Cricket legend goes to eternal pavilion

THE legendary Pakistani batsman and former captain Hanif Mohammad, who was famed for emerging triumphant against the heaviest of odds, has passed away leaving behind a golden chapter in the history of Pakistani cricket. There is no escape from death and the cricket hero was quite aged but the nation is mourning his death as he rendered matchless services in sports and brought fame to the country.
Befitting tributes have been paid to Hanif by all including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other cricket stars describing him as a source of great inspiration for all times to come. Hanif carried a vast responsibility as the country’s opening batsman and most reliable player. Between 1952 and 1969 “the little master appeared in all but two of Pakistan’s first 57 Tests, and played a large part in securing from those matches the respectable record of nine victories, 15 losses and 31 draws. Hanif’s most celebrated effort was his 337 against the West Indies at Bridgetown, Barbados, in January 1958. After Pakistan had followed on 473 runs behind with three and a half days cricket left, Hanif saved the match by occupying the crease for sixteen hours ten minutes. This remains the longest innings ever played in Tests and unsurprisingly he was one of the original inductees into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. At his retirement, his career totals of 3,915 runs and 12 centuries — scores of at least 100 — stood as records in Pakistan. Later, he managed a domestic team sponsored by Pakistan International Airways, and in 1972 he helped found the magazine Pakistan Cricketer, editing it for two decades. The illustrious career of Hanif is a clear manifestation that heroes like him bring laurels for the country and help project Pakistan’s soft image. There is, therefore, need to provide congenial environment for promotion of all kinds of sports.

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