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.
Hockey is the national game of Pakistan. Hockey was played in the sub-continent before partition. Pakistan had many talented hockey players at the time of partition. The first tournament the Pakistan hockey team played was on 14th Olympic Games. Pakistan faced Belgium and defeated it 2-1 on 2nd August 1948.
With hard work and dedication, Pakistan hockey team made a name for itself as a strong team. It played many international tournaments and emerged as a winner. Till late 70’s, it held almost all the major titles. Olympics, World cup, Champions Trophy. The introduction of “Astroturf” caused the decline in Pakistan hockey. Pakistan’s Hockey’s standard deteriorated gradually and it has not been able to regain its former glory despite several attempts.
TOP TEN PLAYERS:
4. Hassan Sardar
5. Qasim Zia
6. Athar Rasool
7. Hanif Khan
8. Sohail Abbas
9. Mohammad Saqlain
10. Waseem Ahmed
We are a cricket crazy nation. For most part of the year, we are gripped by cricket fever especially if Pakistan is playing. Even on streets you can see small children playing cricket.
Pakistan played its first international test match against India in October 1952. The tour of England in 1954 was its first international tour.
Pakistan team is a bunch of talented but emotional players. The Pakistani bowlers have introduced many new bowling strategies and have often been accused of ball tempering. These accusations have proved to be baseless. Like all other geniuses, Pakistani players are simply ahead of their time.
Pakistan team is unpredictable. In 1992 they were the underdogs who astounded the world by defeating England in the final of the world cup. In 1999 they were the strongest team but lost cheaply to Australia in the finals. Currently Pakistan team is the World T20 champion.
TOP TEN PLAYERS
1. Hanif Mohammed
2. Zaheer Abbas
3. Saqlain Mushtaq
4. Waseem Akram
5. Saeed Anwar
6. Javaid Miandad
7. Waqar Younus
8. Waseem Bari
9. Imran Khan
10. Shahid Afridi