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Cricketers reflect on their lives and times

Abdul Qadir

'A spinner should be able to land the ball wherever he wants'

The legspinning genius who inspired Shane Warne looks back at his highly successful career: his dominance over West Indies, the unforgettable summer of 82, Imran's influence, and more

Interview by Ijaz Chaudhry

May 24, 2011

Comments: 87 | Text size: A | A

Abdul Qadir on Pakistan's tour of England, April 17, 1978
"I managed to hold my own among the great pacemen of my time. Many regard me as the first great one-day spinner" © PA Photos
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I played all kind of games on the street, from hockey to marbles, but not cricket. One day while playing marbles, a friend asked me to join his cricket team, which was one man short. They used to send their worst player to open the innings. The first ball I faced hit the stumps, but I was told it was a try ball so I could to stay. I was bowled the next ball as well.

I rate the basic legbreak as my most trusted weapon. It was my stock ball and I had very good control over it. It was my saviour even on my worst days.

I saw people of all ages seemed to be interested in cricket. Even older people asked each other, "What is the score?" That got me interested in cricket.

They say my temperament on the field was more that of a fast bowler.

I joined Dharampura Gymkhana, scored a century in a local tournament and became a regular in the team for the Lahore club competitions. I was often the tournament's best allrounder. But those days my father didn't approve of my playing so I used to wear my cricket kit under my salwar kameez.

Imran Khan said my record would have been much better had the DRS been around back then. Those days the umpires almost always favoured batsmen who put their front leg forward to spinners.

The real breakthrough came when I got admission through cricket into Lahore's famous Government College, the alma mater of several international cricketers. I managed the double of a century and five wickets against Islamia College, our traditional rivals. Habib Bank approached me, and in 1975-76 I took 6 for 67 on first-class debut. Within two years, I was in the Test team.

My 13 runs off Courtney Walsh's last over to win a crucial World Cup tie in 1987 is rated by many as equal to Miandad's last-ball six against India in Sharjah.

People said I had three types of googlies. I wanted to have as much variety as I could and kept practising new deliveries. I tried different angles of the arm and practised one delivery with a different number of fingers.

I told [Anil] Kumble: "You are not a big spinner of the ball. But you are fast in the air, which is your biggest strength. Simply try to twist the fingers and use the wrist more. That will add variety into your bowling."

West Indies were easily the best side in my time. My standout performance against them was in Faisalabad in 1986-87 - 6 for 16 when they were dismissed for 53.

I was selected for my first Test, against England, on the basis of my 67 wickets in the previous domestic season. I bowled well but was unlucky to get 1 for 82. Critics said I was selected too early. But in the second Test I took 6 for 44 in the first innings.

In my first three seasons of first-class cricket, I scored more than 1000 runs at an average of nearly 30, and scored a century. But over time, I paid more attention to bowling. I am only the fourth Pakistani to achieve the double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in Tests.

I declined very lucrative offers to play for English counties, Australian state teams and in South Africa, where I was offered a blank cheque, because I wanted my country to benefit the most from my art. I didn't want to expose it in the domestic circuits of other countries.

During the 1982 tour of England, Imran suggested I grow a goatee. "It will add to your aura," he said. He was right, because when I did, people remarked that I looked like a magician.

It was only in 1998-99, three years after my first-class career was over, that I played one season for Carlton in Victorian Premier Cricket. I was only the second overseas player to win the Ryder Medal for the best player in Melbourne's club competition.

Imran said that Allan Border, Viv Richards, Arjuna Ranatunga and Steve Waugh, all World-Cup winning captains, all thought I was better than Shane Warne.


Imran Khan leads the Pakistan team out of the the field, England v Pakistan, 5th Test, The Oval, 4th day, August 10, 1987
"Imran Khan is Pakistan's greatest cricketer. He had great confidence in my abilities and I owe a lot to him" © PA Photos
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When I ruptured my tendon during a charity match in London, Nassem Hassan Shah, the PCB chairman, declined to help because I wasn't playing for Pakistan. It cost me about 1.5 million rupees. Towards the end of my international career, I had a head injury during net practice. Again the board refused to help.

My international career coincided with the era of fast bowlers The great spinners like Bedi, Chandra, Underwood, etc. had faded out. But I managed to hold my own among the great pacemen of my time. Many regard me as the first great one-day spinner.

Imran Khan is Pakistan's greatest cricketer. He had great confidence in my abilities and I owe a lot to him. Without him we would not have the fast-bowling culture in Pakistan. Imran guided the fast bowlers and taught them the importance of exercise and running, and the result is a never-ending supply of quality fast bowlers.

I captained Pakistan in ODIs and was once offered the Test captaincy. But since Javed Miandad was a more senior member of the team at that time, I refused the offer.

