KC Ibrahim dies aged 88
He made his Test debut in the first match of the 1948-49 series at home to West Indies, his sheer weight of runs the previous summer making him an automatic pick. Opening with Vinoo Mankad, he scored 85 and 44, but in his next six innings he made only 40 runs and he had retired by the time England toured in 1951-52.
Ibrahim's Mumbai team-mate, Madhav Mantri, said he was "a solid player and one who believed in staying at the wicket for as long as possible." He captained the Mumbai side that won the Ranji Trophy in 1947-48 and Mantri described him as "a fine captain, someone who believed in backing his players."
A top-order batsman who sometimes opened, Ibrahim made his first-class debut in 1938-39 and from 1941-42 onwards scored heavily in domestic cricket. He began that season with an unbeaten 230 and ended with 117 in Bombay's innings win in the Ranji Trophy final.
He reached his peak in 1947-48 when he scored 1171 runs at 167.29, including four hundreds, a record that won him the Indian Cricketer of the Year award for the season. He started the season with scores of 218*, 36*, 234*, 77* and 144, a total of 709 runs without being dismissed. In the last three innings of the previous season his scores had been 2, 2 and 4. He moved to Karachi in 1950 and that marked the end of his first-class career.
He was in poor health for the last few years of his life. During India's 2006 tour to Pakistan, a couple of journalists went to visit him. One of them, Jasvinder Sidhu, from the Hindi daily Amar Ujala, remembers: "He didn't want us to photograph him. He said, 'I don't want my friends in Bombay and Delhi to see my current state. Tell them I'm fine.'"