Munnawar uz Zaman became a member of the Pakistan hockey team when he was only 19 years old. This youngster made his presence felt in his very first match with his crucial very first goal. Munnawar converted a penalty corner into a match winning goal against arch rivals India. Munnawar’s contribution in the 1971World Cup held in Spain helped Pakistan lift the world cup. His performance was instrumental in many other victories as well. With around a hundred international matches to his credit, Munnawar scored more than forty goals.
Hockey was originally played on grass and the two Asian giants India and Pakistan totally dominated the game but later astro turf was introduced which ended the Sub Continent’s monopoly. Hockey was now more of a power and speed game rather than skills. Pakistan team faced difficulties in adjusting to new conditions. Munnawar now retired from international hockey, coached the team and guided them to adjust to new conditions. Munnawar died during a practice session of the veteran’s hockey team when he suffered a heart attack in 1994.
Munnawar uz Zaman was posthumously awarded the Pride of Performance award by the government of Pakistan in 1997. He is one of the best hockey players from Pakistan Hockey.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wasim Bari is the former wicket keeper of the Pakistan cricket team. He long career of 17 years spans from 1967-1984.
The Karachi born wicket keeper was not that agile behind the wickets. One hardly saw him making fantastic dives but he was quite potent nonetheless. Bari made his debut against England and his safe and steady performance was soon acknowledged by the critics who called him the best glove man to come out of South Asia. Bari played 81 matches and has 228 victims behind the wickets including 27 stumping. He was an average batsman who tried to rise to the occasion when his country needed him.
Wasim Bari has made quite a few records behind the wickets. He holds the record of catching 7 of the first 8 batsmen against New Zealand in 1979; a world record of the most catches behind the wickets in a test innings. Wasim Bari also leveled the then world record of 8 catches in 1971 at Leeds. With 228 victims, Wasim Bari remains the most successful wicket keeper of Pakistan and of South Asia.
Another world record associated with Wasim Bari is his last wicket partnership with Wasim Raja which produced 133 runs; Bari scored 60 of these.
Wasim Bari is still actively involved in cricket as he heads Pakistan’s selection panel. To acknowledge his services, the PCB honored him with a Life Time Achievement Award in 1997.
Hanif Khan is another shining star on the horizon of Pakistan hockey. An aggressive forward, he was most feared by the defenders. His speed, aggression and versatility made him stand out and he was often referred to as the “Goal Scoring Machine”. This dashing forward learned to play hockey on the streets of his hometown, Karachi. He was a member of the national squad which one the 1984 Olympic Gold Medal. Soon after the Olympics, Hanif Khan like his other immensely talented and skilled team mates was forced to retire.
Hanif Khan was later recruited by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) to coach the national side. Hanif Khan is among one of the most important names in Pakistan hockey history. In recent years, despite a few big names in Pakistan hockey team, the performance at international level competitions has been mediocre. Hanif Khan was one of the hockey players who used to ensure in their time that Pakistan hockey team does not lose in any competition. It was more to their passion for the game of field hockey which led the Pakistan hockey team to major victories in world cup hockey tournaments, champions trophy and in the race of Olympic gold medal. Hanif Khan has been associated with Pakistan hockey in one way or the other all his life.
Azhar Mahmood joined the Pakistan cricket team in 1996. His first ODI was against India; Azhar’s performance was average. Azhar however was brilliant against South Africa the following year. In Azhar, Pakistan found a reliable and strong middle order batsman, a typical English style seam bowler and an agile fielder.
Azhar Mahmood was particularly known for his powerful strokes though he was a bit uncomfortable against leg spin. Azhar Mahmood is another cricketer who was a victim of the PCB politics. This talented cricketer found himself in and out of the team at several occasions. Azhar then joined the English county Surrey in 2002. He remained with Surrey till 2007 and then switched over to Kent. He still plays for Kent and at the time when Pakistan team is struggling against England, Azhar led his county Kent to victory by taking 5 wickets for 62 runs.