BiographyWazir Mohammad was not as talented as his brother, Hanif - the first star of Pakistan cricket- but was a solid batsman. He played 20 Tests, scoring 801 runs at an average close to 30. With cricket not raking in much pay during those days, Wazir also worked as a banker for National Bank of Pakistan.
CoachingWhen the nawab of Junagadh invited leading cricketers from outside his state, the brothers would rub shoulders with them, bowling and fielding in the nets. It was a good learning experience for the brothers. They were star players in their school and would dominate the inter-school and other matches. Hanif, in particular, always stood out, demonstrating how much he loved to bat on and on. Often, very often, he would bat on after sundown, the unwilling bowlers shifting the game from a side street to the main one, to play on under one of the three lighted lamp posts the nawab allowed his subjects.
Role of Ameer beeAmeer Bee continued to be a fount of inspiration and driving force to her sons even after they began to represent Pakistan. When they were on tour, she would write encouraging letters to them. If they did well, she would praise them. But if they did badly, she would admonish them. All the brothers acknowledged the silent but significant role their mother played in their development and success as Pakistan's top cricketers. Once Pakistan Airlines and Karachi Blues were up against each other in the national championship. Playing for Pakistan Airlines, Hanif scored 187 and Mushtaq 124. Sadiq, appearing for Karachi Blues, was also in good form. When he scored 96, Mushtaq caught him. Ameer Bee did not speak with Mushtaq for several days!
Wazirs Junagarh periodIn Junagadh, as children, in the hottest weather, the only activity allowed outside home was cricket. Abdul hafeez Kardar , trainer of Wazir Muhammad, was a shrewd tactician. He was a man of few words. He could read people's minds. He understood cricket very well: a batsman's weakness, reading the pitch, etc. His first cricketing lesson was hitting a ball hung from a rope. They used to live opposite the Mohabat Madrassah school in Junagadh. As kids their involvement was restricted to retrieving balls from the boundary. The members of the school team had a ball hanging from a tree on the sidelines for batting practice. Unless you play with a straight bat and strike the ball off its middle, the hanging ball will not swing back to you. That was how wazir muhammad started his practice.
Test DebutHe made his Test debut in the third match of the 1952-53 tour of India. He had made a match-saving 104 not out in the tour game versus West Zone in Ahmedabad. He got runs against Nyalchand, who was known as the king of matting at that time, and Jasu Patel, who took a record nine wickets against Australia a few years later.
Test recordHis Test record might not be very impressive but in wazir muhammad words "it gives me a great sense of pride that I made vital contributions in most of Pakistan's first Test victories". He made 42 in the second innings of the Oval Test of 1954. It was Pakistan's highest in the match. Pakistan became the first country to win a Test in England on their maiden visit. In the first Test win versus Australia in 1956-57, wazir's century partnership with Kardar was the highest of the match. In 1957-58, He scored the only century of the match in Pakistan's maiden win in the West Indies.
Migration and Job
Pak Mughal Cricket ClubHe joined the Pak Mughal Cricket Club in Karachi. They had nets at the Jahangir Park. Ten to 12 clubs had their nets there every day. All Test cricketers of Karachi during that period were products of Jahangir Park.
A great pretender
Hanifs elder brotherHe was known as Hanif's elder brother, rather than as Wazir Mohammad. Even during his playing days, he was often introduced as Hanif's elder brother. But he never felt embarrassed; rather he was proud of him. He had shared century partnerships with him during his world-record innings: 337 v West Indies (1957-58) and 499 for Karachi v Bahawalpur (1958-59).
Biggest disappointmentThe biggest disappointment of his career came in the second Test in Trinidad in 1957-58. Just before the match, during practice, all of a sudden, a severe allergic attack, probably from the grass or flowers, made him breathless and speechless. He spent most of the Test in the hospital. In each of Pakistan's innings, He was brought from hospital, and He made a pair. He did well on the same pitch later in the series.
MedalWazir Mohammad received a medal from Pakistan president during the Golden Jubilee of Test Cricket Gala, Islamabad, September 16, 2003 for his contributions to the sport of cricket.
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