DateLine: 6th August 2012
Stylish right-handed opening batsman Alimuddin who had served Pakistan Cricket in its formative years and is listed amongst its pioneers, died at the age of 81 in London on 12th July 2012.
Making debut against England at Lords in 1954 his career spanned 8 years and 25 Tests. He scored 1091 runs at an average of 25.37, with the help of two centuries and seven half-centuries. He was a safe fieldsman and held 7 catches. He had also claimed one wicket (OG Smith).
His 25 appearances in Test cricket included 8 against England (1954, 1961-62 & 1962), 6 against India (1954-55 & 1960-61), 6 against West Indies (1957-58 & 1958-59), 3 against New Zealand (1955-56) and 2 against Australia (1956 & 1959-60).
He was also a proud member of Pakistanís victorious teams in six tests: Versus England at The Oval (1954), Versus New Zealand at Karachi & Lahore (1955-56), Versus Australia at Karachi (1956) and Versus West Indies at Port of Spain (1957-58) & Dacca (1958-59).
His career best performances were against India in 1954-55 and later against England in 1961-62.
In Pakistanís inaugural home series in 1954-55 against the visiting Indian team Alimuddin was the leading batsmen on either side compiling 332 Runs with the help of principal scores of 51 (Dacca), 64 (Bahawalpur), 58 (Lahore) and 103 Not Out (Karachi). While scoring the unbeaten maiden century at Karachi he partnered skipper AH Kardar in a 155-run fifth wicket partnership. Incidentally Vinoo Mankad, captain of the visiting Indian team, had coached Alimuddin at Ahmadabad in the pre-partition days.
Towards the end of his career Alimuddin again came into lime light when he scored 50, 109 and 53 in consecutive innings against ERB Dexterís visiting MCC team in 1961-62. In fact such was his dominance on proceedings of the first dayís play in the Test match against the MCC at Karachi that coming in for the rescue act at the fall of the fourth wicket for 56, he contributed 109 out of 192 runs scored while he was at the crease. His century was followed by 53 in the second innings.
Later during the ill-fated 1962 tour of Pakistanís team to England, Alimuddin top scored (50 & 60) in both innings of the third test at Headingly, Leeds out of the teamís respective low totals of 131 & 180. His next and final appearance in Test cricket was at Trent Bridge Nottingham.
Born in Ajmer on 15 December 1930, Alimuddin also held the record for being the youngest player to have played First-Class cricket, appearing in the Ranji Trophy for Rajasthan at the age of 12 years and 73 days.
Perhaps many may not be aware of the fact that Alimuddin had also proved himself a successful captain leading Karachi to Victories in two major tournaments in the country of that time, The Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and The Ayub Zonal Trophy in 1961-62.
Alas! a great legend of Pakistan Cricket has passed away.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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