KARACHI: Tributes poured from across the world as Pakistan cricket lost one of its very first superstars in Hanif Mohammad, who died from lung cancer at the aged 81 at the Aga Khan University Hospital.
The legendary batsman is best known for being the first Pakistani to score a triple-century — his 337 still the highest score by a Pakistani batsman as well as the longest innings in cricketing history as he spent an incredible 970 minutes out in the middle — as well as the then highest first-class score of 499.
Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad said Hanif’s death is an immense loss for cricket. “Hanif Mohammad was an icon, an institution himself and his death is a great loss for Pakistan and world cricket,” said Miandad.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) also expressed sadness at the passing of the ICC hall of famer.
In a statement, 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,” said Richardson. “Hanif took batting to great heights and many batsmen drew inspiration from him. Hanif’s triple-century against the West Indies was a legendary innings and unsurprisingly he was one of the original inductees into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.”
PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan also paid tribute the legend. “The entire cricketing fraternity is in mourning over the sad demise of Hanif Mohammad,” he said. “His legend shall live on forever. I join the Mohammad family in mourning over the loss of one of the greatest cricketing heroes that this country has produced.”
Others took to social media to pay their respects.
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram tweeted:
Wasim also told AFP: “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.”
Pakistan’s current Test captain Misbahul Haq added: “The team’s prayers are with Hanif and his family. He was a legend of the game in Pakistan and an inspiration to our current generation of cricketers.”
Meanwhile, cricket’s fastest-ever bowler Shoaib Akhtar wrote:
Star all-rounder Shahid Afridi tweeted:
Indian great Sachin Tendulkar, with whom Hanif shared the moniker of Little Master, was also saddened by Hanif’s death.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2016.