Former captains Fazal Mahmood and Abdul Qadir have been inducted into the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Hall of Fame posthumously.
According to a statement issued by PCB on Saturday, the two stalwarts have joined Hanif Mohammad, Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Zaheer Abbas, who were the initial inductees to the PCB Hall of Fame by virtue of being part of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket Hall of Fame.
Mahmood and Qadir were inducted following a “transparent voting process”, according to the PCB.
The PCB cricket committee — which includes Saleem Yousuf (chair), Ali Naqvi, Umar Gul, Urooj Mumtaz and Wasim Akram — was involved in finalising the short-list comprising players who were retired from international cricket for at least five years, the statement added.
Subsequently, a 13-person independent voting panel — comprising three ICC Cricket Hall of Famers, four former Pakistan captains and six respected members of the print and electronic media — was constituted to take part in the voting process, which was overseen by an internal auditor who also confirmed the results in favour of the inductees.
The formal inductions of all the eight PCB Hall of Famers will take place during the ongoing season.
Reacting to the development, PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja said: “It is befitting that Fazal Mahmood and Abdul Qadir, legends from two different eras, be voted by their peers and admirers into the PCB Hall of Fame for 2021.”
“This is a testament to their enormous popularity and is also a recognition of their services to this great game,” he added.
“Mahmood’s heroics in the early days introduced Pakistan cricket to the world as a force to be reckoned with and later inspired the next generations of fast bowlers,” he said, adding that the wily, crafty and magical Abdul Qadir revived and reignited the slowly vanishing art of wrist-spin bowling.
“Fazal Mahmood and Abdul Qadir are all-time greats and truly outstanding ambassadors for Pakistan and global cricket. This is just a small token of our appreciation and gratitude towards their contributions.”
Fazal Mahmood, considered the first superstar of Pakistan cricket, was born on February 18, 1927 in Lahore and took 139 wickets in 34 Tests from 1952 to 1962, including five wickets in an innings 13 times and 10 wickets or more in a match four times. However, his first-class career had commenced eight years earlier when he represented Northern India in the Ranji Trophy. By the time he hung his boots after the 1963-64 season, he had grabbed 466 wickets in 112 matches.
Abdul Qadir, boasting a bouncy, enthusiastic run-up with a left elbow high and flicking the ball from hand to hand, took 236 wickets (five wickets in an innings 15 times and 10 wickets in a match five-time) and scored 1,029 runs in 67 Tests from 1977 to 1990. He also demonstrated that leg-spin could be highly effective in one-day cricket by claiming 132 wickets and scoring 641 runs in 104 ODIs from 1983 to 1993. In 209 first-class matches from 1975-76 to 1995-96, he captured 960 wickets and scored 3,740 runs, including two centuries.