When an athlete you follow so dearly leaves unexpectedly, or even later on in life, the experience can be painful. This was seen after the recent demise of Basketball legend, Kobe Bryant. The world is still mourning as he had such an everlasting impact that crossed beyond the game.
The world of cricket has also lost some of it’s finest legends in recent years. We at World Class Willow pay tribute to their contribution to the game.
ABDUL QADIR (15 SEPT 1995-6 SEPT 2019)
Source: Cricket AU
The father of leg-spin, the great Abdul Qadir passed away tragically in Lahore due to cardiac arrest. His death was mourned around the world by fans and international cricket stars, both serving and retired. Considered to be the innovator of the “googly”, Qadir is regarded as one of the, if not the greatest leg spinners the game has ever seen. He represented Pakistan in 67 Test matches and 104 ODIs in a career starting in the late 70s lasting till 1993. This might have been known as the era of deadly fast bowlers, but Qadir stood out with his out of the world variation of the ball where he tore down any batting line up that came up against him, which also gave him the title “magician”.
MADHAV APTE (5 OCT 1932-23 SEPT 2019)
Former Indian Test Cricketer and prominent personality with the BCCI, Madhav Apte was also one of the losses the cricket community faced in the latter half of 2019. He only played 7 Tests for the Indian national side, which he said was an unsolved mystery in his autobiography. He served as president of Cricket Club of India. He had a decent first-class career where he scored 6 100s in a career of 67 FC matches. His last ever game was a Ranji Trophy match against Saurashtra Cricket Team. An interesting fact about this man is that he is the only one to play with both the Sachin Tendulkar and the legendary D.B Deodhar.
BOB WILLIS (30 MAY 1949-4 DEC 2019)
Former England captain and Ashes Hero was also one of the prominent heroes we lost recently. The fast bowler claimed 325 wickets in 90 Tests in a fantastic career, including an excellent performance with figures of 8-43 against Australia at Headingly in a famous Test win. Almost as impressive as his Test career, the English quick had 899 First-Class wickets in 308 matches. The legend pacer was known for his long run-up and unique action. He represented Surrey and Warwickshire in county cricket. Willis also established himself as a renowned commentator after his playing days.
HANIF MOHAMMAD (21 DEC 1934-11 AUG 2016)
Source: Geo TV
The little master, Hanif Mohammad is still considered as one of the greatest batsmen to ever play Test Cricket. The first Pakistani to score a triple-hundred, he is also often referred to as the “Asian Bradman”. Even though he played just 55 Test matches for Pakistan, he was considered as the best batsmen in the world at the peak of his career. With an F-C top score of 499, he has always been the role-model for any Test Batsman starting his career, especially in Pakistan. The record of 499 stood as the highest FC score until Brian Lara passed it, 35 years later. The legend was awarded “Pride of Performance” by the Pakistani government in 1959 for his illustrious career. He passed away after a tough battle with lung cancer.
PHILLIP HUGHES (30 NOV 1988-27 NOV 2014)
The promising Australian batsmen passed away in a horrible and unfortunate accident on the cricket field, as most of us are aware. He had an immensely hopeful career ahead of him, before the freak accident. Tributes from all around the world poured in, and his teammates especially Michael Clarke paid their respects in speeches at his widely covered funeral.
As this accident took place on a cricket field, it is very important to highlight. No doubt 63 not out will be a symbol for a lifetime, but after this tragic incident, many safety measures were taken like better-improvised helmets, more safety approaches with batsmen getting concussions after bouncers, and so much more so that the death of this young man would not go to vain.
There are many more legends of the game lost in the past decade. Who do you miss the most? Share your thoughts with us.
Feature image source: Times of India