My most memorable tour was to England in 1982. It was a wet summer but I enjoyed success in almost every match and took nearly 50 wickets in the first-class games before the first Test. It was a major breakthrough for my international career.

All my four sons played first-class cricket. I have great hopes from Usman, my youngest. He played the Under-19 World Cup in 2010, where Pakistan were runners-up. People say his action is not too different from his father's.

Left-hand batsmen bothered me. On our 1983-84 tour, Australia planned well and stuffed their side with lefties, and I was largely ineffective.

I have been running the Abdul Qadir International Cricket Academy and Club since 2005. We have 40-50 boys from all strata of life. The academy team has been to Dubai a couple of times and to Malaysia once. A number of them have graduated to first-class cricket.

In 1987, Razaaullah, a senior member of PCB, rang me and said, "I know a Sahiwal boy by the name of Mushtaq Ahmed who is an exciting legspinning talent and his bowling action is a mirror image of yours." The touring England side was scheduled to play a three-day game at Sahiwal against the Chief Minister's XI. I asked the chairman of the selection committee to include Mushtaq in the team. Mushtaq took six wickets in first innings and was on the national selectors' radar from then on.

Many Indian batsmen played me well, especially Gavaskar, Viswanath, Amarnath and Vengsarkar. Among others, Gatting, Haynes, Aravinda and Ranatunga were the best.

I resigned as chief selector in 2009 after six months on the job. Before accepting the post, I had been assured by the PCB chief that there wouldn't be any interference in the working of the selection committee. But Intikhab Alam, Pakistan's coach, and Yawar Saeed, the manager, continuously intervened and it became intolerable.

Danish Kaneria is purely my product. The PCB boss, Lt Gen Tauqir Zia, had invited aspiring spinners from all over Pakistan to a camp in Lahore. I picked Kaneria and worked on him for one month. Imran Tahir was also my pupil before he left for South Africa.

I was always ready to help anyone. Sharne Warne visited my home in Lahore to get tips. Steve Waugh brought along Stuart MacGill, and Andy Flower asked me to teach Paul Strang.

I wasn't picked for the first game of the 1983 World Cup. I was told by the management that legspinners tend to be expensive in ODIs. I told them whenever they felt I proved costly in a game, they could drop me for the next match. In the next game, against New Zealand, I took 4 for 21 and top-scored with 41 Thereafter I was more or less an automatic choice in Pakistan's one-day side.

Saqlain Mushtaq benefited from a tip I gave him. He used to bowl the doosra with a higher trajectory. I told him to deliver it with the same trajectory as his other balls to avoid it being picked up by batsmen.

I enjoyed lofting spinners for sixes.

My best batting performance was scoring my Test highest of 61 against England in 1987-88. It included four sixes off John Emburey.


Abdul Qadir speaks to the media after quitting as chairman of selectors, Lahore, June 12, 2009
"I resigned as chief selector because of constant interference by the coach and manager" © AFP
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I played my last full season of first-class cricket in 1994-95 and took 52 wickets at little over 20. The PCB asked me to play for Pakistan but I declined as I had already decided that my time was over.

An essential quality for a spinner is the ability to land the ball wherever he wants.

One of the best tributes I ever received was from the greatest spinner of all time, Shane Warne. He wrote, "To the best. Thanks for everything. I look forward to catching up with you. Sincerely, Warne."

Twenty20 is good entertainment. It is also benefitting cricketers and boards, and has brought back crowds to stadiums. I appreciate IPL, but it should be rotated and held in a different country every year.

Once in England, a few old ladies came out of a lift I was waiting for, and one of them screamed, "Is it you, Abdul? My daughter, who otherwise has no interest in cricket, always enjoys watching you bowl. She says, 'Mama, when Abdul is bowling it seems a young lady is dancing on the floor'."

Ijaz Chaudhry writes on cricket and other sports. For more about him and samples of his published work, visit www.sportscorrespondent.info

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Posted by vedichitesh on (May 27, 2011, 5:59 GMT)

Very good spinner.... great.... and level headed.....

Posted by Engle on (May 25, 2011, 22:27 GMT)

Many fascinating snippets about Qadir. Imran mentioned how at times Qadir was so frustrated by the umpires bewilderment of his bowling, that he wanted to fore warn the ump prior to his delivery what to expect ! I.Botham when questioned once on when did he realize that Qadir's LB was in fact a googly, responded " When it fetched up in short-leg's hands ". Only in slow motion can one see the deceit of the delivery. It starts out as a LB when immediately leaving his hand, but by the time it reaches the batsman, the LB moves on another axis and becomes a googly. Abracadabra - Abdul Qadir.

Posted by doesitmatter on (May 25, 2011, 19:43 GMT)

One of the greats..but him saying he had 3 googlies has to be a big googly..4th googly :)

Posted by moonuranus on (May 25, 2011, 18:53 GMT)

Modest chap.Wish he was more outspoken about his talents.

