“Qadir was a genius. Number don’t justify his abilities, but those who saw him in action would always regard him as one of the best spinners Pakistan have ever produced”

Absolutely shocked to know about the death of Abdul Qadir. In our school days, Qadir was a household name and the best legspinner in the world. We enjoyed watching his finger-licking-swaying-dancing-bowling style. His googlies were lethal.

In the 80s, Qadir became Imran Khan’s major weapon especially against the mighty West Indies, who were tested and mesmerized by Qadir’s leggies and googlies. The Imran and Qadir partnership gifted Pakistan so many moments to relish.

It was Imran Khan, who fought with the Pakistan selectors before the England tour in 1982 regarding the inclusion of Qadir. While the selectors stated, Qadir would be of no use in England and lacks the cutting edge to challenge top batsmen of world, Imran’s point was, legspinners are a blessing for any side and Qadir’s flippers and googlies would prove handy against modern-day batters of his time.

Qadir had an average tour in England despite picking up crucial wickets and Imran had to face criticisms from the section of Karachi press. But Imran stuck with Qadir. In the home series against Australia Qadir unleashed his true colours and he never looked back.

Imran and Qadir developed a lethal partnership in the 80s when Pakistan had little support from others.

Sarfraz Nawaz had passed his best. Wasim Akram was still young, while Saleem Jaffer, Tahir Naqqas, Azim Hafeez and Mudassar Nazar were like stock bowlers. Meanwhile, Tauseef Ahmed was unpredictable. Qasim Omar was in and out of the side. Ejaz Faqih was another stock bowler.

Imran and Qadir had to take the load for a Pakistan team, which was in a transition period.

Imran studied the mighty West Indies and came to realize, only a leggie can halt their progression. And he unleashed Qadir against them. In 1986 and in 1988 – West Indies were left at bay by the magic of Qadir and guile of Imran.

Until injuries took a heavy toll on his body, Qadir gave Pakistan memorable victories, be it with the ball or with the bat. Realizing Qadir’s batting abilities Imran used Qadir as a floater in ODIs. Whenever he noticed a bit of turn in the wicket, Imran sent Qadir to bat high up the order and Qadir never let Imran down.  Moreover, in those days, Imran used to bring Qadir early to bowl within the first 15-20 overs – very few captains dared to do such as in limited-overs formats, a leggie was considered as a luxury.

Qadir was a genius. Number don’t justify his abilities, but those who saw him in action would always regard him as one of the best spinners Pakistan have ever produced.

A sad day for cricket.

 

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