Gone too early

A magician that he was

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Leg spinner Abdul Qadir passed away at the age of 63 on Friday due to a cardiac arrest. He was hale and hearty and sported an athletic physique after all these years in retirement so his sudden death has surprised many.

Soon after the news of his death spread, condolence messages poured in from all four corners of the world. The prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, who Qadir played under, said that he was a genius, life of the dressing room and one of best spinners of all times. He also said that his statistics did no justice to his genius and he would have fared better in today’s cricket with the decision review system in place.

Shane Warne who surpassed the art introduced by Qadir in 80s said that almost all the leg spinners in the world looked up to the terrific Abdul Qadir. Warne is rumoured to have visited Qadir in his house in Lahore when Warne visited Pakistan in 1994.

At a time when fast bowlers were all the rage, Qadir made a name for himself as a leg spinner. Not only that, he was capable of delivering six different deliveries in one over. He could deliver googly with his wrist as well as fingers.  As his career came to a close in the early 90s, we saw Mushtaq Ahmed emerging with a ditto bowling action and carrying forward the art of spin.

The greatest of the batsmen including Sir Vivian Richards were respectful towards the legend’s talent on the cricket field.

Qadir played 67 Test matches for his 236 wickets at a strike rate of 72.5. He took 10 wickets in a match five times and 15 times he was able to secure a five-wicket haul for the country. And in 104 ODIs he claimed 132 wickets at a strike rate of 38.6.  Statistics alone are no true measure of greatness. When he came in to bowl with a spring in every stride that he took, the captain, his team and spectators watched in anticipation as to what new trick he will throw at the batsman. May he rest in peace.