the tour to Australia and West Indies, Intikhab found himself being offered the captaincy once again by A.H. Kardar. Yet when the dispute was settled the offer was withdrawn, though he retained his place in the team. However, he was penalised for not joining Mushtaq Mohammad and other team men in their stand against the B.C.C.P. Despite this Intikhab remained dedicated on tour, and apparently in high spirits, he was indubitably offended and distressed by events.
That he was not wanted, or needed on the field, became apparent when he did not play in any of the Tests in Australia and in only one, the second, in West Indies. Not surprisingly, he retired from international cricket at the end of the tour.
He no longer played domestic cricket hut continued to play for Surrey. In his 1 2 years at the Oval, he helped the county to the Championship title in 1971, taking 32 wickets after the Pakistani tour, to give him over a hundred in total that season, while his powerful hitting and accurate bowling were well suited to the one day game He played in the 1979 Benson and Hedges final, where he was the most economical bowler and the Gillette Cup final the following year, when he hit a belligerent 34. Both matches though were lost. He had not played in the World Cup in 1975, but that year returned the remarkable figures of 11 -6-5-2 against Glamorgan in a Benson and Hedges match. In his final year at Surrey, he was their leading wicket taker, and he finished with 589 wickets in 232 matches for the county. Intikhab is remembered at the Oval with fondness for his devotion and conviviality.
Intikhab entered the textile trade in Lahore after retirement, but subsequently became Pakistan’s first choice manager for more than a decade. He struck an excellent partnership with Imran Khan from their first series together in 1982, when he took a lot of pressure off the new captain by dealing efficiently with the media. Ten years later, his old team mate at Surrey, Mickey Stewart was the England manager.
However, Intikhab was still quick to act on behalf of his players, defending Aaqib Javed at Old Trafford. He had backed Rameez Raja, too, when he held the players from the field in Australia in 1989-90, One might have expected a more conciliatory tone from so mild a man, but his firmness merely confirmed his loyalty to his side and demonstrated the strength of character that served him well throughout an illustrious career, which had its fair share of vicissitudes.
He was replaced after taking the team to southern Africa in 1994-95, because of the allegations of match rigging. He felt obliged to get the players to swear on the Quran to their commitment to the team before a Test in Zimbabwe, and was back in charge for Pakistan’s tour to Australia and New Zealand in 1995-96. However, Pakistan’s quarterfinal exit against India in the World cup led to him being replaced for the tour to England in 1996, which was unlucky, as Pakistan had won their previous two Tests.
Intikhab Alam played the game in the best possible spirit. He was described once by John Arlott as ‘a man of immense honesty, charm and loyalty, who made friends whenever he went’ and as ‘one of the nicest men who ever played cricket’ (Wisden Cricket Monthly, August 1982); what praise could be more fitting. He retired prematurely after having developed differences with Asif Iqbal and Mushtaq Mohammad. Some say that Intikhab initially tried to get a contract with the Packer through Asif but once he did not succeed he monopolized against the two leading cricketers. And when Mushtaq was removed from the captaincy in 1976-77, Intikhab was offered the job by A.H. Kardar, President of the B.C.C.P but the differences settled down and Mushtaq was recalled that ended lniikhab’s stint as a Pakistan player.
Intikhab was again recruited as manager of the Pakistan team and despite having done well, with Javed Miandad aspiring to make a comeback he was sacked by Lieutenant General Tauqir Zia midway through the home series against Sri Lanka. There were contradictory reports. Some said that Intikhab was asked to resign because Miandad, already a Member of the Advisory Council was eager to take over as coach of the team that had seen at least two rebellions against him.
It was Miandad who succeeded and took the side on a four-pronged tour to Sharjah, West Indies, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Thereafter, Intikhab was sidelined and before Tauqir could reinstate him as manager after the World Cup 2003 debacle, Intikhab during one of the interviews for Pakistan Television criticised the management and board administrators. Eventually, Haroon Rashid was chosen ahead of him. According to reports Tauqir had decided in principle to re-hire Intikhab in place of Shahryar M. Khan (eventually the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board and the manager on tour to South Africa), but dropped the idea after he was told about his unprecedented criticism in the media.
