Hanif Mohammad 1934-2016 August 11, 2016

The original 'Little Master', Pakistan's Hanif Mohammad dies aged 81

ESPNcricinfo staff

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WATCH - 'Hanif Mohammad - one of Pakistan's finest'

Hanif Mohammad, the original "Little Master" who played the longest innings in Test cricket, has died at the age of 81. He had been undergoing treatment for respiratory complications from his lung cancer in Karachi's Aga Khan hospital. Late on August 8, he was shifted to the ICU and placed on a ventilator. Hanif was diagnosed with the cancer in 2013, for which he received treatment in London.

Hanif played 55 Tests, including Pakistan's first. Imtiaz Ahmed, 88, and Waqar Hasan, 83, are the only two survivors from that team. Hanif was renowned for his immaculate defensive technique. He scored 3915 runs at an average of 43.98. His best was an epic 337 as Pakistan saved the Barbados Test in 1958 while following on. It was the longest first-class innings then. At 970 minutes, it is still the longest Test innings.

Hanif also held the record for the highest first-class score, 499 which he made for Karachi against Bahawalpur in 1959. The record stood for 35 years before Brian Lara surpassed the record by scoring 501 for Warwickshire against Durham.

Hanif was born in Junagadh in the Indian state of Gujarat. He and his four brothers moved to Pakistan after partition; four of the five brothers played Tests while Raees, the fifth, was a 12th man once. At least one of the Mohammad brothers played in Pakistan's first 101 Tests. Hanif's son Shoaib played 45 Tests and grandson Shehzar 30 first-class matches. In 2010, a Cricinfo jury chose Hanif as the opener alongside Saeed Anwar in the all-time Pakistan Test XI.

After retiring as an international cricketer, Hanif co-founded the magazine The Cricketer Pakistan in 1972, which he edited for two decades. He also served as the manager of the formidable Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) team, which won the domestic one-day tournament, Wills Cup, three years in a row in the 1980s.

ICC's chief executive David Richardson paid tribute to Hanif, pointing to the impact that his triple-century against West Indies had. "It's sad to hear of Hanif's death and I'd like to extend my condolences and those of everyone here at the ICC to Hanif's family, which counts so many cricketers in its number," Richardson said in a press statement. "Hanif took batting to great heights and many batsmen drew inspiration from him.

"His contribution to the game has been enormous and one can only imagine the kind of impact his batting had on others over the years. Hanif's triple-century against the West Indies was a legendary innings and unsurprisingly he was one of the original inductees into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jawwad on August 16, 2016, 19:34 GMT

    So long Hanif Mohammad. May your soul rest in piece.

  •   Cricinfouser on August 16, 2016, 18:52 GMT

    Hanif Mohammad was the best opening batsman of Pakistan ever. it is real sad that after the era of Hanif and Mohammad brothers Karachi has not produce many players to compete in international cricket. I a not blaming the PCB or the selectors but blaming the Karachi cricket brand but the Sind minister of sports.

  • raghu on August 13, 2016, 4:30 GMT

    Rest In Peace sir. True Legend

  • Syed Ali Raza Gardezi on August 12, 2016, 19:32 GMT

    rest in peace legend.The world of cricket would miss you dearly.One true test batsmen that Pakistan had.

  • amjad on August 12, 2016, 18:42 GMT

    Hanif mohammed was the greatest just like mohammed ali was the greatest . Both were geniuses and both shared the same name.... mohammed

  •   Cricinfouser on August 12, 2016, 17:10 GMT

    In the 50's and early 60's the mix between Karachi and Punjab players was half and half. Karachi players were good batsmen and wicket-keepers while Punjab excelled in fast bowling. Out of 221 new caps approx. 50 were given to players from Karachi. But since 2000 out of 60 new caps only 9 were given to players from Karachi. But these new caps have played very little test cricket as the likes of Faisal Iqbal and Fawad Alam, Mohammad Sami, Manzoor Junior, Tanvir Ahmad, Anwar Ali have played very few tests. Only Asad Shafiq has played regularly and Sarfaraz Ahmad was introduced when Adnan Akmal got injured, so Sarfaraz was not the first choice but he has never looked back or given a chance to be dropped. Players from Karachi needs equal exposure to show their talent, I am not saying that they may be selected if they are undeserving but if none of these players are in the 32 for the camp how can they show their talent. These are the statistics of test matches the ODI situation is even wor

  • Rav on August 12, 2016, 15:47 GMT

    Such a legend and a gentleman. I find my declining interest in cricket to be matching the loss of legends of recent years. Hanif was a classic test cricketer from a by-gone age, the likes of which we will never see again. Reading articles about him makes me wish for a time travel device.

  • Hamid Goraya on August 12, 2016, 15:18 GMT

    Cricinfo please correct it : Hanif is not just of Pakistan' but an assest of world cricket. We are proud of you little master. You are an inspiration for cricketers at home and away. RIP

  • Paul on August 12, 2016, 10:27 GMT

    970 minutes?? When was the last time an international batsman batted half that time? Thats what test cricket is all about, the concentration is incredible.