Posted by Irfan_Muzammil on (May 25, 2011, 16:55 GMT)

For everyone who has issues with Abdul Qadir's character, please read this article http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/447092.html and then comment

Posted by Venki_indian on (May 25, 2011, 14:50 GMT)

just a good bowler but not gr8...over promoting himself

Posted by Eliya_Abbas_ on (May 25, 2011, 14:34 GMT)

I hate to put this is in, particularly as I think Tendulkar is one of the best batsmen to play the game, but the 4 sixes thing has to be put in context. Apart from the fact it was an unofficial ODI, Tendulkar was dropped off Qadir in the middle of that over. As it is, good fun all around, but lets put our history in perspective, shall we.... *PS: Don't forget, Warnie's wouldn't be out there in Cricket had it not been for Qadir!*

Posted by   on (May 25, 2011, 12:48 GMT)

That was a great side Imran brought to England in 1982. I got Abdul Qadir's autograph when they came to Scotland although unfortunately he didn't play in that match. I was 18 and people of our generation had virtually never seen a leg-spinner in first-class cricket. Neither, apparently, had most of the England batsmen. (Then again, that was the team that collapsed to Mudassar Nazar's bowling...)

Posted by saad_619 on (May 25, 2011, 10:59 GMT)

an excellent gem for pakistan and one of the best players pakistan has produced

Posted by Bilal_Choudry on (May 25, 2011, 10:58 GMT)

@Srini81 the man acknowledges is weakness and who played him best so i dont think your argument holds here

Posted by harshalb on (May 25, 2011, 6:34 GMT)

Nice interview from Abdul Qadir, one of our past legends. I liked to watch him during 82-83 India-Pakistan series. Real artist and a great spinner. To those who like to compare past greats and belittle them - chill. These cricketers are ALL OUR. There are no national boundaries.

Posted by Engle on (May 25, 2011, 3:28 GMT)

Some of the readers here lack the perceptive depth. Qadir was being honest in expressing his feelings. Great athletes have the ability to fascinate. Ali was the ultimate self-promoter. Don't tell me he he wasn't great because of his lack of humility.

Posted by   on (May 25, 2011, 2:44 GMT)

Abdul Qadir is all time best leg break googly bowler, no doubt. Only Pakistan produced the best spinners. Abdul Qadir who was famous for his googly, Saqlain Mushtaq who invented "Doosra". If Abdul was playing today he would not care for 3rd class leagues, IPL.

This is another excellent & classic article by Ijaz Chaudhry. Ijaz always writes informative articles about cricket legends. He should keep writing & keep us in touch with cricket legends.

Posted by   on (May 25, 2011, 2:29 GMT)

Qadir was one of the real Greats, not only of Pakistan Cricket, but world cricket. Thanks for bringing back memories from an era when cricket was cricket and not the ruthless, cutthroat tension filled game as it is now. I salute Qadir for being there and now too, with his academy for young boys, and to you to refresh our good memories.

Posted by   on (May 25, 2011, 2:25 GMT)

To the various Indians who are talking of Sachin hitting him 4 sixes, and belittling him by saying that he is self promoting himself, are making me laugh. First of all, the if Sachin hit him, then a rookie Shoiab Akhtar's first ever bowl to Sachin in 1999 uprooted his middle stump! Does that mean Sachin is nothing? before that he bowled "The Wall" as well! You guys are making me laugh, when Sachin hit him he was ending his career, and Sachin was starting his. Plus he himself had said that that tour he had said that this boy is going to make a mark. Secondly, he did not tell Shane Warne to come to his home in Lahore, but Warne himself reached him. He is a legend when leggies were no considered ODI bowlers. Regarding strike rate and umpiring, dear he did his job very well. Else he would not be training chaps in Australia or Steve Waugh would not have approached him. Had he played the amount of ODI's others played, no belittling Warne who is the best Leg break of this decade!

Posted by absha1 on (May 25, 2011, 1:50 GMT)

I hate to put this is in, particularly as I think Tendulkar is one of the best batsmen to play the game, but the 4 sixes thing has to be put in context. Apart from the fact it was an unofficial ODI, Tendulkar was dropped off Qadir in the middle of that over. As it is, good fun all around, but lets put our history in perspective, shall we.

Posted by mrmonty on (May 24, 2011, 23:22 GMT)

@Kalyan, Agree completely. Was a great leg-spinner, but appears a non-stop self-promoter.

Posted by DivyanandValsan on (May 24, 2011, 23:19 GMT)

I felt that he was just being honest...Just wondering whether he has read this article and the comments in it...Lets not disrespect legends of the game..

