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Legend Hanif Mohammad laid to rest

KARACHI: Legendary Test cricketer and former Pakistan captain Hanif Mohammad, who died in Karachi yesterday after a prolonged illness, was laid to rest in a local graveyard.

His Namaz-e-Janaza was offered after Friday prayers at Masjid-e-Nomani in Al Hilal Society near Askari Park (Old Sabzi Mandi) after which he was buried at the PECHS graveyard, Tariq Road. He was 81.

A large number of people from every walk of life, including former Pakistan batsman Javed Miandad, attended the funeral prayer.

The first of the greats of Pakistan batting and arguably the best of his era, known as ‘Little Master’, was battling with cancer.

He was born on Dec 21, 1934 in Junagarh (India).

Hanif played 55 Test matches for Pakistan between 1952-53 and 1969-70 and averaged a fine 43.98 comprising 12 hundreds.

At his peak, Hanif was considered one of the best batsmen in the world.

The legendary batsman still held the record of playing the longest innings in Test cricket when he scored 337 in 970 minutes against the West Indies at Bridgetown, Barbados in 1957-58 to draw the six-day Test after Pakistan were asked to follow on as they were a massive 473 runs behind.

It was regarded as one of the epic knocks in the entire cricket history.

It remains the longest innings in Test history (and stood as the longest in all first-class cricket for over 40 years).

It was the only Test match instance of a triple century in a team’s second innings until it was equalled by New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum against India in 2014.

And only next season in Pakistan he made a mammoth 499 before getting run out at KPI ground in Karachi against Bahawalpur in the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy to break Sir Don Bradman’s first-class cricket world record of 452. After 34 years, Hanif’s proud feat was surpassed by Brian Lara when he made 501 against Durham in county cricket.

In 1967 as Pakistan captain he made a brilliant unbeaten 187 against England in the Lord’s Test. Hanif, the iconic figure of Pakistan cricket, was also considered the inventor of reverse sweep and could bowl with both arms with equal dexterity.

In 1958-59, Hanif surpassed Sir Don Bradman’s record for the highest individual first-class innings. Hanif made 499 before being run out attempting his five hundredth run. This mark stood for more than 35 years before being surpassed by Brian Lara in 1994.

In all Hanif made 55 first-class centuries and finished with a strong career average of 52.32.

Hanif was named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1968. In January 2009, Hanif was named along with two other Pakistani players — Imran Khan and Javed Miandad — among the inaugural batch of 55 inductees into the ICC’s Hall of Fame. –Agencies