Ode to Dr Mohammad Ali Shah

Published: February 7, 2013
The arrival of international cricketers for the World XI matches in Pakistan last year was the most notable achievement by Dr Shah. PHOTO: APP

The arrival of international cricketers for the World XI matches in Pakistan last year was the most notable achievement by Dr Shah. PHOTO: APP

The last rites of Dr Mohammad Ali Shah will conclude today, bringing an end to the legend who didn’t understand the word ‘impossible’.

Dr Shah leaves behind a legacy of accepting challenges and a lesson to his countrymen about running sports affairs efficiently despite being a renowned orthopaedic surgeon.

Dr Shah, who passed away at the age of 67 after a prolonged battle with cancer, was a sports enthusiast serving almost every game being played in the country until his death.

He was serving as adviser on sports to the Chief Minister of Sindh after he resigned from the post of Sindh Minister of Sports and was well known for his love for cricket, a game which he served from the grass-roots to the top level.

Shah’s feat to bring the World XI team in Karachi last year at a time when even the Pakistan Cricket Board failed to do so has been termed as his biggest achievement.

Many assert that it was an impossible task for the man who was battling cancer and was running constant high-fever.

“One day I made a resolve to bring international cricketers to Pakistan and never let the feeling of failure come into my mind after that,” Shah had said after the successful event in Karachi.

“I believe with hard work, devotion and perseverance, you can achieve anything and Almighty Allah helped me succeed in my endeavours.”

‘Dr Shah was Edhi of cricket’

PCB’s chief selector Iqbal Qasim said Shah possessed a combination of many qualities.

“The services of Dr Shah for the people of Pakistan are countless,” commented the former Test cricketer while showering praise on the deceased. His services for cricket will be recorded in history books.”

Qasim also recalled Dr Shah’s initiative to organise a coaching clinic for youngsters a couple of decades ago amid fragile law-and-order situation in Karachi.

“No one dared to hold such a camp in the early 1990s in that situation but Dr Shah was brave enough. Because of him, hundreds of youngsters benefitted from the cricket camp for free.”

Qasim agreed the initiative to bring World XI was a huge achievement.

“Whenever international cricket will revive in Pakistan, the late doctor will deserve the main credit for it because of his initiative. He was the [Abdul Sattar] Edhi of cricket and his demise is a huge loss for the game in particular.”

Stadium should be named after Shah: Jahangir

Squash legend Jahangir Khan – who was once a patient of Dr Shah in his playing days – said it will be impossible to fill the vacuum.

“His services for sports are unprecedented,” said Khan. “Dr Shah had the quality of bringing people from different thoughts together. He was a leader of sports and worked hard for its betterment. I will request authorities to name a ground after him in acknowledgement of his services.”

‘A brave man gone’

Meanwhile, legendary hockey Olympian Islahuddin Siddiqui, a close aide of the late Dr Shah, termed him a brave man.

“Shah was fighting a deadly disease but he never let on about his pain,” said Siddiqui. “We cannot find an example of a man working tirelessly for the huge task of organising World XI matches in such a condition. He also wanted to bring World XI of hockey and now we will try to make his dream possible and will name the series after him. Dr Shah’s demise is a huge loss and he will be missed sorely.”

Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Mr cricket
    Feb 7, 2013 - 2:31AM

    he was a big cricket fan but calling him Edhi of cricket is too much


  • well wisher
    Feb 7, 2013 - 3:47AM

    A through and through Karachi legend. RIP


  • B+
    Feb 7, 2013 - 4:36AM

    “The last rites of Dr Mohammad Ali Shah will conclude today, bringing an end to the legend who didn’t understand the word ‘impossible’.”
    fantastic title…He was a great man and will always be remembered.


  • Usama Bin Ahmed
    Feb 7, 2013 - 8:43AM

    A great loss yet again to Pakistan.. May the soul R.I.P


  • Razi
    Feb 7, 2013 - 9:12AM

    A wonderful man with a passion for Cricket. One such example would be that back in days (when Karachi used to be the City of Lights), if you got hurt and needed treatment for an injury, all you had to do was go to AO Clinic. If you told him that you play cricket, he would either drastically reduce the cost of treatment or not charge you at all. A thorough gentleman. May Allah grant him a place in Paradise, Ameen.


  • Humayun
    Feb 7, 2013 - 9:33AM

    isnt this the same guy who snatched the flag from one of the athletes during the opeing ceremony of Asian games or something??


  • Sanity
    Feb 7, 2013 - 9:54AM

    He is the same sports minister who snatched the Pakistani flag from a former gold-medalist athelete..at the 2010 commonwealth games..embarrasing Pakistan in front of the international media, community..and 60,000 spectators in the stadium.
    RIP nonetheless.


  • @Sanity
    Feb 7, 2013 - 3:42PM

    We should remember good deeds of a person and should take lesson from it rather scratching the negatives


  • syed
    Feb 7, 2013 - 6:13PM

    May he rest in peace and get maghfirat. Led a dynamic life and served his people and place. Lesson we can take from him is efficient use of time.


  • MJ
    Feb 8, 2013 - 2:29AM

    I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Shah a few times. He was a great benefactor to the sports, specially cricket in Karachi and was even a better surgeon. He was the pioneer of limb reattachment surgery in Pakistan and I can never forget the incident regarding a steel mills worker who lost both his legs in a machine accident. Dr. Shah not only reattached his limbs but played cricket with the patient a year later on a ground that he gifted to the city.


  • code-z
    Feb 8, 2013 - 1:40PM

    yeah! same guy. Good riddance I would say.


  • g
    Feb 9, 2013 - 2:41PM

    This guy has saved thousands and thousand of lives with unprecedented problems
    Lives which would not have been saved
    He has endorsed Cricket to be known all over the country and furthermore
    And you are talking about the mishappening with a flag?
    Weight lifters will come and go
    Overall personalities like late dr. Shah will not come so easily maybe never again


  • Someone
    Feb 9, 2013 - 9:11PM

    @code-z: you would be a good riddance from the comments section (or better yet, this site) if it were up to me.


  • Jehanzaib
    Feb 10, 2013 - 4:46AM

    It is a huge loss not to forget Ramazan tournament a great fanfair at AASS. Hope it would continue after him


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