Intikhab’s brother, Aftab Alam also played first class cricket and at one time was certain to play in Tests. However, fame was destined to come to his brother, Intikhab, the right arm leg spinner. During an outstanding career, Intikhab represented Pakistan from 1959-60 until 1976-77 in Tests, for Pakistan in one-day internationals from 1972-73 until 1976-77, Karachi in 1957-58, Pakistan International Air Lines from 1960-61 until 1974-75, Karachi Whites from 1961 -62 until 1963-64, Karachi ’A’ in 1962-63, Karachi Blues from 1967-68 until 1970-71, Public Works Department from 1967-68 until 1969-70, Surrey from 1969 until 1981, Marylebone Cricket Club in 1973, Pakistan International Air Lines ‘A’ in 1973-74, Sind in 1973-74, Punjab in 1975-76, Surrey (List A matches) from 1969 until 1981 and PIA (List A matches) in 1974-75.
In 47 Tests for Pakistan Intikhab Alam scored 1493 runs at 22.28 with the best of 138 and took 125 wickets at 35.95. His top bowling was 7 for 52. In 489 first class matches, he amassed 14331 runs at 22.14 with nine centuries and 67 fifties. His highest score in first class cricket was 182. He held 228 catches besides taking 1571 wickets at 27.67 and 85 times achieved the five wickets in an innings feat. He also took ten wickets in the match thirteen times. His best bowling performance was 8 for 54.
Intikhab was a popular cricketer that saw him playing first class cricket for Chief Commissioner’s XI in 1958- 59, Commander-in-Chief’s XI in 1958-59, Karachi from 1958-59 until 1967-68, Fazal Mahmood’s Xl in 1959-60, Pakistan Eaglets from 1959-60 until 1963, President’s XI from 1959-60 until 1967-68, Pakistanis from 1960-61 until 1982, Pakistan from 1963-64 until 1975-76, Punjab Governor’s XI from 1963-64 until 1967-68, Pakistan ‘A’ in 1964-65, North Zone in 1966-67, B.C.C.P. XI from 1967-68 until 1970-71, West Pakistan Governor’s Xl in 1968-69, Rest of the World XI in 1970, D.H. Robin’s XI from 1973 until 1977-78 and North West Frontier Province Chief Minister’s XI in 1976-77.
He was a prolific bowler in first class cricket. In his first season in 1957-58 he collected 21 wickets at 21.57, in 1959-60, 26 wickets at 24.88, in 1960-61, 26 wickets at 29.53, in 1961 -62, 22 wickets at 30.00, in 1962 in England 26 wickets at 53.73, in 1963-64 22 wickets at 38.90. In 1966-67, Intikhab returned to form taking 31 wickets at 23.48. In 1967 in England, he collected 35 wickets at 18.20 with the best of 8 for 61. In 1967-68, Intikhab topped the list with 77 wickets taken at 21.89. From 1970 on wards he bowled brilliantly everywhere taking 86 wickets at 27.19, 61 at 18.88 in 1970-71, a mind-boggling 104 at 28.36 in 1971, 51 in 1972 at 25.37, 86 in 1973 at 26.68, 82 at 20.34 in 1973-74, 58 wickets at 25.15 in 1974 in England, 51 at 27.45 in 1974-75, 51 at 35.68 in 1975, 60 in 1976 at 38.31, 59 at 26.61 in 1977-78, 65 at 24.38 in 1981
Zaheer Abbas was a stylish, elegant batsman and a player of rare quality. There was not a touch of superciliousness about his batting, expressive, articulate foot work and his efforts with the bat unforgettable for a sophisticated, unforced attractiveness. His forte was exactitude and fluency.
Zaheer rose to prominence with a majestic 274 at Edgbaston against England in 1971. Such was his concentration that he stayed at the wicket for 550 minutes. The same season, Gloucestershire contracted him and he remained with them for the next ten years. He scored heavily in England and in 1976 collected 2544 runs while in 1981 another 2305. His other outstanding efforts in Test were a scintillating 240 against England at the Oval in 1974, 101 against Australia at Adelaide in 1976-77, 235 against India at Lahore in 1978-79, 186 versus India at Karachi in 1982-83 and 215 at Lahore in the same series. Zaheer scored a magnificent hundred, 168 against India at Lahore in 1984-85. In 1978 against India, he returned with scores of 176, 96 and 235 and his total aggregate of 583 runs in a three-Test series was a world record.
