Pakistan: Former leg spinner Abdul Qadir is no more

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By Muhammad Luqman

Pakistan,s legendary leg spinner Abdul Qadir died of heart attack in eastern city of Lahore on Friday. He was 63.

Qadir’s  son Salman Qadir confirmed the demise of the iconic cricketer. The former star was shifted to Services Hospital after the heart attack but he could not survive.

Known as the dancing bowler due to his peculiar bowling style, Abdul Qadir played 67 Test and 104 One-Day International matches for Pakistan.

The legendary cricketer played his first Test against England in Lahore on Dec 14, 1977 and first ODI against New Zealand in Birmingham on Jun 11, 1983.

During  his  bowling career,  Abdul Qadir took 236 wickets in 67 Tests between 1977 and 1990 besides capturing another 132 in 104 one-day international matches.

In the 1980s era before Australia’s Shane Warne, when leg-spin bowling was cricket’s most mystical art, he was its finest exponent on the world stage, BBC  paid tribute to the late cricketer.

His best performance was 9-56 in an innings against England in his home city of Lahore in 1987.

He played his last international Test against West Indies in Lahore on Dec 6, 1990, while his last ODI was against Sri Lanka in Sharjah on Nov 2, 1993. He also served as the chief selector of Pakistan team.

Condolences poured in soon after the news of Abdul Qadir’s death spread among the cricket lovers.

Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed deep grief over the demise of the renowned cricketer and offered his prayers for the aggrieved family.

“Abdul Qadir’s death has deprived Pakistan of a great cricketer who blazed the name of his country across the world,” the prime minister said in a statement.

“Abdul Qadir’s death has deprived me of a dear friend and left me truly saddened.”

The Pakistan Cricket Board also offered its deepest condolences to Khan’s family and friends.

“The PCB is shocked at the news of ‘maestro’ Abdul Qadir’s passing and has offered its deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa expressed “heartfelt grief” on the demise of the cricket legend.

“The COAS expresses heartfelt grief on demise of cricket legend Abdul Qadir,” DG Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Abdul Ghafoor tweeted.

“Pakistan has lost a great sportsman and a human being. May Allah bless his soul and give strength to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss, Ameen,” he quoted the COAS as saying.

Skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed also took to Twitter to express his grief and shock.

“Absolutely shocking news to hear the sad passing of legend Abdul Qadir sahib. May Allah grant him the highest rank in jannah and his family the patience to bear the loss. #Ameen.”

Former bowler Shoaib Akhtar tweeted a video message over the demise of Khan. He said, “Legendary leg spinner Abdul Qadir passed away. Just got this sad news. The revival of leg spin in cricket is completely credited to him.”

“He inspired a generation of bowlers to take up leg spin. Inna lillahi wa inna elaihi rajaoon.”

Legendary cricketer Wasim Akram also took to Twitter to pay a rich tribute to Khan.

He wrote, “They called him the magician for many reasons but when he looked at me in the eyes and told me that I was going to play for Pakistan for the next 20 years, I believed him. A magician, absolutely. A leg spinner and a trailblazer of his time.”

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