Tributes have poured in for Pakistan cricket legend and former captain Hanif Mohammed who died after protracted illness at a hospital in the southern city of Karachi. Hanif, 81, had been battling lung cancer for more than two years and was admitted at a private hospital in Karachi three weeks ago, according to reports in local media, where he breathed his last on Thursday afternoon.
“Pakistan has lost a great cricketing brain with Hanif’s passing,” former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas, who was also president of the International Cricket Council (ICC), told Al Jazeera.
Hanif made his international debut in 1952 against India and scored 51 in his maiden innings. He went on to play 54 more Tests for his country.
|Hanif Mohammed’s record|
Hanif is best remembered for his record-breaking innings of 337 against the West Indies in 1958. He batted for 970 minutes, which is a record for the longest innings in Test cricket, saving Pakistan from a certain defeat.
He also held the record for the highest score in first-class cricket at 499 runs for 36 years before former West Indies captain Brian Lara scored 501 for English county side Warwickshire.
“His knowledge and reading of the game was unmatched. Hanif began playing for Pakistan soon after the country’s birth in 1947 so he was one of the first superstars of the country,” added Abbas.
“His knack of playing long innings and scoring a lot of runs made him a hero for many.”
Hanif, with the original title of “little master” due to his short height, was 5ft 6in tall. He came from a family of cricketers. Three of his four brothers – Wazir, Mushtaq and Nazar – all played Test cricket for Pakistan.
His son Shoaib also represented the country in 45 Test matches, while his grandson Shehzar is a first-class cricketer.