February 04, 1935, Karachi, Sind
September 01, 1994, Karachi, Sind, (aged 59y 209d)
Right hand Bat
Right arm Medium
Wallis Mathias, who died on September 1, 1994, after a brain haemorrhage, aged 59, was the first non-Muslim to play for Pakistan. He made his debut in November 1955 as a 20-year-old and played in 21 Tests over the next seven years. His greatest merit was his fielding; he was the safe pair of hands in the slips that Pakistan's strong medium-pace attack of that era desperately wanted. He had exceptional reflexes and, though he took some spectacular catches, his great skill was to make hard chances look simple. He was also a middle-order batsman whose figures did not do justice to the usefulness of his runs: he scored 783 runs in Tests at 23.72, but regularly played critical little innings. The 64 and 45 he scored in Pakistan's win over West Indies at Dacca in 1958-59 made him easily the most successful batsman in a low-scoring game; a year earlier he had scored 73 and 77 in successive Tests in the Caribbean. He played three Tests in England in 1962, but the following year he suffered a finger injury in the nets which left him with a slight deformity that restricted his brilliant catching. He continued in domestic cricket and scored 278 not out for Karachi Blues against Railway Greens in 1965-66. In 1969-70 he became National Bank's first captain and played on until 1975-76 before becoming coach, selector and manager. In 146 first-class matches he made 7,520 runs, average 44.49, including 16 centuries. He held 130 catches, 22 in Tests. He was a popular captain and a much respected man.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Batting & Fielding