Remembering Mir Masood a cricketing stalwart, lost to a flying career

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A brief report in Karachi Daily mentioned the passing away of a veteran PIA Captain Mir Masood Mehmood, aged 91, who was the father of a senior staffer of the said newspaper. But the late Mir Masood Mehmood, was not an ordinary personality. Apart from being an old colleague of mine in PIA as a senior Boeing Commander, he was an exceptional sporting figure.
I had known him from Montgomery now Sahiwal, where he had landed from Amritsar with his elder brother after partition and used to play cricket at the local Gymkhana club. Without any doubt, all of us other members of the club ,reckoned him a future national player along with Israr Ali,who too played for our club.
It so happened that his name and fame also reached Dr. Dilawar Hussain, a former Indian Test Cricketer, who apart from being the National Selector, was also the Principal of MAO College, Lahore. He included Mir Masood along with M.R.Ghani and Sher Khan, in his college team, who were not his regular students. Mir Masood as expected scored five scintillating centuries for his team to make it the top in the university cricket. Prof. Siraj, challenged the inclusion of all the players demanding details of their admission along with the Matriculation Certificates.
Dr Dilawar, in his reply said “We have left behind even our mothers and sisters in India, and now you are asking us for matric certificate.” All his arguments and the long speech was not accepted and MAO college was naturally disqualified. Mir Masood soon after joined the PAF, as a cadet pilot and became a member of PAF XI under squadron leader Hafeez Kardar,who had joined the PAF. He also recruited other cricketers like Imtiaz, Waqar and raised a reputable team during his tenure.
However, despite his remarkable performance for PAF, this became the end of a cricketing career of Mir Masood, who took flying career seriously and rose to the rank of Squadron Leader and later moved to PIA along with several of the colleagues ,to remain till retirement.
I always thought his joining a flying career brought an end to his exceptional cricketing talent. Here is wishing the son and daughter of Mir Masood, my deep personal condolence on the passing away of the remarkable and worthy Masood Saheb.

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