Pride of Pakistan – Zaheer Abbas
Zaheer Abbas is perhaps the greatest batsman Pakistan has produced. Nicknamed as the “Run Machine”, there was simply no stopping him when he settled on the crease and struck boundary after boundary watched by helpless bowlers and equally helpless fielders. He played with ease off both back foot and front foot and his stylish footwork combined with powerful wrists; perfect timing and precision made him the great run getter.
Zaheer Abbas’s career is punctuated by many records. He made his debut in test cricket in 1969 against New Zealand and his ODI debut in 1974 against England. In his second test played at Edgbaston, against England in 1971, he scored double century (274 runs); the fourth highest score by a Pakistani cricketer. The double century marked the beginning of an illustrious career in which he scored a total of 5062 runs in 78 test matches with an average of 44.79 runs. His career best include 4 double centuries two of them against England. Zaheer Abbas was associated with the English county Gloucestershire for 13 years. During this long span, he scored almost thirty five thousand runs at an impressive average of 51.54. Zaheer Abbas is also the first and only Asian cricketer so far to have score a century of centuries in first class cricket. His ODI average is 48 and he stands second on the list of All Time ICC ODI rankings.
His ability to get runs against any opposition earned him the title of Asian Bradman. Zaheer Abbas was named the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1972. The government of Pakistan in acknowledgement of his brilliance awarded him the Pride of Performance award.
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