Two great Pakistani cricketers Abdul Qadir and Fazal Mahmood have been inducted into the PCB Hall of Fame. Mahmood was a brilliant swing bowler. On the basis of his skill and performance, he became the first superstar of Pakistan cricket. He played his debut match against India in 1952. In 34 Tests, Mahmood took 139 wickets at an average of 24.70. His performance against England at the Oval in 1954 is well known in the folklore of cricket.
His career spanned more than 20 years and after that he influenced many Pakistani fast bowlers. Shoaib Akhtar named him a torch bearer. Mahmood died in 2005 at the age of 78. In 2012, he was posthumously awarded the Hilal-e-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s second highest civilian award, for services rendered to Pakistan cricket.
Qadir was impressive in every way and mastered the leg spin. In a Test career spanning 13 years, he took 236 wickets at an average of 32.80 but numbers alone cannot explain one’s talent. Even his action was extraordinary. He admitted more than once that it was designed to distract the batsmen.
Qadir passed away in 2019 at the age of 63. He was awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz, the third highest civilian award in Pakistan, the following year. His son Usman followed in his footsteps and is part of the Pakistan team in the T20 World Cup.
PCB President Rameez Raja praised both the players for being inducted into the Hall of Fame along with Hanif Mohammad, Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Zaheer Abbas. Pakistan became a different name in the world of Pakistan and later they inspired generations of fast bowlers. The cunning and magical Abdul Qadir revived the art of the slowly fading wrist spin bowling. Fazal Mahmood and Abdul Qadir were all-time greats and truly outstanding players for Pakistan and global cricket.