ICC Hall of Fame: The Legends of Pakistan Cricket

The International Cricket Council (ICC), on 2nd January 2009, launched the Cricket Hall of Fame to commemorate the achievements of the greatest players in the history of the sport.

The venture was started in collaboration with the Federation of International Cricketer’s Associations (FICA) and since its inception, a total of 87 have been included in the list thus far; initial inductees were the 55 players included in the FICA Hall of Fame which ran from 1999 to 2003.

Can you guess how many of them used to wear the Pakistani shirt? Here is a complete list of players included based on their nationalities:

No. of Members Team Span
28 England 1877 – Present
25 Australia 1877 – Present
18 West Indies 1928 – Present
5 India 1932 – Present
5 Pakistan 1952 – Present
3 New Zealand 1930 – Present
2 South Africa 1889 – Present
1 Sri Lanka 1982 – Present

So, which five Pakistani players were fortunate enough to be included in the list? Here they are:

1. Imran Khan (1971—1992)

The great Imran Khan is one of three Pakistani cricketer to have been included in the ICC Hall of Fame in the initial list of 55 players in 2009.

Khan made his first-class debut at the age of 16 in Lahore and by early 1970s, he was regularly featuring for home teams of Lahore-A, Lahore-B, Lahore Greens and then eventually, Lahore.

He made his Test debut in 1971 at Edgbaston and three years following that, he was also handed his first one-day international cap for Pakistan.

Imran was not only a terrific batsman but also a fearsome bowler. As a fast bowler, his most successful spell came in 1982; he picked up 62 wickets in only 9 Tests at an average of 13.29 (lowest in the history of Test cricket for any bowler with at least 50 wickets in a calender year).

His career-high came when he led Pakistan to the 1992 World Cup victory, where he led a fragile Pakistan team and made each and everyone of them a legend. Himself alongside Javed Mianded played a vital role throughout the tournament campaign.

The legendary all-rounder ended his career with 88 Test matches, 126 innings and scored 3807 runs at an average of 37.69, including six centuries and 18 fifties. His highest score was 136 runs. As a bowler, he took 362 wickets in Test cricket, which made him the first Pakistani and world’s fourth bowler to do so.

In ODIs, he played 175 matches and scored 3709 runs at an average of 33.41. His highest score remains 102 not out. His best ODI bowling is documented at 6 wickets for 14 runs, a record for the best bowling figures by any bowler in an ODI innings in a losing cause.

Records & Achievements:

  • The Cricket Society Wetherall Award, leading all-rounder in English first-class cricket (1976 and 1980)
  • Wisden Cricketer of the Year (1983)
  • Sussex Cricket Society Player of the Year (1985)
  • Indian Cricket Cricketer of the Year (1990)
  • ICC Hall of Fame, Centennial Year celebrations (9 July 2004)
  • Inaugural Silver Jubilee award, Asian Cricket Council, Karachi (5 July 2008)
  • ICC Hall of Fame (2010)

2. Javed Miandad (1976—1993)

Renowned for his unique technique and calm composure, Javed Mianded has been labeled as the ‘greatest batsman Pakistan has ever produced’ by a number of legends of the game.

Historically remembered for his last ball six against India in 1986 at Sharjah, Mianded was a consistent contributor towards Pakistan’s success in the mid 1980s and early 1990s.

Mianded made his Test debut in 1972 after Pakistan’s first Test captain labeled him as ‘find of the decade.’ The raw and talented Mianded made his way into the team where likes of Mushtaq Mohammad, Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbas and Wasim Raja were still lurking around.

He scored 163 and 25* on his debut and became the youngest batsman (aged 19 years and 119 days) to score a century on debut at that time. Soon after that, he also became the youngest player (aged 19 years and 140 days) to break a 47-year-old record by scoring a double-century.

After a 1979-80 series loss to India and match fixing allegations, Asif Iqbal was removed as the captained and the 22-year-old Mianded replaced him.

With Mianded, Pakistan won its first ever major tournament in 1986 – the Austral-Asia Cup. He became a national hero after the tournament for his splendid 116* in the final of the tournament against India.

He also played a pivotal role in 1992 World Cup and dozens of series throughout his career.