Posted by Srini81 on (May 24, 2011, 22:32 GMT)

The hallmark of a great person (let alone a cricketer) is his humility. The individual simply performs his assigned role or responsibilty and leaves it upto others, to make a judgement. This person, though he might be a 'good' cricketer, seems to think.. trumpeting his horn... in a myriad ways will eventually acheive him the desired 'greatness'. He forgets that its earned and not bought. Yes, we do appreciate his contribution to the game, but it will sound a million times better.. if he lets others tell tales about his achievements. With this interview, he has degraded himself !!

Posted by moBlue on (May 24, 2011, 22:07 GMT)

@Waseem Sarwar Warraich: bhajji is *not* a nothing bowler to us IND fans... even if bhajji had never played cricket for IND ever again after the IND-AUS series in 2001 in IND, he would still be my hero! i mean, that dude, even more than VVS, won us *that* test series against a mighty world champion team that had not lost something like 14 tests on the trot, k? :) ...and he was *brilliant* and unplayable [ask ricky!] during that test series! :) he also bowled brilliantly less than 6 months ago in SA in the tests and saved our blushes on "unhelpful" pitches [and won the second test for us, in fact!] against a strong SA team that was poised to kick IND royally.

Posted by likeintcricket on (May 24, 2011, 22:05 GMT)

If hitting sixes is the standard than Gayle and Gilchrist are much better than SRT and the Zaheer Khan and Co are the worst bowlers around(IPL)

Posted by moBlue on (May 24, 2011, 21:59 GMT)

first of all, peepul, stop exaggerating [though i will stand corrected, if i am mistaken]... qadir got hit by sachin for 2 consecutive sixes, and his clone, mushtaq, got hit for 2 sixes and 1 four, or 3 sixes, consecutively [i forget... though i watched it live...] - and it was in an *unofficial* ODI, which means the pressure on sachin would have been far less than might have been the case if it were an official regular ODI... and it is just one game! sachin didn't own qadir like he owned shane warne - in one series after another! :)

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 21:51 GMT)

Yes this is the same bowler that was hit by SRT, but I seriously doubt it was very serious contest that day. But, SRT plays legspin very well, but chokes on off-spin, Saqlain and Ajmal has put SRT to his knees on numerous occasions, recent one was the Mohali batting dislay by SRT where he had 6 lives, and did not know which way the ball would spin,

Posted by moBlue on (May 24, 2011, 21:48 GMT)

@Jim1207: you are right! *that* - the 16-year old sachin hammering qadir and musthtaq to submission in that unofficial ODI - is the second-most precious memory i have of sachin when he was too young to have a mustache! the most precious memory of mine, of course, is of sachin waiting in anticipation on his back foot for yet another bouncer from waqar younis on the very next ball after his nose was bloodied in his first test match [in the second inning - after having been clueless in the first inning - poor kid! :) ], and hammering *that* bouncer with an upper cut to deep backward point! defiance and focus personified, indeed, in one so young, along with a shrewd cricket brain that *knew* another merciless bouncer was on its way... early hints of a rare genius...

Posted by bigdhonifan on (May 24, 2011, 20:36 GMT)

Is this the same bowler to whom Sachin hit 4 consecutive sixes???

Posted by Rakim on (May 24, 2011, 20:27 GMT)

"Imran said that Allan Border, Viv Richards, Arjuna Ranatunga and Steve Waugh, all World-Cup winning captains, all thought I was better than Shane Warne."

enough said !!

Greatest !!

Posted by SaudAlvi on (May 24, 2011, 20:23 GMT)

Abdul Qadir was a very decent spinner - the interview does not have question only answers which makes him sound a lot less humble :) - SRT -- come on guys ... I have not seen a better cricketer against leg spin - SRT toys with leg spinners (specially the ones that try to spin it not just ball quick straight-ish deliveries ). I copy Abdul Qadir when I have the ball and SRT when I have bat in my hand works great for me ;)

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 20:17 GMT)

People may call him immodest .. but to know Abdul Qadir is to know what makes the man. He is an honest man, devoid of complications - but unlike Bishan Bedi ( a master craftsman of spin himself), he doesn't exude rancor about money he didn't make, standard of the game now, or how bad present day spinners are. He gives credit to Warne, Kumble, Mushtaq and Saqlain for carving their own destiny - but I totally trust him that he'd have passed on those little tips. He's not a Fred Trueman who'd just cook up anecdotes. He was a magician of his craft and to hold his own through the 80s when few spinners even got a regular run in their international sides, is a testimony of his skills. ( and even before Sachin, .. the way he singles out Gatt, Haynes, Gavaskar etc as good players of spin, or admits to lefties rendering him ineffective reeks of honesty as much as pride).

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 20:05 GMT)

A world class spinner, no doubt..! While reading, I got the initial impression that his replies were very self-centric... but as I kept reading more, I realized that he was just being honest & candid.. Good one!

