Former Pakistani cricketer Abdul Qadir attends a sports event in Lahore, Pakistan. File photo/ AFP
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday remembered former spinner Abdul Qadir as a “genius” a day after the legendary cricketer died of a heart attack.
Cricket hero-turned-politician Khan and Qadir had a long and eventful association as team-mates.
Qadir, who would have turned 64 on September 15, was a favourite of the former captain.
“Abdul Qadir was a genius, one of the greatest leg spinners of all time,” Khan tweeted, as fans all over Pakistan mourned the player’s death.
“And he was also the life of the dressing room entertaining the team with his wit & humour.”
Qadir made his Test debut against England in Lahore in 1977 and went on to play 67 Tests, taking 236 wickets with a best of 9-56 against the same side in 1987.
Those figures are still the best by a Pakistan bowler in a Test innings.
He also took 132 wickets in 104 one-day internationals, with Imran using him as an attacking weapon in the 1983 World Cup held in England.
“Qadir’s bowling statistics do not do justice to his genius,” said Khan.
“Had he been playing cricket now with the modern DRS system, where batsmen can be given out on the front foot as well, Qadir would have gotten as many wickets as the great Shane Warne”.
Legendary Australian leg-spinner Warne — the second-highest Test wicket-taker with 708 (only behind Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan’s 800) — was also a big fan of Qadir.
Qadir’s unique dancing action was as attractive as it was destructive, spinning the ball prodigiously, and he had a lethal googly and a flipper.
He played the last of his international matches in 1993 before also serving as chief selector of Pakistan.
"My father never had a heart problem so it was sudden and shocking that he suffered a severe attack and could not survive," Salman Qadir said.
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