Basit Ali, a former cricketer, who played in 19 Tests and 50 ODIs from 1993 to 1996, was born on December 13, 1970, in Karachi. He was a natural timer of the ball through the covers and point, a dashing, daring hooker and puller
Basit Ali, a former cricketer, who played in 19 Tests and 50 ODIs from 1993 to 1996, was born on December 13, 1970, in Karachi. He was a natural timer of the ball through the covers and point, a dashing, daring hooker and puller against the fast bowlers, and possessed a seemingly nerveless temperament. His risk-taking tendencies made him a regular in the Pakistan one-day side for three years.
Basit Ali was a successful junior cricketer, at one time holding the record for most hundreds in a Karachi zonal league season. He debuted for Pakistan aged 22 in March 1993, playing both ODI and Test cricket in a tour of the Caribbean. For similarities and batting styles and temperament, he was initially seen as the one who would take the mantle of Pakistani batting from Javed Miandad.
He started with a bang on his debut at Gujranwala, scoring 189 against India. However, he did not cross 40, scored two ducks, and finished the series on a low. He never played a Youth Test after that. He played in the Youth World Cup without much success, and scored a 51-ball 23 in the final at Adelaide where Pakistan Youths lost to Australia Youths.
In 1989-90, Basit scored 106 and 127 against Multan at Sahiwal and 128 not out and 157 for Pakistan Automobiles Corporation (PAC) against HBFC. He finished the season with 1,479 runs at 47.70, but was still not good enough to break into the strong Pakistan batting line-up. He took his average beyond the 50-mark for the first time in 1992-93, where he had 865 runs at 50.88 with 4 hundreds to his name. This earned him a place in the upcoming tour of West Indies.
In November 1993 he scored the then second fastest One Day International century in history, with a 67 ball effort against the West Indies at Sharjah. He took 5 more balls as compared to the record of Mohammad Azharuddin who took 62 balls. Basit Ali finished on 127 not out. On his day, Basit Ali could be devastating with the bat. Curiously, he was more successful against West Indies than any other opposition. He played 19 Tests for Pakistan and scored 858 runs at an average of 26.81.
Basit Ali always made batting look easy. He was one of the cleanest stroke-players of his era. Basit could nonchalantly take any attack to the cleaners, reminding spectators of Javed Miandad. He never looked aggressive even during the most murderous of his moods. He was as proud a Pakistani as any and yet, Basit Ali quit international cricket at an age of 25.