Zaheer during a distinguished career hit 35000 runs in first class cricket with over hundred hundreds. He was a prolific run getter and his appetite for tall scores never faded till he played his last match. All started at Karachi when Zaheer, son of a Locust Controllers in the Ministry of Agriculture, went to Jehangir Road Secondary School in Karachi. His father never wanted his sons to take up professional sports though two other brothers, Tathir Abbas and Saghir Abbas played first class cricket for P.W.D. and Karachi respectively. Saghir also represented P.I.A. in domestic cricket.
Zaheer attracted the purists for the first time when he added 353 runs with Salahuddin Mulla (256) for the sixth wicket for Karachi against East Pakistan in 1968- 69, He scored 197. In 1969-70, Zaheer made his Test debut against New Zealand at Karachi scoring 12 & 27. However, his chances to tour England in 1971 were bleak considering the depth of Pakistan middle order. Zaheer responded with five first class hundreds in six matches, four of them scored in succession. He gave enough reasons to the selectors to include him on the team to tour England in 1971. This tour to the United Kingdom changed his destiny.
Zaheer slammed 1508 runs in all matches. At Edgbaston after having scored centuries against Worcestershire and Kent, Zaheer walked in to replace the injured Aftab GuI. Rest is history. He was at the crease for nine hours and ten minutes. He was 159 not out at stumps on the first day and started next morning by taking 14 runs of one Ken Shuttleworth over. By the end of the tour Zaheer had gained a contract with Gloucestershire and was also sworn in as Wisden’s Five Best of the year 1971.
Zaheer soon realised that cricket was a great leveller when he miserably failed against Australia and New Zealand in 1972-73 and versus England at home in 1973. Surprisingly, Zaheer also failed in the county season, the same year. He decided to get his eyes checked and from thereon did not look back. His aggregate of 1597 at 84.05 was a tribute to his opticians in 1973.
Zaheer returned to England in 1974 with the Pakistan team and scored a magnificent 240 at the Oval. This time he batted just over nine hours and hit 22 fours instead of 38 in his 274 at Edgbaston three years back. He added 172 for the third wicket with Mushtaq Mohammad. Interestingly, he scored only two fifties between the two double hundreds in 21 Test innings. Against the West Indies at home in 1974-75, he failed again. Nevertheless, in the inaugural World Cup in England, he played only one innings of quality. He scored 97 against Sri Lanka at the Oval. Despite not being consistent at the international level, he kept on plundering tons of runs for Gloucestershire in 1976. He amassed 2554 runs at 75.11, the highest total in 15 years in England. He hit eleven centuries, including one before lunch in the season. He also got a rare distinction of scoring a double century and a century in the same match, a feat he repeated in 1977 and then again in 1981. Against Kent he made 230 and 104. Zaheer also made a quick 70 against Kent in the final of the Benson & Hedges Cup in 1977.
He resumed his Test career against New Zealand in 1976 and remained a cricketer of patchy brilliance. He was chosen for the tour of Australia and finally he announced his arrival with a fine 85 & 101 at Adelaide following it with scores of 90 & 58 at Melbourne. Subsequently, in the West Indies in 1976-77, he missed first two Tests because of a toe injury but returned to hit a prolific 95 against Guyana and smacked another 80 odd in the Test at the same venue. Zaheer, though diplomatic and generally laid back developed serious differences with the cricket authorities in Pakistan and rebelling against the B.C.C.P hierarchy he joined the Packer Circus in Australia. He came back to Pakistan along with Imran Khan and Mushtaq Mohammad in 1977-78 to play against England. Unfortunately, the trio was not considered for the Test at Karachi due to charges of dissension and rebellion against the administration.
Against India at home in 1977-78, Zaheer showed his indispensability but hitting scores of 176, 96, 235 not out, 34 not out and 42 collecting 583 runs at 194.33 in only three Tests. At Faisalabad he added 255 runs for the fourth wicket with Javed Miandad and hit two sixes and 24 fours. He was at the wicket for 315 minutes. At Lahore he scored 235 in 375 minutes hitting 29 fours and two sixes. Zaheer played World Series Cricket therefore missing the first Test in New Zealand in 1979. At Auckland he scored his sixth Test hundred after having been dropped on the very first ball in the innings. He was at the crease for another 150 minutes adding 35 more runs to his hundred.
