Mohammad Jahangir Khan
February 01, 1910, Basti Ghuzan, Jullundur (now Jalandhar), Punjab
July 23, 1988, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, (aged 78y 173d)
Right hand Bat
Right arm Fast medium
Jahangir Khan, Dr Mohammad, who died in Lahore on July 23, 1988, aged 78, played four Test matches for India in the 1930s and, after Partition, made an important contribution as a player, administrator and selector to the development of cricket in Pakistan. His son, Majid, captained Pakistan, as did his nephews, Javed Burki and Imran Khan. All three emulated him in gaining Blues; Majid like his father at Cambridge, his cousins at Oxford. An elder son, Asad, won his Blue at Oxford.
A medium-fast bowler and attacking right-hand bat, Jahangir Khan made a spectacular entry into first-class cricket at Lawrence Gardens, Lahore in March 1929, scoring 108 and then taking two for 25 and seven for 42 as the Muslims beat the Hindus by an innings and 88 runs. In his second game, also in that Lahore Tournament, opening the bowling against the Europeans he took ten wickets (six for 49 and four for 48) as the Muslims won by an innings and 74 runs. He was not called on to bat. His début in Test cricket, if not as dramatic, did not pass unnoticed. At Lord's in 1932, in India's inaugural Test, he dismissed Holmes, Woolley, Hammond and Paynter in the second innings while conceding just 60 runs from 30 overs. He had not taken a wicket in the first innings. In the first-class matches on the tour, he scored 448 runs at 19.47 and took 53 wickets at 29.05, bowling from an economical approach with a side-on action and somewhat slinging delivery which allowed him to vary his pace and at times produce an unexpected quicker ball. He was then 22, and it goes without saying that he was a great asset to Cambridge in the four years after going up that autumn. He played at Lord's against Oxford from 1933 to 1936 and was prominent in the convincing Cambridge wins of his last two years, capturing six wickets in 1935 and again in 1936. Equally important, his accuracy and stamina enabled him to tie down the opposing batsmen for long periods. Later in 1936 he joined up with the Indian touring side and played in all three Tests but with little influence on their fortunes. He did not take a wicket and two innings of 13 at Lord's were his best with the bat. Outside the Tests he took 40 wickets at 21.90 and scored 276 runs at 17.25.
It was in 1936 also that there occurred the sparrow incident with which his name has become associated. Playing for Cambridge against MCC at Lord's, he was bowling to T. N. Pearce, who had just played a defensive push when it was noticed that the bails had been dislodged. It was then that a dead sparrow was found beside the stumps. The unfortunate bird was stuffed and subsequently displayed in the Memorial Gallery at Lord's; but while legend has it that the sparrow was struck by the ball in flight, it is thought no-one actually saw this happen.
While at Cambridge, Jahangir was invited in 1933 and 1934 to represent the Gentlemen against the Players at Folkestone and he also appeared for MCC. From 1940-41 to 1945-46 he played for Northern India, as captain in the first two seasons, and after Partition for Punjab from 1951-52 to 1955-56, by when he was 46. In 111 first-class matches he scored 3,319 runs with an average of 22.12 and four hundreds, took 326 wickets at 25.06 and held 79 catches. His highest score was 133 for Cambridge against Nottinghamshire at Fenner's in 1936 and his best bowling eight for 33 for the Muslims against the Europeans at Lahore in 1929-30.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
The man who bowled the ball that killed a sparrow at Lord's, Dr Mohammad Jahangir Khan, died in Lahore on July 23. He was 78. A tall, fast-medium bowler and a useful right-hand batsman, Jahangir Khan was born in Jullundur in 1910, and made his first-class debut in India for the Moslems in 1928-29. He was selected for India's first Test tour of England, in 1932, taking 4 for 60 in the second innings of the only Test, at Lord's, his distinguished victims being Holmes, Woolley, Hammond and Paynter. In all, he returned the respectable figures of 448 runs (19.47) and 53 wickets (29.05) on the tour, the highlight with the bat coming at Liverpool, where he scored 68 in adding 125 in 80 minutes for the ninth wicket with Amar Singh. He played in the three Tests of India's 1936 tour of England, but failed to take another wicket, ending his four-Test career with 39 runs (5.57) and four wickets (63.75).
From 1933 to 1936 he was up at Cambridge, winning Blues in all four years and taking 11 wickets in the 1933 match against Yorkshire. The famous 'sparrow' incident came in 1936 when he was playing for the university against MCC on July 3. Jahangir bowled to T. N. Pearce, and the ball struck and killed an unfortunate sparrow, which was stuffed and now occupies a display case in the Lord's museum.
During his time in England, Jahangir twice represented the Gentlemen against the Players, in the Folkestone encounters of 1933 and 1934. In the first year he went wicketless, recording 0 for 70 as the Players ran up 552 for 8 dec: Ames made 201, Ashdown 117 and R. C. Robertson-Glasgow took 3 for 207. Jahangir had more success in 1934, taking 1 for 46 and 3 for 91, dismissing Hammond (both innings) and Woolley.
He continued to play first-class cricket until 1955-56, captaining Northern India in 1940-41 and 1941-42 (in which season he scored 125 not out v NWFP at Lahore).
Wisden Cricket Monthly
Batting & Fielding