Munir Hussain's life is an inspiration to people everywhere who dream big dreams and aspire to create an impact. Born in Amritsar in November 1929, he moved to Delhi while still very young and grew up in the Karol Bagh neighbourhood. In 1947 he migrated to Pakistan, taking a train from Amritsar, the details of which harrowing journey are part of his family lore.
Movies and cricket quickly emerged as his favourite pastimes, but it was journalism that became his singular passion. This found expression through magazine publishing, column writing and, later, broadcasting.
His earliest success was a magazine titled Filmasia, devoted to the film industry in both India and Pakistan. During his Karol Bagh days, he had become friends with Mir Khalilur Rahman, who became a leading media baron and went on to found the Urdu newspaper Jang, Pakistan's largest-circulation daily in any language. In it, Hussain wrote an influential weekly cricket column that ran for four decades and commanded a huge readership.
A diehard lover of the game, Hussain could not get enough of cricket and immersed himself in playing as well as administering it. As an administrator, he served the Karachi City Cricket Association over many years in various capacities, formal and otherwise, including two terms as president, and was regarded for most of his life as one of a handful of key figures in Karachi's cricket affairs.
As a player, Hussain was a club cricket regular and took pride in his ability get the ball to seam at pace. In 1969 he even appeared in a first-class game, representing Quetta (at the time called Kalat Division) and taking 2 for 64. According to a widely passed anecdote, during the rest day of a Test match sometime in the mid-1980s, Hussain once bowled to Imran Khan in the nets and was complimented by the great allrounder on his nip and direction.
Hussain's landmark contribution undoubtedly was the initiation of cricket commentary in Urdu. Even until the late 1960s, commentary on Radio Pakistan and Pakistan television was exclusively in English, unintelligible to the vast majority of the country's cricket followers. When Hussain first proposed the idea of Urdu commentary, traditionalists were aghast. There was a strong feeling that English was the rightful medium for properly conveying the nuances of the game.
Yet Hussain remained undeterred. He had no patience for pedants and felt certain he was on to something. In 1969, he convinced the organisers of a local tournament, the Jang Gold Cup - whose matches were to be broadcast on radio and television - to give him a chance. He proved an instant hit, and a new art form was born.
The Urdu magazine Akhbar-e-Watan, the other major source of Hussain's cricketing fame, appeared in its cricket identity in late 1976. He had been producing it as a social-interest-and-current-affairs magazine for a while before his distribution agent suggested the idea of giving it a cricket flavour. New Zealand were touring Pakistan at the time, and Hussain published a cricket supplement on the occasion under the Akhbar-e-Watan masthead. In keeping with his Midas touch, this proved an instant hit as well. Bubbling with clever opinion, sharp interviews, catchy images, and comprehensive reportage, it acquired iconic status among players and fans alike.
Hussain is fondly remembered as a backer of unpopular causes, a supporter of the disenfranchised, and a nurturing humanist. He has left a remarkable legacy that lives on through his multiple endeavours. His son Iqbal Munir, an accomplished photojournalist who has attained his own rank and status as a cricket media figure, says his father was always keen to pass on his passion for advancement and innovation in the game, mentoring a new generation of commentators and journalists.
Hussain's enthusiasm for the game never dimmed until, literally, his dying day. He devoted his life to cricket, breaking some of its barriers and always celebrating its magic and beauty. The game is richer for it.
A suave left-handed batsman with an eye-catching moustache, Wasim Raja, was one of the finest from the stables of Pakistan. He was an agile fieldsman and a handy leg-spinner to boot. Born in Multan, Wasim was the eldest of three cricketing sons. Rameez Raja represented Pakistan at the top level whilst Zaeem Raja played first-class cricket for Multan and Lahore.
Wasim tallied 3,600 runs and 72 wickets in 111 five- and one-day internationals between 1973 and 1985, his Test appearances yielding 2,821 runs at 36.16, with four centuries. While his batting carried the stamp of elegance, his bowling was under-rated. Raja also had a nifty googly up his sleeve, which hoodwinked the best in the business like Glenn Turner, Viv Richards and Clive Llyod. He progressed to the big stage after stacking up massive runs in age-group cricket.
However, as good a talent Wasim Raja was, he was unpredictable and brash.
