Iqbal Qasim was a stylish left arm spin bowler from Pakistan who was a part of the national team from 1976-1988.
Born in Karachi in 1953, Iqbal Qasim belonged to the “memon community”. Iqbal Qasim was a brilliant spinner who often baffled the batsmen with variations in pace and flight of the ball. Iqbal Qasim was a penetrative bowler who was more concerned about the accuracy of the ball.
In his test career of 50 test matches, Qasim took 171 wickets at an average of 28.11. He took 5 wickets in an innings on 8 occasions and 10 wickets in a match twice. His career best performance remains 7 wickets for 49 runs. His ODI record shows 15 matches to his credit with 12 wickets at an average of 41.66.
Iqbal Qasim’s career best performance was against India in India in the 1987 series. In the 5th test at Bangalore, Qasim took 9 wickets for 121 runs and played a key role in Pakistan’s first ever series win in India.
Iqbal Qasim was not that good with the bat but was a pretty decent fielder. Iqbal Qasim served the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) as the Chief Selector. Considering the fact that Pakistan cricket has always produced better bowlers in comparison to the quality of batsmen, Iqbal Qasim can be included among the best of the spinners from Pakistan.
Manzoor ul Hassan
Gojra a small town in the Faisalabad division has produced many hockey superstars; Manzoor ul Hasan being one of them.
Dubbed as Mr. Reliable and The Great Wall of China, Manzoor playing as a defender put up an impenetrable defense. He was dreaded and respected by his opponents for his skills and outstanding play. He scored 104 goals from 154 matches. He saved numerous goals against Pakistan making him the strong weapon of the Pakistan team. Manzoor ul Hasan together with Munnawar uz Zaman made a tough winning difficult to beat combination during the 70s era. In the 1982 World Cup Tournament, Manzoor’s performance was brilliant and can be easily called one of the best performances of his life.
He later coached the national team which won the silver medal in the World Cup held at Lahore. A players’ revolt forced him to step down from the post in 1996.
Khawaja Saeed Mir commonly known as Saeed Mir is one of the big names of Pakistan tennis. He enjoys the distinction of being the first Pakistani player ever to feature in a grand slam tournaments; Wimbledon (three times), US Open and French Open (twice). He qualified for the main draw of Wimbledon for three consecutive years from 1954-1956. He represented Pakistan in the Davis Cup and was the captain of the team 32 times; a record yet to be equaled by any other player of the world. At home he was the Triple Crown holder of National Championship with Single’s, Men’s Doubles and Mixed Double titles to his credit. An interesting and unusual one of its kind incident associated with him is that he killed a bird with his service during the England Tennis Championship.
Saeed Mir has received international recognition for his outstanding performance and services in the field of tennis. He was awarded a gold medal by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in the annual meeting held at Lausnne, Switzerland. The French Tennis Federation celebrated the century of French Championship and built a commemorative wall displaying the names of outstanding players; Saeed Mir’s name was one of them.
Since his retirement he has served the PTF (Pakistan Tennis Federation) as the President and the Chairman of Selection Committee.
Sadiq Mohammed the youngest of the five Mohammed brothers was born in 1945. Ever since Pakistan was recognized as a test playing nation, one of the Mohammed brothers had been a part of the Pakistan cricket team with Hanif Mohammed and Mushtaq Mohammed being the most successful.
Like his brothers, Sadiq Mohammed was a strong right handed batsman but on his brother Hanif Mohammed’s advice, Sadiq Mohammed switched over to left handed batting as Hanif thought that there were already too many right handed batsmen in the team. Initially Sadiq Mohammed played as a middle order batsman but later became a reliable opener. Sadiq Mohammed also played for the English County Gloucestershire.
Sadiq Mohammed made his test debut in 1969 at Karachi against New Zealand. He played 41 test matches with 2579 runs scored at an average of 35.81; his total includes five hundreds. He featured in 19 ODIs and made 383 runs at an average of 21.27 runs. Till date Sadiq Mohammad is considered as one of the best batsmen from Pakistan cricket. Pakistan cricket team who has been traditionally known for its weak and unreliable batting line up has surely produced some big names in the field of batting too. SAdiq Mohammed is among one of those batting legends from Pakistan.
Samiullah Khan is a legendary hockey player from Pakistan. He played as a left winger and was famous for his speed, stamina and his crosses which often resulted in goals.
Known as the “Flying Horse”, Samiullah showed incredible agility on the hockey field and could tear through the opponent’s defense with ease. Samiullah played in 151 tournaments. On top of Samiullah’s impressive record are the silver medal in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, gold medal in Bangkok Asian Games in 1978, gold medal in the Asia Cup held in Karachi and gold in the New Delhi Asian Games. The latter two were played under his captaincy.
Samiullah retired from hockey in 2005 and served as the manager of the junior team.
Samiullah’s brother Kalimullah was a right winger and both brothers formed a menacing attacking line. Samiullah Khan till date is considered as one of the best hockey players in Pakistan. Samiullah Khan has been associated with hockey in Pakistan in one way or the other even after his retirement from international hockey. He is considered as a legend of his field. Many of Pakistan’s victories in the time when Samiullah Khan was a part of the team came through his brilliant performance. He is considered a legend in his own right in the world of Hockey.
