Sports

LAHORE (Staff Report) – Pakistan’s oldest living Test cricketer Israr Ali has passed away at the age of 88.

Born on May 1, 1927 in Jullundar (now Jalandhar) in India, Israr Ali an all-rounder was a member of Pakistan’s first Test squad which went to India in 1952 and played two tests.

He also appeared in Pakistan’s first test 60 years ago.

Israr Ali receives his medal from former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf during the Golden Jubilee of Test Cricket Gala.
Israr Ali receives his medal from former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf during the Golden Jubilee of Test Cricket Gala.–File photo

The former cricketer died of a pneumonia attack in his hometown of Okara on February 1 at the age of 88. He had played four Tests for the country between 1952 and 1959.

Aslam Khokhar was Pakistan’s oldest living test cricketer at 91 until he passed away in January, 2015 after which Ali at 88 got this honour.

Cricketing Career

Ali played 40 first-class games, taking 114 wickets at 22.63 and scoring 1130 runs at 20.54. He had begun his career playing for Punjab in 1946-47 before Pakistan and India were partitioned, and then toured India as part of the Pakistan Test side in 1952-53.

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He played only two Tests on that tour, and was then was recalled to the side for two Tests against Australia in 1959-60.

After his playing career, Ali stayed involved in cricket administration and was president of the Multan region from 1981 to 1982, and a member of Pakistan’s selection committee in 1983 and 1984, before he decided to move away from the game.

“I parted from cricket after 1987, maybe because I was losing the passion, and decided to stay back in Okara,” Ali had said when he was 85 years old.

Cricket historians have noted that Ali’s international career came to an abrupt end after a misunderstanding with his captain Abdul Kardar, then the most powerful man in Pakistan cricket.

Ali in his two tests against Australia gained fame for dismissing opener Les Favell in all four innings, without having any assistance from fielders.

He had been living a humble life in Okara, nearly 85 miles away from Lahore.