Posted by likeintcricket on (May 24, 2011, 19:57 GMT)

@Dhruv Makkad, than it could be International Premier League. The peoples who actually watched him bowling and the players who played against him still admire him the most. He had so many varieties so that just watching him bowl was a fun itself. Indian players played him well on wickets where getting a side out once was a great achievement. Australian players played him well on fast track under their own umpires(Ask Mr. Gavaskar about Aussies umpiring standards in those times). The players in that era were technically better Test players than what they are today. The teams played much lesser Test matches than what they are playing today. With new rules regarding LBWs and DRS system and Test under neutral umpires with inferior quality batsman and with teams like Zimbabwae etc around, Qadir could easily finish up along with Murali and Warne.

Posted by mars2009 on (May 24, 2011, 19:28 GMT)

If there was no Abdul Qadir , world would had not seen Shane Warne!! Abdul Qadir revive the art of leg spin. Before him there was no concept of spinner bowling in slog overs. Stats doesn't reflect the quality of cricketer, courtney walsh and allan borders have loads of wickets and runs but they can't get berth in their country's all-time eleven. Pakistanis keep on giving new things to cricket, reverse sweep (mohammed brothers) , reverse swing (sarfraz, imran ) and last but not least doosra (saqlian).

Posted by Hassan.Farooqi on (May 24, 2011, 19:03 GMT)

Yes he sounds like saying "I I I" a lots, and sounds like a self centered person. First, he was asked specific questions about him, so his answers had to include so many "I". Second, bowlers not as good as him have become legends e.g. Shane Warne. Qadir would have taken many more wickets had the stupid umpires of his time had any idea how much variety his spin had, and had he not damaged his spinning finger. Come on folks, give him his due place. He is someone who should be recognized as a legend. At a time when ODI was supposed to have killed Test Cricket, and spinners looked useless in ODI, and the art of spin bowlers seemed to have come to an end, he proved spinners could be match winners in ODIs. Now watch spinners open with new ball in ODIs. This is all to the credit of Qadir.

Posted by SRT_GENIUS on (May 24, 2011, 18:33 GMT)

Abdul Kadir was a great legspinner. I wouldn't take away anything from him just because Sachin was able to hit him.

Posted by nawfalhasan on (May 24, 2011, 18:27 GMT)

He is a honest man, and finds pride in his achievements. He does tip Imran as the greatest Pakistani cricketer, admits how lefties and Indian batsmen have tamed him. He talks it all straight from heart. Yes he aint modest, but thats nothing as much as to be a complaint against him. I mean he didnt sound arrogant!

Posted by Engle on (May 24, 2011, 17:54 GMT)

Prior to Qadir's time, we had Bedi,Chandra, Underwood, Gibbs. After Qadir's time we had Murali, Warne, Kumble, Bhajji...but DURING Qadir's time there was no spinner of note. He alone held aloft the spinners craft amongst a plethora of pacemen. Not a single spinner went past 200 Test wkts. Schoolboys of today will never know nor fathom the concern amongst the administrators that spinners were a dying breed during the 80's, smothered by the over supply of pacemen. Qadir made the cover of The Cricketer magazine and at one time was considered one of the top 3 bowlers of all-time along with Barnes and Lindwall by no less an authority than David Frith.

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 17:11 GMT)

Abul Qadir is all time best leg spinner. Pakistan does play matches in bunches, that is why Pakistani bowlers do not have lot of wickets.

The best spinners are produced by Pakistan not India. Abdul Qadir was Googly specialist. Doosra is Suqlain Mushtaq's invention. If Abdul Qadir was playing today he would not care about the 3rd class tournament (IPL).

Ijaz Chaudhry always write very interesting, informative articles, and this one is another great addition to his list of articles. He reminds of our legend cricketers & provides very interesting facts to us too. Ijaz keep writing.

Posted by Aloke_Mondkar on (May 24, 2011, 17:09 GMT)

Hmm...the one takeaway from this interview for me is that I need to market myself better in life..and should use Abdul Qadir as the guiding light for that. As someone else pointed out..a bowling average of 32..SR or 72..and outside pakistan (read without Pakistani umpires), a bowling average of 47 and SR of 97.... Clearly not the figures of a great..yet if you believe this interview..you might think that this man was the combination of the best of what Warne and Murali had to offer.

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 17:07 GMT)

Great bowler of his era but always tried to sell himself, still doing it.

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 17:07 GMT)

I dd this, I did that..in all his inteverviews. He would have earned many more fans and respect if Imran Khan gave interiview about him then he self-praising himself to the legends of Warne, Kumble and Murali.

Also I have watched him and I think he was good bowler but not to the height he is praising himself. Indians played very easily to him so he never got enough respect in India. He was mainly good against England, New Zealand and West Indies, I believe even Australia played him good.

