Zaheer Abbas: Qadir redefined the art of spin bowling

Abdul Qadir's former Pakistan team-mates Zaheer Abbas and Mudassar Nazar rate him as one of the best leg-spinners.

Abdul Qadir played for Pakistan in 67 Tests and 104 ODIs.   -  Hindu Archives

The passing away of Abdul Qadir has come as a shock for his former team-mates, who are still in a shock after the legendary leg-spinner died aged 63 in his hometown Lahore on Friday.

Former Pakistan captain, Zaheer Abbas has fond memories of his visits and talks around cricket. "I just can’t believe that Abdul Qadir is no more with us. We have been friends for years and I still remember how much time we had spent together.

"Be it match days or off-season, Qadir would make it a point to visit me regularly and we would talk about cricket, life and everything under the sun. Those were such good days," Abbas said.

Read: 'Qadir was exceptional and will always remain special'

Qadir was credited for reviving the art of leg-spin bowling in 1970s and 80s. He made his Test debut in 1977, taking 236 wickets with a best of 9-65. He also featured in 104 ODIs and took 132 wickets. 

"For me, he was one of the greatest right-arm leg-spinners in the world, who redefined the art of spin bowling. He was a great learner of the game and was extremely dedicated. When I heard the news, I did not believe it initially. But then, such is life. It was a pleasure knowing you, Qadir. Go well, my friend!" said Abbas.

'He was special'

One of his former team-mate, Mudassar Nazar, was also shocked to hear the news of his demise. "I am completely devastated to hear the news. I still can’t believe he is no more with us. We had known each other since the age of 13. We grew up together, played in the same team, went to the same college (Government College in Lahore) — and eventually made it to the Pakistan U-19 team and the senior team," Nazar said.

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"We have been closest of friends and having seen his hardships, I know how much of hard work he had put in to reach the top. In between, he had left Pakistan to work in Dubai when he wasn’t picked for the national team. But with Imran Khan at the helm, he was brought back into the side and given enough opportunities. He made optimum use of it and climbed the peak.

"I feel, he was always fearsome against the West Indies. I still remember, how he bundled out a strong West Indies side for 56 in Faisalabad. In the 1980s, such a feat was unbelievable, but he did that. And that’s why he was special," Nazar added.

Qadir spared no one when it came to the well-being of the game, but Nazar says he spared him because of their friendship.

"Lately, he has been a big critic of Pakistan Cricket Board and spared no one. But he never hit out at me and respected our friendship. That’s something I will always cherish. I am going to miss you, Abdul. Go well."