LAHORE: Pakistan cricket great Abdul Qadir, who revived the art of leg-spin bowling, has died at the age of 63, the Pakistan Cricket Board said yesterday.
Pakistani media reported that he died of cardiac arrest.
Qadir made his Pakistan debut in 1977 in Lahore and went on to play 67 Tests and 104 one-day internationals, claiming a total of 368 wickets.
Qadir was an influential figure in Pakistan’s most successful teams in the 1980s and later a mentor to the next generation of leg-spinners, including Australia’s Shane Warne and Pakistan’s Mushtaq Ahmed.
Commentating for Sky Sports during the fourth Ashes test between England and Australia, Warne said Qadir was a “brilliant, brilliant bowler.”
“I think a lot of people who bowled leg-spin, like I did, he was the guy who we looked up to in the eighties. He was the main leg-spinner in that era,” Warne said.
Renowned for his fairly long run-up and a unique bowling action, Qadir was almost unplayable on pitches in Pakistan and one of the favourites of former captain Imran Khan – now the country’s Prime Minister.
Qadir reserved his finest performances for England and his spell of 9-56 in Lahore in 1987 is still the best by a Pakistan bowler in a Test innings.