Posted by tauiuc on (May 24, 2011, 16:59 GMT)

The Grand Vazir of spin bowling, what an outstanding bowler, kept the art of spin alive during a decade when there were not many great spinners around. When Qadir visited Australia he was big inspiration to so many bowlers, his aggressive attitude and ability to out fox the best in the circuit was outstanding. I watched a couple of his games in the stadium and the moment he would step up to bowl, it was amazing how he captured the interest of the crowd. Wish we get to see his son soon and hope he is a bigger magician than the father.

Posted by BurningBright on (May 24, 2011, 16:24 GMT)

Seems like a pompous old man.. no answer seems to be non-self praising

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 15:33 GMT)

Most of his comments seem quite self centred, the man clearly loves himself. I do however respect his bowling, never watched him bowl a ball but i am sure he was good from what I have read and heard.

Finally it wouldnt be called IPL if it wasnt played in India. Talk some sense

Posted by Truemans_Ghost on (May 24, 2011, 14:59 GMT)

Not a particularly humble man.....

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 14:48 GMT)

When will we learn to not compare player of different era; some of the comments are clear example how disrespectful people are toward crickets of other countries. The might learn how to type but their parents didn't teach them any manners; the best thing they can do is to criticize and laugh at others. Grow up guys; you are nothing to comment even on Chaten Sharma who got hit on last ball because he was good enough to represent India and you can't even represent even your street team.

Posted by absha1 on (May 24, 2011, 14:37 GMT)

Considering the fact that he was the only leg spinner around in an era of fast bowlers, when as he indicates leg spinners were not even considered one day players, he has every right to toot his own horn. It takes great confidence to be great. As for his bowling average abroad, umpires did not understand leg spin well enough, as is indicated above. Had umpiring circumstances been different, he would even have won Pakistan a series in the West Indies. You can't ask for more. He would have been far deadlier in an era of better TV coverage.

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 14:23 GMT)

Afridi hit Kumble for so many sixes that i have lost count, I remember Bhaji been hit for 3 or 4 sixes in continuous balls so does that means that they both are nothing bowler , Sachin is the greatest batter but Qadir was a good bowler, he speaks arrogance but he has a right becaz he invented a lot of new things which Warne and later leggy(s) copied and kindly don't talk about Bhaji right here, he is a nothing bowler, Anil was good, very good, even Mishra is a good bowler Bhaji is nothing when it comes to talk about good spinners.

Posted by CricketChat on (May 24, 2011, 13:53 GMT)

Qadir along with Imran were the main reasons Pak was a force to reckon with in early 80s. Sad that he was forced out as chief selector where he could have played a crucial role in unearthing new talent for them. People of his caliber and achievements understand the traits of successful sportsmen and would have been an asset in building the team.

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 13:42 GMT)

Wow, he rates himself doesn't he?

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 13:39 GMT)

Sorry , we can't give you IPL .

It has to stay in India :)

Posted by anilraj_80 on (May 24, 2011, 13:37 GMT)

The way it`s written, It looks like he has helped every spinner who was born after him.... Blowing his own horn I guess... LOL...

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 13:19 GMT)

I know Indians are proud of Sachin but it is sad to see his name brought into every discussion about any other cricketer....you need 10 more other men to make a team...so chill

Posted by Jim1207 on (May 24, 2011, 13:11 GMT)

@moBlue: The ODI match was spoiled by rain, so they decided to have an unofficial 20-overs so that spectators like you would not go in vain. Fortunately, you got to witness not only the invent of new format of Cricket, and also realized how intereting that would be when one of the world's greatest batsmen ever is going to be baptized there.

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 13:05 GMT)

Even if he was a great bowler, i smell arrogance all over in this interview. Great bowler...may be, great cricketer ...Hell NO !

Posted by The_Dynamite_Kid on (May 24, 2011, 13:02 GMT)

@Bilal_Choudry: If stats don't matter then Kapil Dev was a better all rounder than Imran Khan. Would you agree? Holding may have lesser Test wickets than Vaas but he has a far superior average and strike rate. Even Atherton has more Test runs than Bradman. What the point? As for how good he was and the magic he brought into the game, his laughable average of 47.58 at a strike rate of 97.9 outside Pakistan tells us everything. Can you name me one spinner in history who has a worse record than Qadir outside his home country? I bet you can't find one. He was nothing more than an average bowler who was absolutely pathetic outside his comfort zone.

Posted by The_Dynamite_Kid on (May 24, 2011, 12:54 GMT)

@Abdullah Haider: Forget about comparison with Shane Warne, he isn't even better than someone like Anil Kumble or even Harbhajan Singh. His laughable bowling average of almost 50 outside Pakistan is a clear testimony of that.

