LAHORE: The former England captain and former secretary of Test and County cricket Board (TCCB) Donald Carr, who passed away in England last Sunday, visited Pakistan three times in different capacities.
He first visited the country in 1955-56 as captain of MCC team, second in 1987 as the representative of ICC ahead of World Cup 1987 and then in 1992 as match referee for the Test matches between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Javed Malik, a former cricket administrator, talked to ‘The News’ recalling his memories of Carr’s visit to Pakistan.
He said Carr was not only an outstanding cricketer and administrator, but he was also a good human being.
When Carr visited Pakistan as referee in 1991-92 season, Malik was gentleman-in-waiting for Carr on behalf of the Board.
Malik asked his close friend Imtiaz Sipra, the then Editor Sports The News Lahore, to accompany him to the airport to receive the Englishman to which the latter promptly agreed.
“Donald Carr’s host in Sialkot was Javed Aslam, the then Deputy Commissioner of Sialkot,” recalled Malik, who was associated with the Pakistan Cricket Board when it was headed by Justice Dr Nasim Hassan Shah.
Carr termed his visit to Sialkot as “wonderful”.
He visited Rawalpindi in March 1987 as a representative of ICC to see the preparations at different venues for World Cup matches.
Rawalpindi Club, now Army Stadium, was to host a match. When, accompanied by the then President Rawalpindi Division Cricket Association Prof Ishtiaq Hussain Shah, Carr reached the Pindi Club Ground he looked totally upset and remarked: “Will this ground, with a small pavilion of two rooms, will host the World Cup match?”
However, when he was briefed about the future planning he was a bit satisfied but still wanted a guarantee from the high-ups of the Board.
The next day Prof Ishtiaq arranged a meeting of Carr with Zia-ul-Haq who assured him of foolproof arrangements for the match.
The President also invited him to March 23 parade the next day at the race course ground to see how the army people can make temporary arrangements for the public.
Carr witnessed the parade in 1987 and approved Pindi Club ground as the venue for the World Cup. The first visit of Carr to Pakistan was way back in 1955-56 when he led the MCC team.