Abdul Hafeez Kardar
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Abdul Hafeez Kardar

Born in Lahore on 17 January 1925, Abdul Hafeez Kardar was a brave and determined cricketer who, will be remembered as the father figure of Pakistani cricket. He started playing cricket for India and carried the game over after Partition in 1947, led Pakistan in first 23 Tests, and spent the remainder of his career in the game ensuring that no one took his nation's name lightly. He campaigned for full Test status for his country, which was granted in July 1952. He took on opponents, on and off the field, head to head.

His first major triumph came in the tour of England in 1954, where at the Oval he was top scorer with 36 out of 133 and led Pakistan to their first victory over England, followed by taking Pakistan to their first win over Australia, in Karachi, over India, in Luckhnow, New Zealand, in Karachi, and West Indies, in Port of Spain.

Kardar's last tour was in 1957 to the West Indies, where he elected to play despite having a broken finger, defying medical advice, bowled 37 overs and scored 57.

After retirement, Kardar became a leading figure in the Pakistani Cricket. He was the President of PCB from 1972 to 1977. He demanded that the headquarters of international cricket be moved from Lord's to Lahore. He constantly spoke out on issues like player’s wages and sponsorships.

He also entered into politics. He was elected member of the Punjab Provincial Assembly, becoming Minister of Food, supporting the Pakistan People’s Party and fighting fiercely against what he considered to be political interference in the administration of cricket. His last appointment was as Pakistan's ambassador to Switzerland.

Kardar was watching the World Cup tournament on television when he suffered the collapse that led to his death. He was an attacking left-handed batsman, who timed his shots well. He bowled his slow left-arm spin or slow medium accurately. He scored almost 7,000 runs, took 344 wickets and 108 catches.

Died in Lahore on 21 April 1996

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