KARACHI: Pakistan's legendary opening batsman Alimuddin died in London on Thursday after protracted illness, according to an SMS received here from former Pakistan Test captain Mushtaq Muhammad in the evening. He was 81-year-old.
Born in Ajmer (British India) on December 15, 1930, played 25 Tests for Pakistan from 1954 to 1962, scoring 1091 runs and scored 7275 runs in 140 first class games.
He was the leading batsman during the 1954-55 series with India and scored 103 at Karachi. During the disastrous 1962 tour to England, Alimuddin top-scored in both innings with 50 and 60 at the Leeds Test.
In the early years, he formed a stable opening pair with little master Hanif Muhammad. In the Karachi Test of 1962 he hit a stroke-filled 109 against England. He was known for his solid technique and was a member of the team which defeated England at The Oval in 1954.
He was the youngest person to have played first-class cricket, appearing for Rajasthan in the Ranji Trophy at the age of just 12 years 73 days.
"Alimuddin was my senior partner and I learnt a great deal from him," former Pakistan captain, Hanif Muhammad, a close friend of Alim said on hearing the sad news.
"Its sad day for cricket because he served Pakistan with great deal of honor and dignity," he recalled.
"We met last year at Lords, London during the Test match and I enjoyed his company," Little Master Hanif Muhammad recalled.
He said with elder brothers Raees Muhammad and Wazir Muhammad they used to go to Junagadh to watch Alimddin in action during Ranji Trophies matches.
"He (Alim) remained well-dressed throughout his life and was a dedicated cricketer and modest person," he said.
Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad paid glowing tributes Alimuddin for his services to cricket for his kindness to junior crickReuters
"Because he was in PIA in London, he always helped and patronized the cricketers," he said.
"Alim remained in cricketing circles throughout his life and used to arrange cricket matches," Miandad said.
First class cricketer Asif Ahmed, who played under Alimuddin recalled "Alimuddin Sahab always supported youngsters which helped them to excel,".
"Because of his leadership and youngsters performance, Karachi Blues won the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in 1962," Asif Ahmed, said.
Another former first class cricketer Masroor Mirza, who with Alimuddin and Mushtaq Muhammad watched the England-West Indies Test match at Lords few weeks ago, said Alimuddin was a great human being and coach.
"Alim always gave us tips about the game besides coaching," he said.
Copyright Reuters, 2012