Hanif Mohammed is a respected name and an essential part of Pakistan cricket. Hanif Mohammed made his test career debut at the age of 17.
Initially Hanif Mohammed was coached by Abdul Aziz, a wicket keeper who played for All India team. Abdul Aziz guided Hanif and taught him to adjust to all sorts of batting conditions. His training came handy when Hanif was selected to play against England when the English team visited Pakistan. Hanif’s contribution with the bat in the second match at Karachi and agility behind the wickets were instrumental in getting test status for Pakistan.
To improve the performance of cricketers, some cricketers from Pakistan were sent to England to Alf Glover’s cricket school with Hanif being one of them. Glover satisfied with Hanif’s technique suggested that no changes should be made to it.
Hanif Mohammed stands out in the history of cricket with his famous score of 378 runs against West Indies which took more than sixteen hours. He not only set a world record of the longest innings of that time but also saved Pakistan from defeat. Hanif’s triple century remains the only triple century in 2nd innings so far.
Hanif Mohammed also has the honor of exceeding Don Bradman’s record of the highest individual score. Hanif Mohammed made 499 runs and was run out when attempting the 500th run. His batting feats earned him the nickname of “Little Master”.
Hanif Mohammed also kept wickets when required and had the ability to bowl with either arm. Hanif Mohammed played a total of 55 test matches with an average of 43.98 runs and scored 12 centuries.
Hanif Mohammed was named the Wisden Cricketer of the year 1959, he was also awarded the President’s Pride of Performance in 1968. Hanif Mohammed’s name has been inducted in the ICC Hall of Fame.
Mushtaq Mohammed is one of the five Mohammed brothers; four of whom have etched a prominent place for themselves in the history of cricket.
Born in 1943, Mushtaq Mohammed started playing first class cricket at the age of 13 years. He showed his potential as an all-rounder by scoring 87 runs and taking 5 wickets for just 28 runs on his debut. He was associated with the English county Northamptonshire from 1966-1977. Altogether Mushtaq has scored 31,091 runs most of them when playing for Northamptonshire. Mushtaq also captained the county which won its first ever trophy the Gillette Cup in 1976 and also bagged second position in county championship.
Mushtaq Mohammed made his test debut against West Indies in 1959 at Lahore. Although Mushtaq is said to be the youngest test player, there are doubts about the authenticity of this claim. Mushtaq scored his first test century against India in India. Mushtaq was also an accomplished wrist- spinner who got wickets at crucial moments with his googly, flipper and legbreak. Mushtaq Mohammed was also a part of the Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket.
Due to ample opportunity he got when playing for Northamptonshire, Mushtaq became the first Pakistani to score 25,000 runs. Mushtaq is also a master of reverse sweep; a stroke he learnt from his elder brother the legendary Hanif Mohammed.
The year 1973 was particularly good for Mushtaq; he scored a century (121) against Australia and a month later a double century (201) against New Zealand. He scored 777 runs that year.
Mushtaq also led Pakistani team in 19 matches. Under his captaincy, the Pakistani team defeated West Indies in West Indies with Mushtaq contributing 121 and 56 with the bat and claiming 8 victims with the ball. Pakistan also won the home series against India in 1978-79.
Mushtaq also coached the Pakistan team which reached the finals of the 1999 World Cup.
Mohsin Hasan Khan is an ex-cricketer from Pakistan who used to open the innings for Pakistan in the late 70s till the mid 80s.
Mohsin Khan made his ODI debut against West Indies at Albion and his test debut against England in 1978 at Karachi. Mohsin Khan is one of the few batsmen who could adapt well to the bouncy Australian pitches. His centuries at Adelaide (149) and Melbourne (153) in the 1983-84 series are ample proof. Even in England he scored a double century at Lords in 1982. An interesting record associated with Mohsin Khan is that he scored 101 runs from the required 135 runs in the 2nd innings of a test match against India. This remains the lowest team score featuring a century to date.
Mohsin Khan was a stylish batsman who scored a total of 2709 runs in the 48 matches he played. In the One Day Internationals his total score is 1877 from 75 appearances. He retired from cricket in 1986.
Mohsin Khan was appointed the chief selector of PCB in 2009-10. Mohsin Khan left cricket to opt for a career in movies. He acted in a few movies in India and later worked in Pakistan. However, in last few years he has been associated with Pakistan Cricket Board in various capacities.
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.
