Legendary Pakistan Test batsman Hanif Mohammad, widely known as the “original Little Master”, has died at the age of 81, plunging the cricket-loving nation into mourning.
He played for Pakistan in 55 Test matches between 1952–53 and 1969-70 and scored 3,915 runs at an average of 43.98, including 12 centuries.
At his peak, Hanif was considered one of the best batsmen in the world and he played at a time when Pakistan had very few Test cricketers.
In his obituaries, he has been described as the “original Little Master”, a title later assumed by Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar.
He was diagnosed with prolonged cancer disorder in 2013 and had been having treatment for respiratory complications when he passed away in Aga Khan Hospital in Karachi.
His marathon score of 337 against the West Indies in a Test at Bridgetown in 1957-58, is regarded as one of the epic knocks in cricket history. After Pakistan found themselves following on from a first-innings deficit of 473 runs on the afternoon of the third day, Hanif spent more than 16 hours at the crease compiling his runs, allowing Pakistan to draw the game.
It remains the longest innings in Test history and stood as the longest in all first-class cricket for over 40 years. In 1958-59, Hanif surpassed Sir Don Bradman’s record for the highest individual first-class innings.
Many other members of Hanif’s family have been cricketers too; his brothers Mushtaq, Sadiq and Wazir all played Tests for Pakistan, as did his son Shoaib.
Another brother, Raees, was once the 12th man for Pakistan. Four of his nephews had first-class careers.
His mother, Ameer Bee, was a national badminton champion in pre-independence India.
The right-handed batsman was one of the country’s early cricketers who played an integral role for Pakistan in achieving Test status.
In his passing, Hanif Mohammad will be missed by millions of his fans.
An era comes
to an end in cricket
With the death of cricketing legend Hanif Mohammad, also known as the “original Little Master”, an era comes to an end in cricket.
Hanif will be best remembered as one of the finest and innovative cricketers; he once made a record-breaking innings score of 337, creating history by batting for 970 minutes, the longest innings in Test cricket.
He will go down as a hero in the annals of cricket history. He has left behind his fine imprint as a great sportsman who played an instrumental role in winning many matches for his side. His knowledge about the game was unparalleled.
His death is a tremendous loss to the game of cricket.
Ramesh G Jethwani
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