Middle East

Hanif Mohammad and his brothers took Pakistan’s cricket to the highest heights.

Avisit Sengputa

On January 8, 1959, legendary Pakistani batter Hanif Mohammad began innings and entered the history page of cricket as one of the greatest innings to date. Fighting Karachi and Bahawalpur in the Kai De Arsam trophy, Hanif broke Don Bradman’s world record of 452 and scored 499 before running out in an attempt to finish his 500th run. He ignored physical and mental fatigue and the scorching sun while batting for 10 and a half hours to accumulate the highest total ever seen in first class cricket.

The first congratulatory telegram he received was from Don Bradman himself. Until Brian Lara broke it with 501 in 1994, Hanif’s total stood as the world record for first-class cricket.

Hanif’s first coach was Abdul Aziz Durani, the father of Indian test star Salim Durani. A few years later, Hanif recalled: He bought us bats, pads and gloves. In many cases he had no money left for himself. To us, he was a father and an angel. It was Aziz who predicted that Hanif would one day be a great player and arranged a free scholarship to help him develop the game.

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In the 55 test matches he played, Hanif recorded the 12th century with 337 knocks as his highest score. Hanif was an incredibly focused batter, and his only goal in life was to post a huge score in a cricket match, regardless of the level he was playing. He represented Pakistan from 1952 to 1969. He scored steadily with an average of 43.98. Unfortunately for him, his career extended to a period when Pakistan played few test matches, playing only 55 games in a 17-year career.

Hanif’s first test century competed with India in the 1954-55 series. It was the first time for an Indian team to take a tour of Pakistan and it was a historic opportunity. The match was a boring contest as both teams were afraid to lose, but the series was characterized by a friendship between the cricket fans of both teams.

The border was opened for thousands of Indian fans who flocked to Pakistan to watch the match. Two special trains were arranged daily to carry visitors. In Lahore, the Tribune (the Jungle Book author, Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling was the correspondent), in Lahore’s Mall Road and the Anal Cali Bazaar, Indians and Pakistanis greet each other. I write that.

It was the second test in the series that teenage Hanif recorded his first test century. It was a typical Hanif effort and took almost eight hours of solid hits. Hanif has always been obsessed with scoring, and this single focus led him to great heights.

Teammates described the case about him explaining Hanif’s determination and dedication. Players write that in a minor match, Hanif played a perfect defensive shot, but the strong wind caused the ball to bend, passing Hanif’s bat and hitting a stump.

Hanif was mourned for the dismissal. It was a minor match, but I couldn’t forgive it. That night there was a party where the whole team was invited. However, Hanif forgave himself and shut himself up in the hotel room. The rest of the team went to the party, and when they returned to the hotel, they found Hanif practicing the same shot in front of the mirror.

He has experienced hundreds of movements, pushing the right movements into his mind and allowing him to play the shot perfectly without error the next time he faces the same delivery. That was exactly what Hanif said to his teammates. Hanif took cricket more seriously than himself or his life.

But it’s not surprising, as Hanif came from a family of prominent meritors. He was one of a band of five brothers, four of whom played test cricket and most of the other (named Raees). Their names were Wajir, Rays, Hanif, Mustak and Sadik. After that, Hanif’s son Shoreive also played a test match in Pakistan. The proud mother of the five brothers was Ameer Bee, who was an undivided Indian champion badminton and tennis player himself. It was she who encouraged them and led them in sports.

The contribution of these brothers to the cause of cricket in Pakistan was immeasurable and irreplaceable. Judging from the fact that at least one brother was on the Pakistani test cricket team during the first 25 years of Pakistan’s test cricket history. 64 times, at least two of the brothers represented Pakistan together on the same team. In 1969, three brothers wore Pakistani caps and set foot on the field together against New Zealand. It was a proud moment for my family and their relatives.

These four brothers and Shoaib recorded 36 test centuries in Pakistan. Three of the family entered the second century, and Hanif Mohammad also recorded the third century (337). The day after the soles of his feet were surgically removed, he was once struck with his devoted attitude. “It was like playing with a nail in my toe,” he said. But still he continued to edit the first century.

The family was originally from Junagadh, Gujarat, but moved to Pakistan after the split. An interesting by-product of Junagad is that the Babi dynasty ruled the kingdom after Mohammad Shah Khan Babi seized power in 1930. Former movie actress Palvin Babi is said to be a descendant of this family.

But to return to their brothers, they established themselves and achieved fame and wealth in cross-border lands. But they gave back to their country more than they received. Their feat has urged future generations of Pakistani cricket players to escape the shadow of political turmoil and reach the pinnacle of cricket glory in the world.

Abhijit Sen Gupta is an experienced journalist who writes on sports and a variety of other themes.

https://www.siasat.com/hanif-mohammad-and-his-brothers-took-pakistan-cricket-to-great-heights-2255106/ Hanif Mohammad and his brothers took Pakistan’s cricket to the highest heights.

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