Shoaib: 'Abdul Qadir had the courage to speak up'

Former batsman Shoaib Mohammed, who was in the selection committee with Qadir, feels Pakistan could have benefitted a lot more from the experience of the magical leg-spinner.

Abdul Qadir passed away in Lahore from a cardiac arrest.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Former Pakistan batsman Shoaib Mohammed remembers his friend and team-mate Abdul Qadir as a “disciplined and straightforward” man. The leg-spin legend, who passed away in Lahore on Friday, was also part of a three-member selection committee with Shoaib and Salim Jaffer in 2008-09.

Qadir was instrumental in picking the Pakistan World T20 squad that won the tournament in England in 2009. But his stint as chief selector did not last long; he had resigned due to differences with the Pakistan Cricket Board over selection policies.

READ| Pakistan's legendary leg-spinner Abdul Qadir passes away aged 63

“He was the only one who resigned once the board didn’t follow his directions. He always wanted the players who had performed to get selected and not the ones who were inferior. He had resigned in 2009. That showed the character of the man and the mettle he had,” Shoaib told Sportstar from Karachi on Saturday.

Since then, Qadir had been critical of PCB’s decision-making. “Many a time, the board would make a wrong decision and he would always be at the front page of the newspapers to speak about it. Not many did that. He had the courage to speak up. He would not sway away from controversies, he would opt himself in it and point out mistakes and how it could have been solved.

READ| 'A magician and trailblazer' - Tributes pour in for Abdul Qadir

“A cricketer, friend, a chief selector. Such men are difficult to find today,” he said.

Shoaib feels PCB did not pay Qadir the respect he deserved as a retired cricketer. “He was very disciplined. He would help all the cricketers, even a club-level cricketer. He would go all out to help a person to the best of his abilities.

“Pakistan could have benefitted a lot more from his experience. I wish Pakistan cricket had given him the respect what he earned throughout his playing career,” said Shoaib, who was part of several bilateral tours with the leggie.

Qadir was also close to the great Hanif Mohammed, Shoaib's father. “He was very friendly with Hanif saab. He would often come for dinner and talk a lot of cricket sitting in our house. He was such a lively man, always cracking jokes.

“He had been a hero throughout his cricketing life and he will remain a hero.”