Abdul Hafeez Kardar was the first captain of the Pakistan cricket team. He was born on 17th January, 1925 in Lahore in British India.
Commonly referred to as the father figure of Pakistan cricket, Kardar’s contribution toward cricket in Pakistan are numerous. Kardar was a cricketer as well as a politician. He is among the only three players to have played Test cricket for both Pakistan and India.
Kardar was an experienced cricketer; he used to play for India before the creation of Pakistan. Under Kardar’s captaincy, Pakistan played 23 test matches against all the leading teams of that time and was victorious against all of them.
Pakistan got its test status in 1952 and toured India; there they lost the series 2-1 but Pakistan managed to win the second test at Lucknow comprehensively. Pakistan’s greatest achievement under Kardar’s captaincy was the victory against England at Oval.
Australia was also beaten by Pakistan in Karachi in 1957 by Kardar’s men. Kardar was a dauntless left handed batsman known for cracking the ball right over the bowler’s head. As a left hand spin bowler, he was equally effective. Kardar was also associated with Warwickshire. In his career as a cricketer, Kardar score 6,832 runs and captured 344 wickets.
Kardar was a visionary who modernized Pakistan cricket and popularized the game. He was instrumental in putting Pakistan on the international cricket map. Kardar was also a strong advocate of promoting the game of cricket in Asia. Kardar retired in 1958.
He later served Pakistan cricket as the President of the Pakistan Cricket Board. Passionate about cricket and sincere, he never compromised on his principles. Kardar later became Pakistan’s ambassador to Switzerland. This great cricketer passed away on 21st April, 1996 in Islamabad at the age of 71.