Former Pakistan cricket captain Hanif Mohammad, who was dubbed ‘Little Master’ years before the sobriquet was given to India's Sachin Tendulkar, has died at the age of 81, world cricket's governing body said on Thursday.
Hanif, who was renowned for his immaculate defensive technique, played in Pakistan's first ever test match and scored 3,915 runs in 55 tests.
He is best known for playing the longest innings in test cricket. In 1958, he batted for 970 minutes to make 337 runs against West Indies in Bridgetown to save the test for Pakistan who were following on.
Hanif scored 499 playing for Karachi in 1958-59, the highest individual score in first-class cricket until West Indian Brian Lara made 501 not out for English county Warwickshire in 1994.
‘It's sad to hear of Hanif's death and I'd like to extend my condolences and those of everyone here at the ICC to Hanif's family, which counts so many cricketers in its number,’ International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson said in a statement.
‘Hanif took batting to great heights and many batsmen drew inspiration from him.
‘His contribution to the game has been enormous and one can only imagine the kind of impact his batting had on others over the years.’
Indian batting great Tendulkar took to Twitter to offer his condolences.
‘The cricketing legend #HanifMohammad was always positive and supportive. Have fond memories of meeting him in 2005. RIP,’ the former India batsman tweeted.
Hanif was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013 and was undergoing treatment at Karachi's Aga Khan Hospital.
He was among four brothers to represent Pakistan and his son, Shoaib, played 45 tests.
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