Records & Achievements:

  • Miandad was amongst the three Pakistani players to have his name in the Hall of Fame at Lords.
  • In 1986, he had received the President’s Pride of Performance Award.
  • Miandad is one of two cricketers, alongside Tendulkar, to appear in Six World Cup competitions.
  • In 1982, Wisden named him as one of the cricketers of the year.
  • Javed Miandad scored 1083 runs in 33 matches at 6 World Cup tournaments.
  • He was also declared the 44th best Cricketer of all time in ESPN Legend of Cricket.
  • He is the youngest player to hit a double-century. He broke George Headley’s 47-year-old record. Now the record is 42 years old.
  • Miandad holds the world record for the maximum number of consecutive half centuries in One Day Internationals- 9.
  • In 1992, Miandad was decorated by the President of Pakistan with the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, the third highest honor bestowed by Pakistan.

3. Hanif Mohammad (1952—1969)

Who can forget Hanif Mohammad’s historical 16 hours and 10 minutes at the crease where he compiled 337 runs against West Indies, which helped Pakistan draw the game? That innings in 1957-58 remains the longest in Test history and the first instance when a triple century was scored in a team’s second innings.

Trained by Abdul Aziz, an Afghan cricketer, Hanif made his first-class debut for Pakistan against MCC in 1951 where he scored 26 runs in 165 minutes.

He is also known to have played the slowest Test innings in the history as well. He scored only 20 off 223 balls at a strike-rate of 8.97.

His persistence to remain on the pitch and score consistently at a slow pace earned him the nickname of “Little Master.”

His career-high moments included the moment when he surpassed Don Bradman’s record for highest individual first-class innings as he scored 499 against Bahawalpur. His record stood for more than 35 years before Brain Lara broke it with his 501* against Durham.

Hanif remains one of the very few cricketers in the history of the sport to be able to bat like him, bowl with either arms as well as keep wickets when required.

Former Pakistan batsman Rameez Raja, speaking on the BBC’s Test Match Special, said Hanif was “a true legend” and “cricketing genius”.

Overall, he managed 55 first-class centuries and 66 half-centuries. He finished with a healthy average of 52.32 in first-class and 43.98 in his Test career.

4. Wasim Akram (1984—2003)

Wasim Akram is regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of the game, and perhaps the best left-arm bowler. Akram is considered to be one of the founders and – and perhaps the best example – of reverse swing bowling.

First bowler to reach 500 ODI wickets, Akram started his cricket journey when he came to the Gadaffi Stadium trials in 1984. Javed Mianded was one of the first Pakistani cricketers to have spotted Wasim’s talent, which then led to his selection for Pakistan team.

In 1984 where he was given his ODI debut under the captaincy of Zaheer Abbas. In his third ODI against Australia, Akram dismissed Kepler Wessels, Dean Jones and Allan Border.

A groin injury and two surgeries later, Akram reemerged as a fast bowler in the early 1990s; focusing primarily on swing and accurate bowling.

In addition to his bowling, Akram also polished his skills with the bat and contributed whenever he was required to; one of the finest example of that is 1992 World Cup where he smashed 33 off 19 deliveries to push Pakistan’s total to 249.

His performance in the World Cup of 1992 remains as one of the finest displays of fast bowling in the competition’s history, which also include the famous dismissals of Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis in the final.

Likes of Ricky Ponting, Sir Viv Richards, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid all regard Wasim Akram as the best swing bowler to have ever existed.

The legendary fast bowler holds the record for most List-A wickets with 881 and is only second to Sri Lankan Muralitharan in terms of ODI wickets with 501 in total.

