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Full name Arif Butt
Born May 17, 1944, Lahore, Punjab
Died July 11, 2007, Lahore (aged 63 years 55 days)
Major teams Pakistan, Lahore, Pakistan Railways
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium
|Test debut||Australia v Pakistan at Melbourne, Dec 4-8, 1964 scorecard|
|Last Test||New Zealand v Pakistan at Auckland, Jan 29-Feb 2, 1965 scorecard|
|List A span||1967-1975|
Arif Butt played only three Tests for Pakistan, though many felt he should've played many more, especially after one of the most impressive Pakistan debut Test performances. As a tall, lanky 19-year-old, Butt took 6 for 89 on his first appearance against Australia in a one-off Test at the MCG in 1964-65. He was a handy lower-order batsman as well, as a first-class career average of 29, four hundreds and over 4000 runs testifies. In what proved to be his last Test, he made his highest Test score of 20, helping Intikhab Alam add 52 valuable runs for the ninth wicket in a low-scoring, tense draw. It was primarily for his bowling, however, that he was known, possessing a good bouncer and an acclaimed leg-cutter. Along with his height and stamina, those traits enabled him to pick up 14 wickets in his first two Tests, including six wickets in his second Test against New Zealand. To many people's surprise he never played for Pakistan again after that tour down under, more so because Pakistan were struggling to find a decent new-ball pair at the time. It was often suggested that his poor fielding skills and his temperament went against him. The snub didn't prevent an accomplished first-class career. His maiden first class century came in a losing cause against Karachi in the 1966-67 Quaid-e-Azam trophy final but his greatest season came seven years later, when, as captain, he led his side to the Patrons Trophy and the Quaid-e-Azam trophy, often opening the batting and the bowling. He took 6 for 55 against Sindh in the Quaid final and ended the season with 718 runs (including a career-best 180 as opener) and 48 wickets from 12 matches. Though he played on till 1977-78, the early 70s remain his best first-class years.
Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge
Plays of the day from the tri-series match between Zimbabwe and South Africa
Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?