Karachi: Former Pakistani cricketer Israr Ali, who was the country’s oldest living Test cricketer, has passed away at the age of 88. Born on May 1, 1927 in Jullundar (now Jalandhar) in India, Ali an all-rounder was a member of Pakistan’s first Test squad which went to India in 1952 and played two tests. He also appeared in Pakistan’s first test 60 years ago.
He passed away yesterday in his hometown Okara in Punjab province. A southpaw medium fast bowler, Ali played in two more tests against Australia in 1959 before he ended his test career with six wickets and also appeared in 40 first class matches and claimed 114 wickets at an average of 22.63 and making 1,130 runs at 20.54.
Aslam Khokhar was Pakistan’s oldest living test cricketer at 91 until he passed away in January, 2015 after which Ali at 88 got this honour. Ali began his career playing for Punjab in 1946-47, before India and Pakistan came into being as two independent countries.
Cricket historians have noted that Ali’s international career came to an abrupt end after a misunderstanding with his captain Abdul Kardar, then the most powerful man in Pakistan cricket. Ali in his two tests against Australia gained fame for dismissing opener Les Favell in all four innings, without having any assistance from fielders. He remained a member of Pakistan’s selection committee in 1983-84, before deciding to say good bye to cricket.