The Original “Little Master” R.I.P.
Hanif Mohammad has passed away, age 81. His passing leaves only two survivors from the first Pakistan tour to England in 1954 when they managed to draw the Test series 1-1 against an England side that went on to retain the Ashes in Australia 3-1 that winter. Hanif beat Don Bradman’s then-world record of 452 in 1959 by scoring 499 for Karachi versus Bahawalpur. He was run out off the final ball of the day, attempting to score his 500th run.
However, his greatest achievement was saving the 1958 Test against the West Indies in Barbados by scoring 337 in an epic 16 hours and 10 minutes, still the longest Test innings of all time. The fierce Caribbean sun bouncing off the hard-baked pitch damaged Hanif’s eyes and his eyesight never fully recovered.
He was known for his limitless patience and watertight defence, two features that many of today’s Test “stars” can only dream about. He was one of original inductees into the ICC’s Cricket Hall of Fame.
His death leaves only two of the 1954 Pakistani touring team still standing: wicket-keeper/batsman Imtiaz Ahmed (88) and middle-order batsman Waqar Hassan (83).