Haseeb Ahsan was a Pakistani Crickter who served the game well and was particularly supportive of cricket in Karachi. He was best known for introducing legend Wasim Akram in the Cricket Field. Haseeb was not only a superb Test cricketer but also was a good administrator who intimately knew the game.
BiographyHaseeb Ahsan was a Pakistani cricketer who played 12 Tests for Pakistan between 1958 and 1962. He was born in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A right-arm off spinner, he took 27 wickets in Test cricket at an average of 49.25, including two five-wicket hauls. During his first-class career, he played 49 matches and took 142 wickets at an average of 27.71. Ahsan had conflicts with former Pakistan captain Javed Burki. A controversy regarding his bowling action resulted in the premature end of his international career when he was only 23. He worked as chief selector, team manager of Pakistan, and member of the 1987 Cricket World Cup organising committee.
Personal Life and ControversiesAhsan was born in Peshawar, North-West Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) on 15 July 1939, and was an Urdu-speaker. He was educated at Islamia College, Peshawar. Ahsan was never married. Former Pakistan cricketer, Aftab Baloch, said Ahsan that he was a "fine gentleman". He had conflicts with former Pakistan captain Javed Burki. A controversy regarding his bowling action arose during a Test match against India. This was sixth match in which he was "called for throwing." He continued his bowling until the issue reappeared during Pakistan's tour to England in 1962; the controversy ended his international career at the age of 23.
CareerAhsan played 12 Tests for Pakistan between 1958 and 1962. His last stint in cricket was in England, when he represented Pakistan Eaglets in 1963 against Scotland. Following his first-class career, which lasted almost eight years, he took up an executive role in American Express. He went on to become one of the most influential selectors in Pakistan cricket. As chief selector, he picked the teenager Wasim Akram for the national side in 1984. He was also the chairman of the 1987 World Cup technical committee and a member of the tournament's organising committee. Later, Ahsan was a key figure in Karachi cricket and became the pivotal figure in the Sindh Cricket Association in 2003. In 2006, he was named in the panel that heard the appeals of fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif against doping bans.
Batting and Fielding Average
RetirementHaseeb retired from first-class cricket shortly after, and devoted himself to a business career, in which he rose to become Pakistan International Airlines' general manager in Britain, and cricket administration. After proving an astute selector - Wasim Akram was plucked from obscurity during his tenure - he returned to England as manager of the 1987 team captained by Imran Khan. Haseeb immediately raised eyebrows by publicly demanding that David Constant and Ken Palmer be removed from the umpiring panel for the Tests, after perceived mistakes in previous matches against Pakistan. The English authorities refused, and a prickly relationship developed between them, the manager and the British press. According to Javed Miandad "it was a role he relished". The result - Pakistan's first series victory in England.
DeathFormer Pakistan off-spinner and selector Haseeb Ahsan, credited with picking legend Wasim Akram in 1984, died on 8th March 2013 after prolonged illness, a family friend said. He was 73. Ahsan was regarded as one of the most straight-forward cricket administrators, and headed Pakistan's World Cup 1987 organising committee and served as a national team manager. “Ahsan fought illness with courage,” said Bukhari of Ahsan who was on dialysis for the last two years.
TributeAkram paid tribute to Ahsan, telling AFP: "Ahsan convinced everyone of my talent and selected me against New Zealand. He was very close to me and, as a powerful selector, spotted young talent and threw them into the bigger battles. I have lost a very close supporter." PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf praised Ahsan's administrative skills: "Haseeb was not only a superb Test cricketer but also was a good administrator who intimately knew the game. His death is a loss to the cricketing fraternity." Karachi City Cricket Association president Sirajul Islam Bukhari said: "Ahsan fought illness with courage."
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