He did not do anything of note in a two-Test series in Australia but hammered 93 against the West Indies in the semi-final of the second World Cup at the Oval. Nevertheless, Zaheer failed miserably in India in 1979- 80 falling mostly to controversial decisions by the umpires. Zaheer was dropped from the team for the sixth Test and Taslim Arif made his debut at Calcutta scoring 90 & 46. Zaheer was again left out of the Test team against Australia at Lahore. It was at this stage that criticism against his technique started to feature in most of the columns in the newspapers. Ho showed signs of nervousness against the fast bowlers.
Zaheer needed to reform and rehabilitate his career. He collected over thousand runs in the season averaging more than 90 per innings in Pakistan’s domestic cricket. He scored 100 not out in each innings for P.I.A. against Pakistan Railways and led his team to a memorable P.A.C.O. Cup win. Returning to England in 1981, Zaheer slammed 2305 runs for Gloucestershire at 88.69, hitting ten hundreds adding to the five already made in the sea son at home. Twice he scored century in each innings.
In Australia in 1981-82, Zaheer was not part of the Pakistan team for the first Test due to an injury however he was back again to score 80 at Brisbane and 90 in the third Test at Melbourne. He also stood above his compatriots in the one-day averages that included a spectacular hundred against Australia in the Benson & Hedges Triangular Series. It was at this stage that he seemingly fell apart with his captain Javed Miandad seeking captaincy because of seniority and batting excellence. He was one of the rebels refusing to play under Javed and back home missed the first two Tests against Sri Lanka in 1981-82.
Nevertheless, after the B.C.C.P hierarchy promised to change the captain for the tour of England in 1982, he batted brilliantly in the third Test scoring another Test hundred at Lahore. Expecting to captain Pakistan to England he was greatly shocked when Imran Khan was appointed in place of Javed Miandad. Disinterested and disgruntled he however continued his career playing and cooperating with Imran quite selflessly. Zaheer lost his form in England scoring 75 at Lord’s during which he added 153 runs with Mohsin Hassan Khan (200) to lift Pakistan’s spirits. Almost at the verge of being over looked for the home series against Australia in 1982, Zaheer sprung back to form and in the season amassed 919 Test runs at an average of 114.87. Zaheer’s career had taken a new turn. Against Australia at Karachi he made 91 and at Faisalabad he slammed a century adding 155 for the fourth wicket with Mansoor Akhtar (111). He was dropped when on 57 and 119 but his 126 included 19 runs scored in one over off the right arm leg spinner Peter Sleep. Zaheer followed his Test hundred with another century in the one day international and coming back to his best, he hit a timely half-century in the final Test to complete seventh successive score over fifty in the series.
Against India at home, Zaheer was irrepressible. He scored his 99th century in first class cricket for Patron’s XI at Rawalpindi and then crossed the landmark by registering his 100th hundred at Lahore in the first Test. He in the process got to his fourth double century of a distinguished Test career. He batted for 330 minutes and hit 23 fours and two huge sixes. His 200 came off 241 balls, then the fourth fastest Test double ton in cricket. In a one-day match at Multan, he scored another century and was associated in a 205-run partnership with Mohsin Khan in only 27 overs. In the next Test, he went into bat with Pakistan struggling at 18 for three and put 110 runs for the fourth wicket with Javed Miandad and another 213 with Mudassar Nazar to stamp Pakistan’s dominance over India. He made 186 swashbuckling runs.
Another century followed in a one-day match at Lahore that had been reduced to 33 overs per team. He helped Pakistan to post 252 runs. Zaheer made his third consecutive Test hundred at Faisalabad adding 287 runs for the fourth wicket with Javed Miandad. It was his sixth hundred in a row against the Indians. At Hyderabad he did not get enough time to convert his 25 not out into another century as Mudassar Nazar (231) and Javed Miandad (280 not out) were involved in a world record equaling partnership of 452. Still not content with his performance he slammed 113 off 99 balls in another one-day international adding 170 runs for the second wicket with Mudassar Nazar. Zaheer at the end of the series could boast the following sequence of scores against Australia and India: 26, 91, 126, 109, 52, 5 not out, 10, 108, 215, 118, 186, 105, 168, 25 not out and 113. He however failed by his standards in the last two Tests against India scoring 13 and 43.
