Abdul Qadir: Former Pakistan cricketer dies aged 63

Leg-spinner, who played 67 Tests and 104 ODIs for Pakistan, died in Lahore of cardiac arrest.

    Qadir took 368 wickets for Pakistan in his 16-year career [AFP]
    Qadir took 368 wickets for Pakistan in his 16-year career [AFP]

    Abdul Qadir, the former Pakistan cricketer who was widely regarded as one of the greatest leg-spinners in history, has died of a cardiac arrest.

    Qadir's son, Salman Qadir, told reporters in Lahore on Friday his father was rushed to hospital but did not survive.

    Qadir played 67 Tests from 1977-90, taking 236 wickets including 9-56 against England at Lahore in 1987.

    He made his One-Day International (ODI) debut in the 1983 World Cup, and took 132 wickets in 104 games before retiring in 1993.

    He was an influential figure in Pakistan's most successful teams in the 1980s and later a mentor to the next generation of leg-spinners, including Australia's Shane Warne and Pakistan's Mushtaq Ahmed.

    Qadir served Pakistan cricket in various roles, including chief selector in 2008. He also ran a private cricket academy just outside PCB headquarters at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

    The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on its official Twitter account it was "shocked" and "devastated" by the death of the "maestro".

    "The PCB, like every Pakistani, is proud of his services to cricket and Pakistan," chairman Ehsan Mani said in a statement. "His contributions and achievements were not only limited to on-field, but he ensured he transferred the art of leg-spin to the up-and-coming cricketers."

    Commentating for Sky Sports during the fourth Ashes Test between England and Australia, Warne said Qadir was a "brilliant, brilliant bowler".

    "I had the opportunity to meet him in 1994 on my first tour to Pakistan," the Australian said.

    "I think a lot of people who bowled leg-spin, like I did, he was the guy who we looked up to in the 80s. He was the main leg-spinner in that era. He was a terrific bowler who bamboozled a lot of batsmen. His record is a terrific one."

    SOURCE: News agencies