LAHORE: Imtiaz Ahmed, a member of Pakistan´s first-ever Test team, died at the age of 88 years in a Lahore hospital Saturday after a brief illness, his family said.
Imtiaz, who would have turned 89 on January 5, was suffering from a chest infection for the last few days. He was also Pakistan’s oldest living Test cricketer at the time of his death.
He was featured in Pakistan´s first Test played in Delhi against India in October 1952 and went on to play 41 matches as a wicketkeeper-batsman. His death means that middle-order batsman Waqar Hasan, 84, is now the only surviving member of Pakistan´s first Test team.
Imtiaz was known as an aggressive batsman who had a variety of strokes, most notably the hook and the pull shots.
He scored 2,079 Test runs for Pakistan with a career best of 209 against New Zealand in Lahore in 1955. He also kept the wickets with 93 dismissals in Test cricket.
Though a middle-order batsman, he also opened the innings on various occasions. He put on 152 for the first wicket with the legendary Hanif Mohammad in the Bridgetown Test against West Indies in 1958, scoring 91. Hanif , who died in August this year, went on to score an epic 337 in 970 minutes — still the longest innings in Test cricket history.
Imtiaz also captained Pakistan in four Tests against Australia and England .
The wicketkeeper-batsman made his first-class debut for Northern India against Delhi in the Ranji Trophy in 1944. He went on to play 180 first-class matches, aggregating 10391 runs with 404 dismissals to his name. He retired from first-class cricket at the end of 1972-73 season.
He was honoured with Pride of Performance Award by the Government of Pakistan for his achievements in sports in 1966.
Imtiaz was also the national selector of the Pakistan cricket team for 13 years.