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April 26, 2006

Nazir Junior says goodbye to cricket after 42 years

Health

AFP
April 26, 2006

KARACHI: Mohammad Nazir, popularly known as Nazir Junior, officiated in his final first-class match as an umpire on Tuesday, when he stood in the 2005-06 Pentangular Cup Cricket Championship encounter between National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and Karachi Harbour, at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

At the end of the match, which NBP won and with it also the Pentangular Cup title, Nazir was also presented a special shield for his services to cricket, at the awards ceremony presided over by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar M Khan.

Nazir, who was born in Rawalpindi on March 8, 1946, turned 60 last month and has retired after a cricketing career that lasted some forty-two (42) years. He made his first-class debut as an off-spinner of just 18 years of age back in 1964-65 and played uninterrupted until the end of 1987-88, only for the Pakistan Railways.

He created a sensation, in the first Test against New Zealand at Karachi in 1969-70, when on his debut he captured seven wickets for 99 runs in an innings. Unfortunately, over a period of a decade and a half, he gained only 14 Test caps for Pakistan, taking 34 wickets at 33.05 runs each with three five-wickets-in-an-innings feats.

From 1980-84, he also appeared in four One-day Internationals for the country, his return being three expensive wickets for 156 runs. In a long first-class career, however, he played 180 matches and captured 829 wickets at only 19.26 apiece. He took five wickets in an innings 63 times and 10 in a match on 16 occasions.

In his role as a player, he made four tours abroad with the Pakistan team. Two of them were to England, in 1971 and 1974, and then to Australia as well as India, both during the 1983-84 season.

He was also a determined lower-order batsman, coming to the rescue of his teams on several occasions. In his first-class career, he totalled 4,242 runs at an average of 22.20 that included two centuries. He was a capable fielder and

held 86 catches.

From 1992 until Tuesday, Nazir stood as umpire in a total of 110 first-class matches. He also officiated in four Test matches (1997-2000) and 11 One-day Internationals (1994-2000).