Hanif Muhammad passes away at 81

Published: August 11, 2016
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Hanif Muhammad. PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Hanif Muhammad. PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

KARACHI: Former Pakistan batsman Hanif Mohammad, player of the world’s longest Test innings, died Thursday in a Karachi hospital after a prolonged illness, doctors said.

The 81-year-old was famous for his dogged batting in Pakistan’s nascent years in international cricket, having opened as a schoolboy for the country’s first Test against India in Delhi in 1952.

Short in stature Mohammad — one of four brothers who played for Pakistan and a former national team captain — hit a still unbeaten record of 337 in a marathon 970-minute stay at the crease against the West Indies in Barbados in 1958.

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That record earned him the epithet of “Little Master”, which stayed with him for an illustrious career that lasted until 1970 during which he played 55 Tests.

Mohammad surpassed Donald Bradman’s record for the highest first class innings, scoring 499 for Karachi against Bahawalpur in January 1959 — a record which West Indian Brian Lara broke by scoring 500 not out for Warwickshire county against Durham in 1994.

Mohammad died while under treatment at the private Aga Khan hospital after suffering multiple breathing and liver problems, having undergone an operation for liver cancer three years ago. “Hanif has been declared as dead just now,” a hospital spokesman confirmed to AFP.

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Earlier in the day, local media reported that Mohammad had died before he had officially been declared dead by the hospital.

Hospital sources said that Mohammad’s heart had stopped for some minutes in the afternoon, but that a team of doctors revived him before he died hours later in the evening.

Mohammad’s three brothers — Wazir, Mushtaq and Sadiq, as well as his son Shoaib — also played for Pakistan.

Born in Junagadh, Hanif represented Pakistan in 55 Tests, scoring 3,915 runs at an average of 43.98. He still holds the record for highest score (337) in an innings by a Pakistani batsman, followed by Inzamamul Haq (329) and Younus Khan (313). He was also named as Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1968.

Tributes and condolences

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)  expressed their condolences for the legendary batsman. “We are saddened by the death of  Hanif and it’s a great loss to world cricket in general and Pakistan cricket in particular as he was an icon who served the country in its early years,” said a PCB message.

Former Pakistan paceman Wasim Akram said he was saddened by Hanif’s death. “He was seen as the pioneer of Pakistan cricket and his death has left a big void…as he was always willing to pass his advice to youngsters and I also benefited from him in my early days,” Wasim told AFP.

International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive David Richardson said Hanif was one of the top cricketers of all-time and an idol for many batsmen.

“It’s sad to hear of Hanif’s death and I’d like to extend my condolences and those of everyone here at the ICC to Hanif’s family, which counts so many cricketers in its number,” he said in a statement. “Hanif took batting to great heights and many batsmen drew inspiration from him.”

Meanwhile on Twitter, former and current players along with cricket fans paid tribute to Pakistan’s own little master.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Aug 11, 2016 - 1:32PM

    RIP. End of an era!Recommend

  • JD
    Aug 11, 2016 - 1:47PM

    Inalilahe Waina Ilaihe Rajeoon. May Allah bless his soul. #theverybestRecommend

  • Careless Whispers
    Aug 11, 2016 - 1:54PM

    Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un (إِنَّا للهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ‎‎)
    End of an Era…… Rip …Recommend

  • Anjum
    Aug 11, 2016 - 1:58PM

    RIP,May Allah bless his soul in jannahRecommend

  • Procrastinator
    Aug 11, 2016 - 2:09PM

    Such pathetic journalistic standards we have in this country! ShamefulRecommend

  • Zubair
    Aug 11, 2016 - 2:54PM

    This article isn’t clear. Mohammad Hanif is still alive then?Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Aug 11, 2016 - 4:34PM

    Shameless doctor should be fired. Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Aug 11, 2016 - 4:59PM

    @Zubair:
    Yes, apparently he returned from the dead and may share his experience of being 6 minutes in…….where ?Recommend

  • Khilari
    Aug 11, 2016 - 5:17PM

    No, he’s gone,finally. Inna lillahi WA Inna alaihirajiun. The inevitable end of all human beings.Recommend

  • Aug 11, 2016 - 5:29PM

    Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’unRecommend

  • سے Shaam (Hanafi)
    Aug 11, 2016 - 5:37PM

    “We surely belong to God and to Him we shall return.” The little master has left the crease…Recommend

  • Proud to be Muslim
    Aug 11, 2016 - 6:00PM

    إِنَّا للهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ‎‎
    One of the biggest assets of Pakistan Cricket. Best batsman of Pakistan history… He is one of those whose record won’t broken during his life and hopefully will never be broken.Recommend

  • Peps|
    Aug 11, 2016 - 6:33PM

    Can you guys read Umar Akmals condolence tweet. “My hardly condolence”… One would expect him to be a bit more cautious with his condolence tweets.Recommend

  • Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
    Aug 11, 2016 - 7:24PM

    Great loss for the family, Pakistan and cricket to be honest but at the same time as per divine law eventually he had to die as everyone had died from day one. He achieved what not many could boast of. Mashaaalh he crossed 80 while many have died even at half of his age. His children are well settled and there too he is lucky as many are struggling on this account. Not only our top VIPs know him but also extended maximum possible help which is not available to each Pakistani in any case. One can write pages and pages yet one cannot comprehend and account for all that where Hanif very rightly merited and excelIede. In true perspective Hanif touched zenith during his life. I pray he lives in upper jannat, aameen. Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / KuwaitRecommend

  • ZAK
    Aug 11, 2016 - 8:07PM

    We pray for deceased soul maghfarat.
    Great crickter who earn good name for Pakistan in International Cricket.Recommend

  • M. Emad
    Aug 11, 2016 - 9:41PM

    East-Pakistan players didnot get any chance in National Cricket team due to the ‘greats’ (Kardar, Fazal, Burki, Hanif etc of Lahore group). Recommend

  • Aug 12, 2016 - 1:05AM

    My fellow Gujarati cricketer from Junagadh, you gave us lots of joy while playing cricket for Pakistan. As a young boy, I heard your hitting centuries, on the radio commentaries. No TV existed and yet you were our heart and soul. Our sincere condolences to your family and God bless your soul. From across the border, not far from Junagadh.Recommend

  • mohammad uddin
    Aug 12, 2016 - 5:08PM

    A great sad demise I cannot express how much I am feeling the pain, I used to go National Stadium to see Hanif Mohammad Sahib, If Shoiab put his memory back during his growing days me and him always play on national stadium surface – still remember Hanif Sahib told me from which place you come and see daily I said from Shah Faisal Colony, what he said do not miss school and put your concentration on your education. I saw his 196 innings from PIA to Karachi Blues still in my memory – Nobody can take his place, his defence his Technic awesome – he can make his average better but he scarifies his life for Pakistan cricket why when we dont have the middle order he was coming middle order some time 4 some time 6 ,-his epic 337 cannot forget world cricket – His family services always for Pakistan from brothers to son and his grandson – CRICKET Pakistan is incomplete without Hanif Sahib, Hanif Sahib was a book of cricket and one of the Founder of Pakistan cricket, due his batting and his class of cricket world become knows yes there is Pakistan, if you read Westindian newspaper during his 337 innings a longest innings record which is still exist – My deep condolenes to His family and Shoiab Mohammad who was very close to Hanif Sahib.May god reward him Jinnat ul Firdos. ameen Recommend

  • kash
    Aug 13, 2016 - 11:04PM

    @M. Emad:
    hello/Hanif was not from thelahore group.you have very poorinformation,he was equally popular in east pakistan.ask anyone who has chance to see him and watch himbat at dacca.Recommend

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