Not good enough!

January 10, 2016

Not good enough!

Aftab Baloch once scored 428 runs in a first-class match. He had an average of over 41 and 20 centuries. In his first Test, against New Zealand in 1969-70, he scored 25 in the first innings and did not bat in the second. But he was forgotten till 1975 when he got his second chance. In this match, against West Indies, he scored 60 not out in Pakistan’s second innings. He must have been happy with himself. But he didn’t know he was never to play again for Pakistan. And the reason was never told.


This right arm fast-medium bowler took six wickets each in two Tests against India, in Kanpur and Kolkata. In Kanpur, his victims included Viswanath, Gavaskar and Kirmani. In Kolkata, Viswanath and Kirmani once again fell to his bowling.

He played his fifth match in Faisalabad in 1980. Only 12 wickets fell in that match, including two run-outs. He took one wicket for 59.

He got his next chance in 1982 against England at Headingley, Leads. He bowled opener Graeme Fowler. That was his last victim in international cricket. With 507 wickets in 134 first-class matches, he stopped playing in 1986.

Wasim Haider

He was part of the squad that won the 1992 World Cup. He must have been sure of getting more opportunities after that. But he never did. His career began and ended in that World Cup. Despite being an able all-rounder, he was never again considered for Pakistan.

As a batsman, he had an average of 30 in first class. As a bowler, he took 261 wickets from 132 matches. He retired in 2002.

Iqbal Sikandar

Exactly similar was the case of Iqbal Sikandar. He played four ODIs in that World Cup, including the semi-final against New Zealand. He played first-class cricket till 1999-2000, but never managed to beat Mushtaq Ahmad or other spinners to grab a spot in the team. He took 658 wickets in 189 matches.

Khurshid Akhtar

This left-arm spinner took 353 wickets in just 73 matches in first class cricket, but was never considered worthy of playing for the country. He stopped playing in 1983 and died two years later at a young age of 40.

Amin Lakhani

A left arm spinner, who achieved two hat-tricks against visiting India, was never given a chance to represent Pakistan at the Test level. He had a brilliant record of 466 wickets from 136 matches in his first-class career that spanned around 18 years. He stopped playing in 1994.

Abdur Raqib

He had an exceptional record. A left-arm spinner, he took as many as 643 wickets in 157 matches in a career that lasted more than 20 years. But this unfortunate man never attracted the attention of the selectors. Interestingly, he served as a selector himself later on. Besides, he remained team manager of Pakistan team.


Not good enough!