Commentator and diplomat Jamsheed Marker dies at 95

Jamsheed Marker with the then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan AFP

Iconic Pakistani radio commentator Jamsheed Marker died in Karachi on Thursday. Marker, 95, was one half of a famous commentary duo in the 1950s and 60s, partnering Omar Qureshi to provide English-language cricket commentary to fans across the country who, at the time, had precious little access to the game.

Marker was born in 1922 to a Parsi family and went on to attend Forman Christian College in Lahore. He was from a prosperous family, with his family connections likely playing a part in him being offered to pair up with Qureshi for Radio Pakistan. Initially sceptical about accepting the offer, he was said to have been persuaded by Qureshi, the pair going on to become the voice of Pakistani cricket.

Marker is globally celebrated as one of Pakistan's most famous diplomats, having served as under-secretary-general at the United Nations, and later as a special advisor to former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan. Among his career highlights is the key role he played in the independence of East Timor. He is believed to have had more postings than any other ambassador.

In his later years, his connection to the game weakened, and in one of his last interviews last year he said he did not follow the sport anymore. One of cricket's great traditionalists - and, it may be argued, elitists - he said, "I have been disappointed, I must say, [with how the game has evolved]. In the old classic days, the players went on to the field like white sparrows, not dressed like clowns."