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.
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.
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.
Nazar Mohammad was one of those cricketers who formed the first ever cricket team of Pakistan. Nazar Mohammad opened the innings for Pakistan and was the first Pakistani batsman to score a century.
Nazar Mohammad was a cricket prodigy, still a school student, he displayed great potential and by the time he reached college, he had established himself as an indispensable opening batsman. He was also an agile fielder in the gully area.
Before the creation of Pakistan, Nazar Mohammad participated in many prestigious championships such as the Ranji Trophy, the Bombay Pentangular etc. The Bombay Pentangular was played between the various communities of India; Nazar Mohammad represented the Muslims and also played a vital role in their victory with his sensational century.
Nazar Mohammad had become a vital team member and displayed his batting prowess against foreign teams including the invincible West Indies. Finally Pakistan was granted Test Status in 1952 and the first country it visited was India. Nazar Mohammad faced the first ball in the test played at Delhi. In the second test, Nazar scored a century becoming the first centurion for Pakistan, carried his bat and remained on the field through out the test. Pakistan won this test but lost the series 2-1.
The illustrious career of Nazar Mohammad came to a tragic end when he broke his arm. His son Mudassar Nazar carried on his legacy. Nazar Mohammad later served Pakistan Cricket as a selector, coach and was also famous for his commentary.
Nazar Mohammad passed away on 12th July 1996 at the age of 75.
Javed Miandad is the most prolific batsman Pakistan has produced. Miandad was born in 1957 in Karachi where he received his early education. Miandad’s cricketing career began in 1975 from an ODI match against West Indies. The following year, he made his test debut from a series against New Zealand. Miandad scored a century in his very first test match and later scored a double century in the same series. Honor and a world record (youngest player ever to achieve a 100 and a test double) cemented his position in the team. From then onwards Miandad has entertained the cricket lovers all over the world with his classy shots. He played all over the field with reverse sweep and square cuts being his favorite shots.
Miandad was a genius; he knew how to score runs under any circumstances and on every type of pitch. He has won many matches for Pakistan. As long as he was on the pitch, Pakistan had a chance of victory even though circumstances suggested otherwise. He kept his cool and analyzed the areas where runs could be scored. The six he hit at Sharjah against India immortalized him. Miandad was also a fast runner and stole cheeky singles. He also saved a lot of boundaries and was often called “a panther in the field”.
Miandad has many records to his credit. He scored six double centuries and has the highest number of fifties in ODI. He scored 23 centuries and 43 half centuries in his test career spanning over 17 years. He is the only player to have made 6 appearances in 6 consecutive World Cup Tournament.
Miandad also served as the coach of Pakistan cricket team a three times after retiring as a player. Miandad was one of the Wisden Cricketers of the year in 1982. He is ranked 44th among the best cricketers of all times by the ESPN Legend of Cricket. Miandad’s name is also in the Hall of Fame at Lords.
Imran Khan is one of the finest cricketers of Pakistan. He has the honor of bringing the World Cup home in 1992 as he was the captain of the victorious team.
Imran Khan was basically a fast bowler; his association with the Australian Kerry Packers honed his bowling skills and speed. Imran later perfected his batting and in the later stage of his career emerged as an all-rounder; deadly with the ball, lethal with the bat. He could effectively swing the ball and deliver deadly bouncers to scare his opponents. With Imran on one end and fellow fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz at the other, Pakistan always stood a chance of a comprehensive victory.
Although Imran has bowled well throughout his career but captaincy brought out the best in him. He is one of the most successful captains of Pakistan. Under his captaincy, Pakistan won the series against England on the English soil with Imran Khan excelling with 10 wickets for 77 runs in the decisive Healingley match. Pakistan managed to draw series against West Indies who at that time annihilated their opponents completely. His team was also victorious against arch rivals India on many occasions. The climax of Imran’s career remains the victory in the 1992 World Cup Tournament. Pakistan emerged as underdogs to clinch the crystal trophy. Imran Khan announced his retirement from cricket after the World Cup and concentrated on the building of a cancer charity hospital; the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital named after his mother who lost her life battling against the deadly disease.
Imran Khan was always in the news for some reason or the other. His charismatic personality won him many female fans. Imran married an English girl half his age in 1995. The couple had two sons but sadly could not live happily ever after mostly due to the yawning cultural gap between the two.
Imran has received Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Pakistani civilian award), the President’s Pride of Performance Award and many other awards and honors. He has been inducted in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame and stands 8th on the list of all time greats of the ESPN Legends of Cricket. Imran is one of the eight all-rounders of the world to have achieved the Triple in Tests matches with 3807 runs and 362wickets.
Imran Khan later turned to politics and launched Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, a political party with the aim of redressing the grievances of the Pakistani people.