The International Cricket Council has expressed sadness at the passing away of former Pakistan captain and ICC Hall of Famer Hanif Muhammad, saying that he was an inspiration for many batsmen.
Hanif, who was 81, passed away after battling cancer. Doctored had first declared him dead only for his son to later deny the reports of his death.
However, minutes later, it was finally confirmed that the legend had passed away.h
In a statement, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said Hanif was one of the top cricketers of all-time and an idol for many batsmen.
“It’s sad to hear of Hanif’s death and I’d like to extend my condolences and those of everyone here at the ICC to Hanif’s family, which counts so many cricketers in its number.
Hanif took batting to great heights and many batsmen drew inspiration from him,” Richardson said in a statement.
“His contribution to the game has been enormous and one can only imagine the kind of impact his batting had on others over the years. Hanif’s triple-century against the West Indies was a legendary innings and unsurprisingly he was one of the original inductees into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame,” Mr Richardson said.
Hanif, who scored 3,915 runs in 55 Test matches including 12 centuries, is best known for the longest Test innings played.
He batted 970 minutes for his career-best 337 against the West Indies in Bridgetown in 1957-58. The next year, he also recorded the then highest individual first-class score of 499.
Hanif’s short stature and immaculate technique earned him the sobriquet of “Little Master” much before India batsmen Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar were referred to by the same nickname.
Hanif was among four brothers to represent Pakistan. His elder brother Wazir played along with him during Pakistan’s debut Test against India at New Delhi in 1952.
In his last Test against New Zealand in Karachi in 1969, he played along with younger brothers Mushtaq and Sadiq.
Another brother, Raees, played first-class cricket and was once the 12th man for a Test match.
Hanif’s son Shoaib Mohammad played 45 Tests and 63 One-Day Internationals for Pakistan.