Jahanzeb Khan - Obituary
One of four siblings, Khawaja Jehanzeb Sadiq, better known as Jahanzeb Khan, was born on May 12, 1953 in Karachi (Sind), Pakistan, to a family that originated from Punjab in British India.
His father Khawaja Sadiq Hasan was brought up in Amritsar whereas his mother grew up Gujranawala. His fondness for cricket, squash and physical fitness was evident whilst at Ayesha Bawani School, and would remain close to his heart, right until he passed away following a cardiac arrest in his afternoon nap on December 6.
Jehanzeb, standing six feet.one inch with strong physique was born to bowl quick and did so whilst creating good impression representing D.J.Science College and Rangers Cricket Club, in Karachi. For the best part of his career he was affiliated with Rangers that also featured Taslim Arif, Mohsin Khan and Owais Shafqat, with whom he would share the new ball for 12 years till 1982. His colleagues of all the teams he represented, recall him as straightforward, easy going and fond of his fitness.
A bowler in the medium-fast bracket, Jehanzeb swung the ball both ways and never said ‘no’ to a lengthy spell in trying circumstances. He was introduced to first-class cricket with his selection for Karachi Greens in the 1972-73 BCCP Patron’s Trophy. In the 1974-75 winter Sind picked him to pair with Liaqat Ali and he did not let himself down. In the Pentangular Trophy, he was included in Sind A team, led by Javed Miandad, and finished the season with 24 wickets @ 31.83.
Having twice returned impressive figures – 4-38 for Karachi Blues in the BCCP Patron’s Trophy and 4-70 for Sind A in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy – against National Bank, by far the best team in the 1974-75 winter, Jehanzeb was offered terms to join the bank, which he accepted. National Bank led by Aftab Baloch, now could call upon four quality seamers as Jehanzeb lined up with Ehtesham-ud-din, Naseer Malik and Anwar Khan. Understandably, the opportunities for regular first team cricket were limited and his bowling did suffer.
In 1978-79 National Bank became the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy winners by beating Habib Bank, with an over-whelming 384-run win inside three days at Karachi. It was to remain the highlight of Jehanzeb’s 15-year first-class career and almost created a unique bowling feat in Pakistan. Had skipper Shafiq Ahmed not thrown the ball to off-spinner Abdul Munaf for a solitary over in the second innings, Ehtesham (10-72) and Jehanzeb (9-80) would have bowled unchanged in both innings of the match, whilst dismissing the opposition for 78 and 85.
The pair was at it again when they bowled out Karachi for a partly 45 in 19 overs, at Karachi Gymkhana in the 1981-82 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. Jehanzeb’s career-best 5-28 saw Hyderabad crashing to 91 all out at their home ground in the first round of the 1978-79 BCCP Patron’s Trophy. As a tail-ender his highest score was an unbeaten 30 against Karachi at Bakhtiari Youth Centre, Karachi in the 1980-81 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
After 1983-84, National Bank could no longer guarantee Jehanzeb, a place in their side. He represented Karachi Greens, Karachi Blues, Sind and National Bank in an injury-free first-class career (1972-73 to 1987-88) of 60 matches, in which he scored 312 runs @ 5.67 with a top score of 30 not out, caught 25 and claimed 120 wickets @ 29.63 with two five-wicket hauls and was never considered for a side match against a touring side. His employment with National Bank continued till his retirement in 2013. He remained bachelor though took up the responsibility of a widowed sister and her two children.
The author acknowledges the contribution of Aftab Baloch, Akhtar Quraishi, Anwar Khan, Owais Shafqat, Shahid Mahboob and Jahanzeb’s nephew - Verdafi Saeed Iqbal.