In 1983, Pakistan reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in England but Zaheer was not at his best. He returned with just one acclaim having added 147 runs in 75 minutes with Imran Khan in an important match against New Zealand. Earlier, he had hit a fine 82 against Sri Lanka and 83 not out against England. Zaheer appeared for Gloucestershire scoring 155 as his team chased a target of over 300 against Leicestershire. He recorded another century in the Sunday League against Middlesex. In absence of Imran Khan who had been ruled out of Test cricket due to a stress fracture of shin, Zaheer was finally elevated as captain of Pakistan.
However, he was widely exposed and abhorred due tactical mistakes and also rebuked for not playing result oriented cricket in India in 1983-84. He retained captaincy against England at home. Pakistan won the series 1-0. At Lahore when Pakistan needed his services badly, he batted with an injured groin scoring a neat 82 not out in the first innings By now Zaheer’s decline had started, as he had to leave Gloucestershire over a captaincy row. Despite his lean outings as captain, and Pakistan still without the services of Imran Khan, Zaheer was retained at the helm for the home series against India in 1984. The series was aborted half v through because of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Nevertheless, he managed to score his 12th and last hundred in Test cricket at Lahore. Ironically it was his only century in 14 Tests as Pakistan’s captain. Zaheer 168 at Lahore was his third successive ton against India at Lahore.
He led Pakistan to a heartening 2-0 win against New Zealand at home in 1985. At Lahore in the first Test of the series he reached the 5000-run landmark. It was his 72nd Test of the career. Surprisingly, Javed Miandad was reinstated as Pakistan captain for the return tour to New Zealand in 1985. Once replaced, Zaheer went to the press citing stress and pressure as the main reasons to relinquish country’s captaincy.
In New Zealand he was involved in controversy with right arm leg spinner Abdul Qadir who was subsequently sent back from the tour. Zaheer played only one more Test against Sri Lanka at home in 1985-86 before retiring from international cricket. Zaheer’s fondest memory is of the over from Dennis Breakwell in which he scored 30 runs with the help of four sixes, a four and a two.
Zaheer achieved century in each innings distinction no less than eight times since making his debut in 1965. He scored 216 not out & 156 not out against Surrey at the Oval in 1976, 230 not out and 104 not out against Kent at Canterbury in 1976, 205 not out and 108 not out versus Sussex at Cheltenham in 1 977, 100 not out and 100 not out against Railways at Lahore in 1980-81, 215 not out and 150 not out against Somerset at Bath in 1981, 135 not out and 128 against Northamptonshire at Northampton in 1981, 162 not out and 107 against Lancashire at Gloucester in 1982 and 125 & 101 against Karachi at Karachi in 1982-83.
In a phenomenal career Zaheer made 5062 Test runs at 44.79 with twelve centuries and twenty half-centuries. He held 34 catches and took 3 wickets at 44.00 with the top bowling performance of 2 for 21. In 62 limited over internationals, he clobbered 2572 runs at 47.62 with a highest of 123 and his career included seven hundreds and 13 other scores over fifty. He took 16 catches and seven wickets at 31. 85. In 20 years of first class cricket Zaheer amassed 34843 runs at 51.54 with a highest of 274 versus England at Edgbaston. He scored 108 hundreds and held 278 catches. As a bowler he took thirty wickets with his part time off-spin. His best bowling was 5 for 15.
In one day matches, he scored 11240 runs at 40.72 with 19 hundreds and 72 fifties. His highest was 158 not out. He took 78 catches and 16 wickets at 43.06. His best bowling in this form of cricket was 3 for 48. Zaheer was a hero to young and old and he still remains afresh in the memories of those who followed his exploits in the field in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Zaheer never disassociated himself from cricket and remained a national selector and an I.C.C. match referee besides being a radio and a television expert. He also served as the chairman of the junior selection committee of the P.C.B. He enjoyed almost everything on the cricketing field, moments of joys and sorrows. Now remarried, Zaheer is settled in Karachi.
Constitution Avenue, Islamabad.
Exchange #. 9212222, 9213333