Abdul Qadir - Hero Worship
Written by English NewsPaper/Dawn/Others   

On his bowling action, Abdul Qadir had the air of a shaman about to conjure up something particularly devilish. Richie Benaud, himself a noted practitioner of the art of leg-spin, described it this way: "He bowls, and bowls again".

Qadir has a unique place in leg-spin bowling's hall of fame for a variety of reasons, not least of them being that he revived what had becomt a dying art. Qadir also shattered the myth that attacking spin bowling was of no use in one-dayers, and formed a lethal combination with Imran Khan hurling down, the fast stuff at the other end, In the process, he also dispelled the then popular impression that fast bowlers hunt only in pairs.

Qadir had been around since 1977-78, when he made his debut against England at home and took 6 for 44 in the first innings at Hyderabad.

He did not play much cricket after that, until Imran got the captaincy and immediately had him drafted into the side for the 1982 tour of England. Qadir mesmerised England, Although he did not get many wickets, the English were absolutely clueless against him. He did bag six though in the Lord's Test, which Pakistan won to record only their second victory on English soil.

Having received excellent notices in England,, and his morale sky high, Qadir snared 22 wickets against Australia in the series that followed. With Imran Khan also in good form, the two together downed Australia 3-0, Pakistan's first ever clean sweep of a rubber.

Abdul Qadir never looked back, winning many a match for Pakistan in both versions of the game. He also came to be known as a bit of a character, often moody, sometimes over-exuberant, but always in the thick of things.

Qadir had great variety; he bowled two googli.es, a deadly flipper, a whizzing top-spinner and many variations thereof. Some, in fact, claim that he could bowl a dozen different types of deliveries. At the same time, he was consistently accurate and daring to boot. He was not, however, a huge spinner of the ball. Later on, he was countered well by the Aussies and the Indians; On the 1986-87 tour of India, in particular, Qadir was reduced to a virtually bystander as the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vcngsarkar and Mohammad Azharuddin swept him to distraction. They applied three kinds of sweeps just to ensure that Qadir didn't return to his wicket taking ways. The first, of course, was the regulation sweep, the second a paddle shot and the third was played square of the wicket.

Abdul Qadir is still, and always will be, rated in the top bracket. However, those who followed him such as Shane Wame - and to a lesser extent Mushtaq Ahmed -look destined for greater things. The moot point, however, is that if Qadir the magician had not brought leg-spin back into the limelight, would they even be out there?

By Faraz Agha

Published in Herald,Pakistan

From WikiPedia

Abdul Qadir made his first-class debut in the Pakistan local competition during the 1975/76 season and, within two years, his Test debut on his home ground in Lahore against England in December 1977.

Natural talent combined with aggression and passion made Qadir one of the most successful spinners of his era. He had a distinct run-up, bounding in to the crease, and a great variety of deliveries: there was the orthodox leg-break, the topspinner, two googlies and the flipper. He was unique for bowling leg spin at a time when it was not only rare but considered obsolete, and he kept the torch alight for a generation of leg spinners. His fervent appeals made him a great favourite with the spectators but sometimes got him into trouble with umpires.

Qadir's second Test series, in England in 1978, was an injury-plagued let-down, but he was a strong and established force by his return in 1982, when his six wickets in the Lord's Test played a major role in a historic Pakistani victory.

In 1982/83, Qadir picked up 22 wickets in just three Tests as Pakistan made a clean sweep of its home rubber against Australia.

Qadir became the first bowler to take 100 wickets in a Pakistani season.

He was enormously popular with Australian crowds.

Qadir took nineteen wickets in three Tests the following season as Pakistan cruised to its first-ever series triumph over England. At the Kennington Oval in 1987, his ten-wicket haul ensured another series win, this time in England.

Three months later, Qadir brought his art to an all new level, taking nine for 56 (an innings record for a Pakistani bowler in Test cricket) and four for 45 in a Test against England at Lahore. During this crusade, he moved past the 200-wicket mark, becoming the first man from his country ever to do so.

Qadir played first-class cricket for twenty years, finishing with 960 wickets at the bowling average of 23.24.

He was not shy of authority and frequently rebelled against it. His bowling and character are among the most zealous ever known in Test cricket.

Full name Abdul Qadir Khan

Born September 15, 1955, Lahore, Punjab

Current age 56 years 230 days

Major teams Pakistan, Habib Bank Limited, Lahore, Punjab

Batting style Right-hand bat

Bowling style Legbreak googly

Batting and fielding averages

Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 67 77 11 1029 61 15.59     0 3   16 15 0
ODIs 104 68 26 641 41* 15.26 849 75.50 0 0 36 17 21 0
First-class 209 247 43 3740 112 18.33     2 8     83 0
List A 147 91 29 869 41* 14.01     0 0     29 0
Bowling averages

Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10
Tests 67 111 17126 7742 236 9/56 13/101 32.80 2.71 72.5 12 15 5
ODIs 104 100 5100 3454 132 5/44 5/44 26.16 4.06 38.6 4 2 0
First-class 209   49036 22314 960 9/49   23.24 2.73 51.0   75 21
List A 147   7014 4666 202 5/31 5/31 23.09 3.99 34.7 7 3 0