DateLine: 14th March 2008
Former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Taslim Arif has died after a brief illness, family sources said Friday.
The 54-year-old, who was the junior squad selector, played six Tests for Pakistan, scoring 501 runs at an impressive average of 62.62 and took nine victims. He also played two one-day internationals.
"Arif complained of chest pains in the afternoon and was later diagnosed with a lung infection. He died in hospital late on Thursday," said a family source.
Arif hit 90 and 46 on his Test debut against India at Calcutta in 1979 but was more famous for his 210 not out against Greg Chappell's Australia in Faisalabad the following year.
The double hundred stood as the highest score by a wicketkeeper-batsman until Zimbabwe's Andy Flower surpassed it with 232 not out in 2001.
Arif also briefly played for Kerry Packer in the World Series in Australia in late 1970s and early 80s.
He later became a popular television and radio commentator and also ran a cricket academy.
Former colleague Javed Miandad said Arif's death was a tragedy.
"We all loved him, he endeared himself to everyone he played with. It is a great loss because he was there for all whenever needed," said Miandad, who was Arif's captain when he made the double century.
Another colleague, Iqbal Qasim, said: "Arif was a very kind, happy-go-lucky sort of character and we enjoyed each other's company. His death has saddened us all."
The Pakistan Cricket Board offered its condolences to Arif's family.
"With Arif's death we have lost a good cricketer and a great cricketing mind. We console Arif's family and share their grief," it said in a statement.
(Article: Copyright © 2008 AFP)