Former Test cricketer Zulfiqar passes away
LAHORE: Former Pakistan Test cricketer Zulfiqar Ahmad died of cardiac arrest in a local hospital here on Friday. He was 82. Zulfiqar was buried in the Defence Graveyard. Zulfiqar was ill for the last few months and remained hospitalized at the Shaukat Khanum Hospital for quite some time. His condition worsened yesterday and he was taken to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) where he was pronounced dead. He left behind a wife and three daughters to mourn his death. Zulfiqar was brother-in-law of late Abdul Hafeez Kardar, the first captain of the Pakistan cricket team.
Zulfiqar belonged to the fraternity of those former Test cricketers who nourished this game of gentleman in the newly born state of Pakistan. He was a member of the Pakistan cricket team in one off Test (unofficial) against the West Indies at the Bagh-i-Jinnah Ground in November 1948. Along with great cricketers of his age Fazal Mahmood, Imtiaz Ahmad, Nazar Muhammad and Mian Saeed, Zulfiqar played a vital role in helping Pakistan to gain the status of a Test playing nation in 1952. He was also a member of the Pakistan cricket team that went to India to play five Test matches in October the same year.
Zulfiqar belonged to the era when very little Test cricket was played. He was a right-arm off-spinner and a dependable batman in the tail, who always rescued his team from danger. In the Madras Test on the 1952 tour he single-handedly pulled Pakistan out from trouble and joined a 104 runs last wicket partnership with late Amir Elahi. His contribution was 63 not out. In the same match Zulfiqar became the first Pakistani batsman to hit a six in a Test. In the historic Oval Test in 1954 where late Fazal Mahmood took 12 for 99 to break the myth of England, Zulfiqar (34) added 58 runs for the ninth wicket with Wazir Mahammad (42 not out) in the second innings. He made his Test debut against India in the first Test at Delhi in 1952. He played 9 Tests in his short career and scored 200 runs at 33.33 and took 20 wickets at 18.30 with 6 for 42 his best.