Quite interestingly, Raja reserved his best for the West Indies. His average in 11 Tests against the then Caribbean bowling attack comprising, Malcom Marsh, Colin Croft and Andy Roberts was a whopping 57.43.
Post retirement, he enrolled himself into Durham University for a teaching degree. He later coached the Pakistan Under-19 team and served as an ICC match referee.
In a cruel quirk of fate, he died of a heart attack when he was playing for Surrey-Over 50's at Marlow in August 23, 2006.
"Australian writer Gideon Haigh perfectly describes him as Wasim Hasan Raja truly was a Raja.”
Dennis Lillee Famous Remark of Making His Grave on Faisalabad Pitch..
This is a memorable picture of depicts the great Australian fast Bowler Dennis Lillee on the receiving end of Taslim Arif bat. Dennis Lillee had a torrid time at Iqbal Stadium Faisalabad on the tour to Pakistan in 1979-80. When he tried really hard and hard but to no avail, to be successful on the featherbed presented there by the groundsman.
The ordeal provoked into him into making the now-famous remark about making his grave on the side of the pitch. Wicket Keeper batsman Taslim Arif, on the other hand, would remember the Test match fondly as not only did he remain in the ground on all of its five days.
Taslim Arif scored brilliant double hundred 210 runs on this dead surface. The highest score by any Pakistani wicketkeeper-batsman, and also turned his arm over, (capturing the wicket) as did all the rest of his colleague in the Pakistan team.
The great Australian fast bowler Lillee went wicketless in this Test match, saying frustrated on the dead surface, whenever he dies, he should be buried beneath the match pitch. But remember West Indies’ powerful side bundled out here just 53 in 1986-87 against Pakistan. Also, this was the same ground, where the famous incident took place of Mike Gatting and Shakoor Rana was embroiled.
Squadron Leader Imtiaz Ahmed ( Test Cricketer ) and Squadron Leader S.M. Akbar playing for PAF Cricket Team in Inter Services Cricket Championship match at Aitchison College Ground, Lahore. Date : 8th April 1961.
Courtesy : Mr. Taqi Akbar
3 Players who got a chance to have played for both, India and Pakistan.
Abdul Kardar (17 January 1925 – 21 April 1996) was a Pakistani cricketer and politician. He was the first captain of Pakistan's Test cricket team.
He was one of the only three players to have played Test cricket for both India and Pakistan,
the other two being Amir Elahi and Gul Mohammad.
Gul Mohammad (15 October 1921, Lahore – 8 May 1992, Lahore) was one of the few cricketers who have represented two countries in Tests. Gul made his debut for India in 1946 against England at Lord’s and later; nine years after Independence; he went on to represent Pakistan.
Amir Elahi (1September 1908 – 28 December 1980) was one of the three Pakistani cricketers who have played Test cricket for both India and Pakistan. He played one Test match for India and after Pakistan acquired Test match status in 1952–3, he played 5 Tests for Pakistan
The El Magnifico of cricket. A cricketer and a gentleman. An aristocrat in true sense. Among the very last of cricket’s glorious and noble heritage of gentlemen. If there is one Pakistani cricketer from three hundred plus to have donned the country colors who fits the bill for all these descriptions and truly lived up to the spirit embedded therein, it is none other than the mighty, mystical, majestic persona of Majid Jehangir Khan.
Alimuddin was a burley opening batsman who preferred attack to defence and an outstanding fielder.
He made his mark at an early age, appearing for Rajasthan in the pre-partition Ranji Trophy when aged 12 year and 73 days, the youngest person to play in a first-class match. He top-scored in his first innings, albeit with 13, and then was second top score in the second innings with 27.
Eleven years later, on Pakistan's first tour of England in 1954, he started with a hundred at Worcester and a second one against Cambridge but his form fell away and in three Tests he managed only 51 runs. He bounced back to be the best batsman on either side in Pakistan's first home series, against India in 1954-55, but he rarely found his best form thereafter, losing his place in the West Indies, but hitting back with a Test-best 109 and 53 against England at Karachi in 1961-62.
After captaining Karachi B, he became the national coach before moving to London to work for Pakistan International Airlines.
The New Zealand national cricket team toured Pakistan from October to November 1955 and played a three-match Test series against the Pakistan national cricket team. It was the first Test series between the two teams.