Karachi: Israr Ali, who was a member of Pakistan’s first ever Test squad, has passed away in his hometown of Okara Punjab at the age of 88.
The all-rounder was also was a member of Pakistan’s first Test squad which went to India in 1952.
Born on May 1, 1927 in Jallandhar India, Israr had also played two Tests against Australia in 1959 before he ending his Test career with six wickets. The medium pace bowler also appeared in 40 first class matches and claimed 114 wickets at an average of 22.63 and making 1,130 runs at 20.54.
Cricket historians have noted that Israr’s international career came to an abrupt end after a misunderstanding with his captain Abdul Kardar, then the most powerful man in Pakistan cricket.
Israr was Pakistan’s oldest living test cricketer and featured for the country in four Tests between 1952 and 1959. Before him, Aslam Khokhar was Pakistan’s oldest living test cricketer at 91 until he passed away in January 2015.
Israr started off his cricket career before partition for Punjab in 1946-47.
Israr in his two tests against Australia gained fame for dismissing opener Les Favell in all four innings, without having any assistance from fielders.
He remained a member of Pakistan’s selection committee in 1983-84, before deciding to say goodbye to cricket.
Pakistan’s former batting great Hanif Muhammad recalled his days spent with Israr and said he had a very professional attitude as a cricketer even when the sport was considered an amateur sport.
“He could bowl inswing in those days and was a complete allround player. Unfortunately he did not get more opportunities to play for Pakistan,” Hanif said.
Hanif recalled that he last met Israr at a ceremony held in Lahore on the orders of former President Pervez Musharraf in honour of the cricketers of Pakistan’s first match.