Pakistan news February 2, 2016

Pakistan's oldest Test cricketer dies aged 88


File photo - Israr Ali aged 85 in 2012 Umar Farooq / © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Former Pakistan allrounder Israr Ali died in his hometown of Okara on February 1 at the age of 88. He was Pakistan's oldest living Test cricketer and had played four Tests for the country between 1952 and 1959. He died of a pneumonia attack.

Ali played 40 first-class games, taking 114 wickets at 22.63 and scoring 1130 runs at 20.54. He had begun his career playing for Punjab in 1946-47 before Pakistan and India were partitioned, and then toured India as part of the Pakistan Test side in 1952-53. He played only two Tests on that tour, and was then was recalled to the side for two Tests against Australia in 1959-60. While interacting with ESPNcricinfo in 2012, Ali recalled how he had dismissed Australia opener Les Favell in all four innings without the assistance of fielders.

He had said that one of his biggest regrets was a fallout with Pakistan captain Abdul Hafeez Kardar, which Ali believes shortened his international career.

After his playing career, Ali stayed involved in cricket administration and was president of the Multan region from 1981 to 1982, and a member of Pakistan's selection committee in 1983 and 1984, before he decided to move away from the game. "I parted from cricket after 1987, maybe because I was losing the passion, and decided to stay back in Okara," Ali had said when he was 85 years old.

Israr had been living a humble life in Okara, nearly 85 miles away from Lahore. The agricultural town has fertile land with fields of potato, tomato, sugarcane, wheat, rice and corn and in sports it is a significant nursery for hockey. Ali had been living a quiet life up until the time of his death.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • India on February 3, 2016, 5:49 GMT

    Sounds like a fine gentleman. Thank you for your service to the game and wish you peace.

  • Sanjay on February 3, 2016, 0:59 GMT

    Pakistan Test Cap #6, may your soul rest in peace.

  •   Matthew Woolston on February 2, 2016, 23:40 GMT

    RIP Israr, you have served your country well.

  • KIRTIKUMAR on February 2, 2016, 19:00 GMT

    The game of cricket lost one of its finest player. He was an inspiration to the generation that followed him. He will be known for his simplicity and his devotion to the game. May his soul rest in peace.

  • Kunal on February 2, 2016, 16:30 GMT

    May his soul Rest in Peace.

  • Junaid Alam on February 2, 2016, 15:39 GMT

    May his Soul rest in peace and find place in Jannat

  • fahid on February 2, 2016, 13:03 GMT

    Golden era man........may his soul rest in peace

  •   Richardson Mzaidume on February 2, 2016, 10:41 GMT

    These are real heroes of the game. These are people who are in it for the good of the game and when they pass on they leave behind wonderful legacy. RIP sir. You've done your part and thanks a million times for your contribution.

  • Irfan Haider on February 2, 2016, 10:35 GMT

    May his soul rest in peace ameen

  • khurram on February 2, 2016, 10:26 GMT

    may ALLAH rest his soul in peace

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