Records & Achievements:

  • Akram was the first bowler in international cricket to take more than 400 wickets in both forms of the game.
  • Akram also held the record for the most wickets in Cricket World Cups, a total of 55 in 38 matches.
  • He was the first bowler to have achieved four hat-tricks in international cricket, with two each in Tests and One Day Internationals.
  • Akram was also the first of only five bowlers to have taken two One Day International cricket hat-tricks. Akram’s Test hat-tricks are significant, since they were taken in consecutive Test matches in the same series, a game played against Sri Lanka in the 1998-99 Asian Test Championship.
  • Playing in a Test series against the West Indies at Lahore in 1990–1991, he became one of only six players to have taken four wickets in an over during a Test match.
  • Akram has also achieved the highest score by a number eight batsman in Test cricket when he scored 257 runs not out from 363 balls against Zimbabwe at Sheikhupura. The innings contained 12 sixes which is also a world record for Test cricket.
  • He also has the joint-third highest number of Man of the Match awards in Test cricket, with seventeen.
  • He is the only Test cricketer in the world (as of Feb 2013) to take ten or more wickets thrice in a test match and still end up on the losing side.
  • He holds the record for facing the most number of balls in a test match as well as in an innings as number 8 batsman (363 balls)
  • First bowler to take 500 ODI wickets and still holds the record for taking the most ODI wickets as seamer (502)
  • He holds the record for taking the most number of wickets in ODI history at a single ground (122, Sharjah Cricket Stadium), also the first person to grab 100+ ODI wickets at the same ground. Waqar Younis, the second person to grab 100+ ODI wickets at a single ground, also did in Sharjah. He ranks second overall with 114 wickets.
  • Holds the record for taking the most number of ODI wickets as captain (158)

5. Waqar Younis (1989—2003)

Nicknamed as The Toe Crusher, Waqar Younis remains as one of the finest examples of a fierce fast bowler. Born in Vehari, Waqar began his cricket career in 1987-88.

Waqar was discovered by Imran Khan who then advocated on behalf of the fast bowler for his selection in the national team. Remembering the moment, Waqar said:

I remember Imran was not feeling well at the time, and was not present at the camp. Luckily the Super Wills Cup was going on, and there was a match between United Bank and Delhi XI. Saleem Jaffar got injured, and I got the opportunity to play that game. Imran watched me on TV, and actually came to the ground to watch the end of the game. The very next day, he met me and told me that I will be going to Sharjah next month. Just meeting Imran at the time was enough of an experience for me, but for him to notify me of my selection was just out of this world.

His international debut came in 1989 against arch-rivals India, same match where Sachin Tendulkar made his debut for India. He ended the match with 4 wickets which included the victims Kapil Dev and Tendulkar.

The partnership with Wasim Akram blossomed and their pair became a feared and a potent attack. However, disciplinary issues halted Waqar’s progress on international stage.

Despite his issues, Waqar was regarded as one of the most destructive bowlers. His reverse swinging yorkers and teasing length deliveries are still etched in the minds of every Pakistani supporter.

Waqar represented Pakistan in 262 ODIs and 72 Tests where he picked up 416 and 373 wickets respectively.

Records & Achievements:

  • Waqar is the second best strike rate holder in Test Match Cricket with a minimum of 10,000 balls being bowled. He has a strike rate of 43.4 even after bowling 16224 deliveries, which made him second only to Dale Steyn who has a strike rate of 42.0 after bowling 17707 deliveries in test match cricket.
  • Waqar was named among the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1992 for his sporting achievements. He is also the only bowler to have taken 5 wickets in an innings in 3 consecutive One Day International matches. In terms of deliveries bowled, he has taken the fastest 300, 350 and 400 wickets in One Day International matches.
  • Although primarily a fast bowler, Waqar scored 1010 Test match runs during his career. As of September 2005, he was the only non-batsman to achieve a thousand runs without scoring a fifty. Waqar holds the record for the best strike rate for any bowler with over 350 Test wickets.
  • Waqar Younis holds the record for the best bowling figures as a captain in an ODI(7/36) and was also the first captain to take a 7 wicket haul in an ODI innings.
  • He also holds the record for scoring the most career ODI runs when batting at number 10 (478)
  • He’s the youngest ever bowler to take a five wicket haul in an ODI innings (at the age of 18 years and 164 days)
  • He holds the record for taking the most 4 wicket hauls in ODI cricket(27)
  • He holds the record for taking the most consecutive five wicket hauls in terms of innings(3) and he’s also the only player to achieve this milestone for 3 successive times
  • He is the only bowler to take 3 successive 4fers in an ODI innings thrice in his career

Sports Analyst & Head of Sports Desk.



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