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 12:52 GMT)

I love the ladies coming out of the lift story. His action, and appealing, were certainly unique!

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 12:41 GMT)

a young lad by name sachin all of 16yrs hammerred him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 12:37 GMT)

I believe SR is a better way of judging most bowlers. Other criteria depend on a thing of things and match situation, role within the team etc. - Venkatraghavan was believed to be every bit as good as the other four spinners of his time, but was entrusted with a restraining role in the team. on the domestic circuit however he was as destructive as anyone. So how often does a bowler pick up wickets?

That's where Qadir falls behind guys like Murali, Warne, Kumble and even his own countrymen Saqlain, Mushtaq Mohammed and Mushtaq Ahmed and even Afridi. They all have astrike below 70 some even 60.

Posted by moBlue on (May 24, 2011, 12:23 GMT)

i find it interesting that qadir mentions gavaskar, vishvanath, amarnath and vengsarkar among IND batsmen who played him well. well, he forgot one name from my formative years... i watched *this* incident with my own eyes! it was this young batsman's first tour playing for IND against PAK in PAK in an "unofficial" ODI [i forget why it was made unofficial...] in 1989. anyway, IND was trailing *hopelessly* with no chance of winning the game with 6 wickets down (or so). the young buck - at 16 years of age - walked in and qadir apparently challenged him [i saw that he said something to him... don't know what]. the next 2 balls, the last 2 of qadir's over were lofted to long-on/mid-wicket for clean sixes as were 3 (out of 3) balls the young batter faced of the next over - bowled by mushtaq ahmed! so... 5 sixes out of 5 balls faced... IND got close to winning this game. i said 1989... y'all get one guess - i won't insult y'all! - as to who that batsman [on ODI and test debut in 1989] was! :)

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 12:05 GMT)

Watchin Qadir bowl was great! However, watching Kid Sachin hit him for 28 runs in an over at Peshawar in 1989 was better!

Posted by kapilesh23 on (May 24, 2011, 11:58 GMT)

He was a great bowler yes but not a great cricketer for me .Reading this interview one can understand that he is the most pompous character ever .Great cricketers are down right modest .

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 11:58 GMT)

Makes a great read..Btw, Courtney Walsh was given a medal for sportsman ship in the 1987 world cup match that Qadir was talking bout. he could have ran out the non striker but asked him to return back to the crese.. Qadir hit him for a six to finish off that match !

Posted by Bilal_Choudry on (May 24, 2011, 11:40 GMT)

for those who think cricket is about stats please note that holding took less wickets then vaas and probably worst record than sammy in the first 15 tests. Secondly for Dynmaite kid please read what shane warne had to say about Qadir... if you had seen him bowl which seems like u didnt cause you are 10 years old you would have known how good he was and the magic he brought in the game

Posted by delpihero on (May 24, 2011, 10:37 GMT)

Gr8 work Ijaz Bhi, now for a interview with Imran Khan

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 10:00 GMT)

perfectly written.. just loved every word of it <3

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 9:43 GMT)

@The_Dynamite_Kid Qadir was a better bowler than his stats.

In those days umpires outside the sub-continent weren't keen to give lbws to leg-spinners although most likely the batsman would have been out. The four world-cup winning captains along with Imran have said he was a better bowler than Warney, lets not forget Harbajhan is an off-spinner, much easier to spot on offies lbw than a leggies, also the trademark Qadir flipper would very rarely be given lbw, he would have to rattle the stumps to get someone out with his flipper.

In those days an ODI strike-rate of 77.1 was very good, especially for a lower-order batsman, he was a competent batsman and such as his first world cup match he always nipped in with crucial runs.

P.S. Indian batsman have always been good at playing spinners. Because they grow up playing them, Indian batsman are weaker against pacers.

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 9:39 GMT)

@The_Dynamite_Kid Qadir was a very good bowler, his stats don't show how good he was.

Imran Khan said that had the DRS been available and umpires outside the sub continent would be more neutral about giving LBWs to leg-spinners he would have had a much better record outside, in those days nobody ever gave a wicket to Qadir's flipper, one he bowled really well. A strike-rate of 77.6 in those times was one of the best, he was a lower order batsman, with competent batting at number 8 and 9, nipping in with those crucial runs, such as the first world cup match he played.

Posted by Bollo on (May 24, 2011, 9:38 GMT)

@mikeindex. yes, indeed! Certainly not shy of self-aggrandisement, but he was a wonderful bowler. In an era dominated by pace, he really created some excitement.

Posted by cric_fanatics on (May 24, 2011, 9:33 GMT)

in hindsight everybody looks top class...he was as ordinary as it gets...and tendulkar showed him his true place....

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 9:30 GMT)

@Arpa "But this interview sounded like an ad selling Qadir leg-spinners."

You make me giggle.

