Aamer Bashir, a first-class stalwart in Pakistan, lost a long-running battle to cancer on Monday morning. He was 38.

Bashir, from Multan, was a prolific middle-order batsman through the 1990s and 2000s, making a name for himself initially with Multan, United Bank Limited and Pakistan Customs.

He was, according to domestic team-mates, a man for a crisis, regularly bailing out sides with faltering top orders. He was as adept at stemming a collapse as launching a counter and his limited overs record - he averaged just under 40 in 50-over games - is testament to his attacking instincts.

He was good enough to be on the fringes of Pakistan selection for a sustained period in the earlier part of the decade; Pakistan's middle-order strength was such, however, that the closest he got was being selected in Pakistan's squad for the one-off ODI against India in Kolkata in November 2005.

But deteriorating health steadily brought him down. He played his last first-class game in February 2009 and continued playing league cricket in England. His best days were, however, gone and he had been fighting cancer on and off by then.

He was a popular team-man and over the years friends such as Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan, Rashid Latif and Basit Ali - all current or former Pakistan internationals - worked hard to ensure he received proper medical treatment.