Zaheer Abbas, Pakistan’s great batsman of yesteryear, was inducted into the Pakistan Cricket Council’s Hall Of Fame on Saturday. The 74-year-old Abbas made his Test debut in 1969 and made his first one-day international in 1974. The middle-class right-handed batter scored 5062 runs in 78 Test games at an average of almost 45. He also scored 2,572 runs in 62 ODIs with an average of 47.62. Abbas was part of the Pakistani team that reached the semi-finals of the 1979 World Cup.
Abbas has the distinction of being the only Asian batter to have scored more than 100 centuries in first-class cricket, including 12 Testtons.
Abbas is the third Pakistani cricketer to be inducted into PCB’s Hall Of Fame after Fazal Mahmood and Wasim Akram. There will be five more introductions in due course.
The introduction took place on Day 1 of Pakistan’s second test match against Australia at the National Stadium in Karachi.
“I am humbled to have been recognized in such a respectful and honorable way by my parent organization on my home ground, playing my preferred format of play and for passionate cricket fans, who have also played an integral part throughout my cricketing career.
“It has been a privilege to represent Pakistan for nearly two decades and contribute to the growth of the national side in terms of status and reputation. It was a joy to play with and against some of the greats of all time at a time when cricket rules and conditions were not as strict as they are today. Of course the opportunities were also limited compared to today, but the rewards, appreciation and recognition were always extremely high and satisfying,” Abbas told Cricket Pakistan.
“Cricket is over my playing time, but it remains a gentlemen’s game. It gives me great pleasure and satisfaction to see this wonderful sport remaining in the safe and capable hands of modern elite cricketers who, day after day, are doing their utmost to maintain the level of to keep improving this sport and thus attract, inspire and motivate the younger generation of cricketers.
“I am delighted to see a team from Australia play at full strength at the National Stadium after 24 long years. I took part in some great tests against Australia and I hope that this tour will revive the rivalry between two proud countries, which in turn will only help cricket get stronger.
“I would like to thank the PCB, my family, friends and all my contemporaries who have supported me on this memorable journey and helped me perform for this great country and for my national, domestic and England teams,” added the batter .
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