Lahore [Pakistan]: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Saturday expressed its shock and grief at the demise of legendary leg-spinner Abdul Qadir.
PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said in a press release, “We are devastated with the news of Abdul Qadir’s passing and on behalf of the PCB, I want to express my deepest condolences to his family and friends.”
“The PCB, like every Pakistani, is proud of his services to cricket and Pakistan. His contributions and achievements were not only limited on-field, but he ensured he transferred the art of leg-spin to the up-and-coming cricketers,” he added.
Qadir died of cardiac arrest at the age of 63 in Lahore on Friday. His son Salman Qadir confirmed the demise of the iconic cricketer. The former star was shifted to Services Hospital after the heart attack but he could not survive, Dawn reported.
“Apart from being a maestro with the ball, Abdul Qadir was a larger-than-life figure who was adored, loved and respected across the globe due to his excellent understanding and knowledge of the game, and strong cricket ethics and discipline,” Mani said.
Qadir was credited for keeping the art of wrist-spin alive in the days when it was losing the charm. He was known as the dancing bowler due to his peculiar bowling style.
PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said: “To say we are shocked at his passing will be an understatement. Stalwarts like Abdul Qadir are born in decades and today Pakistan cricket has lost one of its most beloved and admired sons.”
“Abdul Qadir may have passed, but his contribution to global cricket – by giving popularity and impetus to the art of wrist spin bowling that inspired hundreds of youngsters across the planet – will live forever. He was one of the all-time greats. His friendly and warm presence will forever be missed,” he added.
Qadir picked up 236 and 132 wickets in 67 Tests and 104 ODIs respectively across a cricketing career that stretched 16 years.
He made his Test debut for Pakistan in December 1977 at Lahore against England and played the longest format of the game for 13 years. Ten years later, against the same opposition and at the same venue, he returned with his best figures nine for 56. His decade-long ODI career ran from 1983 to 1993.
Qadir also served as a chief selector for the national men’s side for six months, after getting appointed to the post in November 2008.