Imtiaz Ahmed was also a member of the first ever cricket team of Pakistan. Born and educated in Lahore, Imtiaz showed interest in cricket from a very early age. In those days there was no concept of coaching; natural talent, lots of practice, tough competition at school and college level and guidance from seniors nurtured the young talent.
Imtiaz Ahmed was the first wicketkeeper of Pakistan. He was also a hard hitter of the ball with hook shots his forte. Imtiaz was a compulsive striker of the ball; a habit which cost him his wicket many times when his score was in 90s.
World records and Imtiaz Ahmed go hand in hand. He was the first wicketkeeper ever to score a double century, he holds the record of 7 catches in the match against England at the Oval in 1954, and he was also the first Asian cricketer to score a triple century against an international team. The double century against New Zealand set many records, the first wicketkeeper to score a test double, the highest eighth wicket partnership and the highest number of runs scored by a no. 8 batsman. His triple century came against the Commonwealth side which was touring India in 1951. Imtiaz was then a part of the Indian Prime Minister XI.
Imtiaz Ahmed could bat at any position from opener to number 8. He played 41 test matches for Pakistan and scored a total of 2079 runs averaging at 29.28. He took 77 catches behind the wickets and stumped 16 players.
After retiring from cricket, Imtiaz served as an administrator in the PAF School of Physical Fitness in Peshawar. He also coached the women’s cricket team which defeated West Indies and Sri Lanka. Imtiaz Ahmed was bestowed the prestigious Pride of Performance award in 1966.
Asif Iqbal is a former Pakistani cricketer. Soft spoken, gentle yet compelling, graceful and elegant are some phrases which describe his personality and his batting style.
A great batsman, Asif saved the blushes of Pakistan many a times with his aggressive yet sensible batting. He often came at moments when half of Pakistan’s team was back in the dressing room with a poor score on the scoreboard. Asif batted with tactic and saved the team from a humiliating innings defeat. Although he scored many centuries in his career, his score of 146 not out in the ninth wicket paternership with Intikhab Alam remains the highlight of his career. Playing against England, Pakistan was 68 for 8 and needed 159 runs. The pair scored 190 runs; a world record for ninth wicket partnership.
Asif was a useful bowler too; he was a right armed medium pacer who took wickets at crucial moments. His career best bowling remains 5 wickets for 48 runs. Asif Iqbal played first class cricket for the English county; Kent where he made useful contributions with both bat and ball. Asif Iqbal was a dedicated player who always kept his team above his personal records. Asif Iqbal played 58 test matches and made 3575 runs (11 centuries included) with an average of 38.85 runs.
Charming and polite, Asif Iqbal belonged to the rare breed of “gentlemen cricketers” who have now become extinct. Asif was named the “Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1968” and was the recipient of the Pride of Performance award from the government of Pakistan.
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.
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.
Wasim Hasan Raja was a Pakistani cricketer known for his stylish batting and bowling.
Born in Multan on 3rd July 1952, Raja had a Master’s Degree in political science. Cricket was a family affair as his father and his brother Zaeem Raja were first class cricketers. His younger brother Rameez Raja now a commentator was also a part of the Pakistan cricket team.
Wasim Raja captained the Pakistan under-19side during his college days. Raja was a fearless left handed middle order batsman and was never intimidated by any bowler. If a bouncer was thrown at him, it was hit for a boundary. Runs came freely to this stylish stroke player. He was also leg spinner and some of his victims were great names of his time.
Though Raja has delivered match winning performance both with the bat and the ball, his career best innings came against the West Indies. West Indies at that time (1976-77) totally dominated the cricket scene and often made a quick job of their opponents. Raja scored a century in both innings of the first test which ended in a draw. Raja was the top scorer for Pakistan with 517 runs at an average of 57.4. He also took 7 wickets and hit 14 sixes; a record though equaled but not broken to date. Wasim’s record against West Indies is one of the best in the world.
Wasim Raja was unfortunately the victim of dressing room politics and was often left out of the team. After retiring from cricket, Wasim Raja obtained a certificate in education from Durham University and pursued a career in teaching at the Caterham School. He settled in England after marrying an English lady. Wasim Raja remained involved with cricket one way or the other. He coached the Pakistan’s Under 19 team, served as ICC match referee from 2002 to 2004 and played for the English county Surrey. It was during a match over-50 side that he suffered a fatal heart attack and died in 2006. Overall Raja played 57 tests and 54 ODIs for Pakistan.