Posted by Quazar on (May 24, 2011, 9:25 GMT)

@The_Dynamite_Kid... sometimes you can't judge the contribution of a player to the game thro' statistics alone. Especially when the player brings a special art form to the game, as Abdul Qadir did. That, and his mentorship of exciting budding tweakers like Mushtaq, Saqlain, Warne, Kaneria and Tahir needs to be borne in mind. I mean even a Sunny Gavaskar wanted to copy his leg-spin! :)

Posted by Quazar on (May 24, 2011, 9:12 GMT)

A Guru of modern leg-spin, indeed. And the most glorious run-up of any spinner I've ever seen! As attested by that young girl. :)

Posted by The_Dynamite_Kid on (May 24, 2011, 8:56 GMT)

The man averages 47.58 with the ball at a strike rate of 97.9 outside Pakistan. It's a joke of the highest order to call such a player a 'good' one, let alone 'great'. It would be like a batsman averaging less than 20 with the bat away from his home being hailed as a 'great' batsman. Even his career average of 32.80 at a strike rate of 72.5 is extremely ordinary. He was nothing more than a decent spinner. Harbhajan Singh has a track record far better than him.

Posted by CricEshwar on (May 24, 2011, 8:50 GMT)

Very candid.

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 8:44 GMT)

Had Qadir played for any other country he would have been called as the Greatest. Warne's Googly is meek when compared to Qadir, Qadir used to turn it almost square. Could have been the greatest with more opportunities and publicity.........

Posted by mikeindex on (May 24, 2011, 8:36 GMT)

One of my favourite cricketers to watch. And clearly no sufferer from false modesty.

Posted by tick on (May 24, 2011, 7:40 GMT)

Mama, when Abdul is bowling it seems a young lady is dancing on the floor'.===lolz....great legend...i think without him legspin would have extinct species...hats of to father of modern leg spin

Posted by NBZ1 on (May 24, 2011, 7:13 GMT)

Enjoyable read, a great bowler truly. Some of the little inconsistencies are amusing though- he cites several WC-winning captains who rated him as better than Warne, but himself goes on to call Warne the greatest spinner of all-time!

Posted by Srikanth_sm on (May 24, 2011, 7:08 GMT)

Simple and refreshing to read this from the Magician. One of the greatest bowlers of all times, Qadir had this magic that every ball was set up for something to happen. His presence ensured Pakistan had one of the most varied bowling attack ( RH Fast Bowler, LH Fast Bowler, RH Offie and Qadir). It was a treat to watch his unique action ( of course even funnier when Sunil Gavaskar imitated him)

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 6:51 GMT)

I like his bowling action..!

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 6:29 GMT)

when I was young, I only played and watched cricket because of two geniuses. My cricketing gurus. 1st off course Imran Khan, I always used to copy his style in my personal as well as cricketing life. I used to copy his big hitting sixes style and I still remember his big six over longon at MCG 1992 world-cup final of the bowling of Illingworth. 2nd the one and only Abdul Qadir. The way he used to start his delivery stride and the way he approached the crease to bowl, I always think he was the magician and Michael Jackson of Cricket. I still remember his 13 runs of last over of Walsh. His flippers, his googlies and the attitude towards game of cricket. Hats off to both of these great men. May God bless both of these ....

Posted by Arpra on (May 24, 2011, 6:28 GMT)

"They say my temperament on the field was more that of a fast bowler." "Imran Khan said my record would have been much better had the ..." "My 13 runs off Courtney Walsh's last over to win a crucial World Cup tie in 1987 is rated by many as..." "People said I had three types of googlies" "Critics said I was selected too early." "people remarked that I looked like a magician." "Many regard me as the first great one-day spinner."

Everyone seems to talk a lot about Qadir. Great bowler, no doubt... But this interview sounded like an ad selling Qadir leg-spinners.

Posted by Pathiyal on (May 24, 2011, 6:22 GMT)

glad to read about Qadir. he was a pleasant sight on the field with his inimitable bowling action. used to like him v much during those days.

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 6:17 GMT)

Its good to read that the Great Shane Warne looked to be bowler like Abdul Qadir, well done Abdul Qadir

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 5:31 GMT)

Undoubted, the gr8est spinners of all time. Danish Kaneria, Imran Tahir are the products of his Spin Academy. But one thing to notice was that He appreciated the concept of IPL.

Posted by donda on (May 24, 2011, 5:10 GMT)

Abdul Qadir was most artistic , natural and talented spinner of all time. When he used to bowl , it seems like he is dancing on the pitch. No body has better leg spin bowling action that Qadir , not even shane warne.

Though shane warne is best ever but when it comes to style, art and classic leg spin, still Qadir is the best i have ever seen. Also very honest cricketer.

Posted by   on (May 24, 2011, 5:07 GMT)

what a bowler!!! top Class!!!

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