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Abdul Qadir one of Pakistan’s greatest wrist spinners - Obituary


Abdul Qadir, arguably Pakistan’s greatest wrist spinner, passed away in Lahore today due to cardiac arrest, nine days before his 64th birthday.

A resident of Dharampura in Lahore, the city of his birth, Qadir rose to prominence once captain Imran Khan insisted on his selection for the 1982 tour of England.As an attacking leg-spinner/googly exponent, he adapted quite well in limited-overs format, after being named Man of the Match on his debut against New Zealand at Edgbaston in the 1983 Prudential World Cup.

A delightful personality, both on and off the field, Qadir picked up 236 Test wickets in the 1977-90 period and in a first-class career that stretched to two decades he claimed 960 wickets. In his prime, he was a devastating bowler with great record against England in particular and featured in Pakistan’s first Test series win in India (1986-87) and England (1987). His younger brother and four sons also played first-class cricket. His daughter was married to Test batsman, Umar Akmal.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has expressed its shock and grief at the news of legendary leg-spinner Abdul Qadir’s passing and has sent a message of condolence to his family.

PCB pays tribute to Abdul Qadir

 PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said: “We are devastated with the news of Abdul Qadir’s passing and on behalf of the PCB, I want to express my deepest condolences to his family and friends.

“The PCB, like every Pakistani, is proud of his services to cricket and Pakistan. His contributions and achievements were not only limited on-field, but he ensured he transferred the art of leg-spin to the up-and-coming cricketers.

“Apart from being a maestro with the ball, Abdul Qadir was a larger-than-life figure who was adored, loved and respected across the globe due to his excellent understanding and knowledge of the game, and strong cricket ethics and discipline.

“He played hard cricket within the spirit of cricket and in doing so, not only earned respect from his opponents but turned his foes into friends.

“Today, global cricket has become poorer with his passing. He will be missed but will never be forgotten.

“In these difficult times, the PCB stands together with Abdul Qadir’s family members and friends, and wish them the strength to cope with this sad loss.”

PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said: “To say we are shocked at his passing will be an understatement. Stalwarts like Abdul Qadir are born in decades and today Pakistan cricket has lost one of its most beloved and admired sons.

“Abdul Qadir may have passed, but his contribution to global cricket – by giving popularity and impetus to the art of wrist spin bowling that inspired hundreds of youngsters across the planet – will live forever.

“Abdul Qadir was one of the all-time greatest. His friendly and warm presence will forever be missed.”

Former Willis Cup Events Manager Taher Memon has said, "He received his first Man of the Match award in November 1977 in the second Test against the visiting English team at Hyderabad"

Qadir is credited for keeping the art of wrist-spin alive in the days when it was losing the charm. He picked up 236 and 132 wickets in 67 Tests and 104 ODIs respectively across a cricketing career that stretched 16 years. 

He made his Test debut for Pakistan in December, 1977 at Lahore against England and played Test cricket for 13 years. Ten years later, against the same opposition and at the same venue, he would return his best figures nine for 56.

 His decade-long ODI career ran from 1983 till 1993.

Qadir also served as a chief selector for the national men’s side for six months, after getting appointed to the post in November 2008.