Saqlain Mushtaq the Pakistani off spin bowler will be remembered in the history of cricket as one of the greatest off spinners of his time. A gifted bowler, Saqlain pioneered the mystery ball “doosra”. Saqlain Mushtaq produced many variations in the spin bowling technique
Saqlain Mushtaq began his career with a test and ODI career against Sri Lanka in 1995. He finished with 4 wickets in his first test series. Saqlain’s career best remains his performance against India in 1999 when he made a clean sweep and took 10 wickets in the Chennai test. Saqlain Mushtaq was the quickest to reach the 100, 150,200 and 250 wicket mark in ODIs. Saqlain also holds the distinction of being the only spin bowler to achieve a hat-trick in an ODI and one of the three bowlers to have taken two hat-tricks in ODIs; compatriot Wasim Akram and Sri Lankan Chaminda Vaas being the other two. The Wisden statistical analysis of 2003 declared Saqlain the greatest ODI spinner and the sixth greatest ODI bowler. He was the Wisden Cricketer of the year in 2000.
Saqlain had a successful association with the English County Surrey and Sussex. Saqlain Mushtaq till today is considered as one of the best in his field not only in Pakistan cricket but among other players too, coming from other cricket playing nations.
Sarfraz Nawaz is a fast bowler from Pakistan. He is considered one of the pioneers of “reverse swing” bowling.
The Lahore born Sarfraz Nawaz began his career at the age of 20. His dismal performance in the first test against England played at Karachi saw him out of the national team for the next four years. He then made a remarkable come back when he performed brilliantly with both bat and ball against Australia in the 1972-73 series. As a matter of fact his best performances have been against Australia. In the Melbourne Test in 1978-79, Australia needed only 77 runs to win and had 7 wickets in hand. Sarfraz Nawaz claimed those seven wickets conceding only one run in 33 balls to give Pakistan a memorable and almost impossible victory. Overall he took 9 wickets for 86 runs; the best performance by a Pakistani bowler against Australia and the fifth best performance in test cricket.
Sarfraz Nawaz mastered the reverse swing and passed it on to his peer (Imran Khan) and his successors. Sarfraz Nawaz saved Pakistan many times with both ball and bat. A bowling genius, he could seam the ball in both directions but he was also a temperamental person who was often in trouble due to his reckless behavior.
After retiring from cricket, he entered politics and served as an MPA (Member of Provincial Assembly) for three years. He later became a cricket commentator.
Shahid Ali Khan was Pakistan’s goal keeper and arguably one of the best goalkeepers of his time. He was a part of the Pakistan national team from 1981 to 1993 though he was dropped from the team for poor performance. Shahid Ali Khan was an intelligent player who also believed in coming forward and attacking the opponents during penalty corners rather than waiting passively for the ball. Shahid Ali Khan saved many goals; his memorable performance being in 1982 when he saved a penalty stroke against Pakistan in the semi finals of the World Cup.
Shahid Ali Khan has been capped 135 times and his wonderful performance helped his team win many times. His list of medals include bronze medal in 1982 Barcelona Spain, gold medal in 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, a gold medal in the 1982 World Cup at Mumbai besides silver and bronze medals in various championships.
Shahid Ali Khan was awarded Pride of Performance in 1993 by the government of Pakistan in recognition of his valuable services. Shahid Ali Khan till date is considered as one of the best Field Hockey Goal keepers. This assessment of Shahid Ali Khan is not only among the goal keepers in Pakistan, but from other parts of the world too. He was brilliant at his job.
The 70s and early 80s was the most productive and successful period in the history of Pakistan hockey. Pakistan hockey team was on the medal list in almost every major championship and had established itself as a force to reckon with.
Sialkot born Shahnaz Sheikh was one of the legendary players of that time. Shahnaz Sheikh played as a forward and with winged feet and deceptive body swerve was the opponents’ worst nightmare. Fast, accurate and strong he together with his other team mates made Pakistan a tough team. Shahnaz was capped 68 times and has 45 goals to his credit. His absence from the team due to injury in the mid 70s caused Pakistan two losses in the finals of the World Cup and the Montreal Olympics.
After retiring as a player, he coached the Pakistan Junior Hockey team which went on to win the Junior Asia Cup. His similar efforts with the senior team however failed miserably. Despite his failures in coaching in certain occasions, Shahnaz Sheikh is considered as one of the best and most aggressive hockey players Pakistan ever had. Shahnaz Sheikh had a commendable fighting spirit when on the ground. His performance was always above average in the time he played professional hockey for Pakistan.
Tauseef Ahmed was a former right arm off spin bowler from Pakistan. He made his debut against Australia in Karachi and in the very first test took seven wickets thus playing a crucial role in Pakistan’s victory. His career best innings was that against Sri Lanka when he took 6 wickets while giving away only 42 runs. Another memorable innings from Tauseef Ahmed is his match winning performance against India in 1986-87. Tauseef Ahmed took 9 wickets including the prized wicket of Sunil Gavaskar whom he trapped at 96.
Tauseef Ahmed played 34 test matches and took 93 wickets including 5 wickets in an innings thrice. His ODI record shows 70 matches and 55 wickets. This crafty off spinner was called the Lionel Richie of Pakistani team because of his close resemblance to the singer. Although Tauseef Ahmed is remembered as a great off spinner, his most fond memory in Pakistan for the Pakistani cricket fan is the fact that he was at the other end of the crease when Miandad hit his famous smashing six off Chetan Sharma to defeat India in Sharjah Cup final of 1986. It was such a marvelous victory for Pakistan that still a lot of people share the details of that victory, giving due attention to the one single Tauseef took to hand over the strike to legendary Javed Miandad who struck a sixer off the last ball.