Majid Khan; a brilliant batsman from Pakistan made his debut against Australia in Karachi in 1964. His father Jahangir Khan used to play cricket for India .Majid’s cousins Imran Khan and Javed Burki were also cricketers.
Majid Khan began his career as a pace bowler but back injury and a dubious bowling technique turned him into an occasional off-spinner and a batsman. Now more focused on batting, Majid Khan soon became brilliant with the bat. He came into limelight when he hit 5 sixes in an over off the bowling of Roger Davis of Glamorgon. He faced the fast bowlers comfortably and one of his career best performances is against the West Indies (1976-77). Majid Khan scored 530 runs in 5 tests in that particular series against an intimidating West Indies team. His highest score in that series was 167 runs in the Georgetown test and he also managed to take 4 wickets for 45 runs in that particular test. Majid Khan played for a couple of English counties, Queensland Australia and domestic teams like PIA, Rawalpindi and Punjab. His best ODI performance was 109 runs against England at Oval in 1974.
Majid Khan used to open the innings for Pakistan along with Sadiq Mohammad; together the couple gave a stable start to the team. Majid Khan played a total of 63 tests for Pakistan and scored 3931 runs (8 centuries) at an average of 38.92. Hid ODI figures are 786 runs in 23 matches with an average of 37.42. Majid Khan has an impressive first class record of more than 27,000 runs with 73 centuries and 128 fifties.
The Khan family became the second after the Headleys (from West Indies) to have three generations of test cricketers when Majid’s son Bazid Khan made his test debut in 2005. Although retired Majid is still actively involved in cricket.
Fazal Mahmood was one of the finest cricketers Pakistan had produced. Born in 1927, Fazal Mahmood showed interest in cricket from a very early age and encouraged by his father Fazal Mahmood grew up to become a bowling wizard. Before the creation of Pakistan, Fazal played for North India. His outstanding performance in matches earned him a place in the Indian squad which was to tour Australia; however the partition of India was announced and Fazal Mahmood opted for Pakistan.
Fazal Mahmood helped in popularizing cricket in Pakistan. His bowling spell against the visiting MCC convinced the kingmakers at Lords to grant test status to Pakistan. Fazal Mahmood thus made his test debut in 1952 against India. The highlight of his career remains the test at Oval England in 1954 when Fazal took 12 wickets for just 99 runs. Beating the kings at their own game was a big achievement for the newcomers (Pakistanis).
In his career, Fazal Mahmood captured a total of 139 wickets in the 34 test matches he played averaging 24.7 runs. Fazal was a medium fast bowler who specialized in leg cutters and break backs. He is also the only bowler to take 12 wickets in a series 4 times. Fazal Mahmood was chosen as the Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1955 for his outstanding performance at the Oval making him the first Pakistani to receive the honor.
He reached the 100 wicket mark in 22 tests. He also led Pakistan in 10 test matches. After retirement Fazal Mahmood served as a National Selector.
Abdul Hafeez Kardar was the first captain of the Pakistan cricket team. Commonly referred to as the father figure of Pakistan cricket, Kardar’s contribution toward cricket in Pakistan are numerous.
Kardar was an experienced cricketer; he used to play for India before the creation of Pakistan. Under Kardar’s captaincy, Pakistan played 23 test matches against all the leading teams of that time and was victorious against all of them. Pakistan got its test status in 1952 and toured India; there they lost the series 2-1 but Pakistan managed to win the second test at Lucknow comprehensively. Pakistan’s greatest achievement under Kardar’s captaincy was the victory against England at Oval. Australia was also beaten by Pakistan in Karachi in 1957 by Kardar’s men.
Kardar was a dauntless left handed batsman known for cracking the ball right over the bowler’s head. As a left hand spin bowler, he was equally effective. Kardar was also associated with Warwickshire. In his career as a cricketer, Kardar score 6,832 runs and captured 344 wickets.
Kardar was a visionary who modernized Pakistan cricket and popularized the game. He was instrumental in putting Pakistan on the international cricket map. Kardar was also a strong advocate of promoting the game of cricket in Asia. Kardar retired in 1958. He later served Pakistan cricket as the President of the Pakistan Cricket Board. Passionate about cricket and sincere, he never compromised on his principles.
Kardar later became Pakistan’s ambassador to Switzerland. This great cricketer passed away in his hometown Lahore in 1996.
Mudassar Nazar was the opening batsman of the Pakistani cricket team. Mudassar is the son of Nazar Mohammad also an opener who also has the honor of being the first centurion of Pakistan. Following his father’s footsteps, Mudassar also carried the bat against India.
Being the son of a first class cricketer, cricket was in Mudassar’s veins. Since childhood he was interested in cricket. His interest turned into obsession fueled by the company of cricket greats like Fazal Mahmood, Hanif Mohammad, and A. H Kardar; all ex colleagues of his father. At the age of 10 he was sure that he would someday be a test player.
Mudassar Nazar made his cricket debut against Australia at Adelaide in 1976-77. Mudassar along with his partner gave a solid start to the Pakistani team. He was also a useful bowler and took crucial wickets when the main bowlers failed. Mudassar has a number of records to his credit; he scored the slowest century ever in Test and First Class cricket. He took 557 minutes to reach the triple score against England at Lahore. He along with Javed Miandad scored a 451 third wicket partnership against India in Hyderabad. His career best performance with the bat and the ball came against England in 1982. He made a record by scoring 4 centuries in that series and his brilliant bowling earned him the nickname of “Man with Golden Arm”. The English press also dubbed him as the secret weapon of Pakistan. Like his father, Mudassar also carried the bat; another record in cricket history.
Mudassar retired from test cricket in 1989. Since then he has served as a coach to Pakistani, Kenyan and other teams. The government of Pakistan honored the brilliant player with Pride of Performance award in 1989.