Can it be imagined that the player who is to play a Test match is not present on the ground at the time of the toss and even after the start of the match he does not know where he is and when he will come?
Isn’t that amazing!
But this has happened in the history of Test cricket and that too with a Pakistani fast bowler.
This is the year 1995. The Pakistani team was on a tour of South Africa where it was to play its first Test match against the hosts. Before this lone Test in Johannesburg, Waqar Younis became unfit and the team management requested Pakistan to send medium fast bowler Amir Nazir to South Africa.
Amir Nazir reached Karachi from Lahore from where he was to reach Johannesburg via Dubai and Hong Kong. Surprisingly, even before Aamir Nazir reached Wanderers Stadium, captain Saleem Malik had included Aamir Nazir’s name in the 11-member final squad.
Aamir Nazir refreshed his old memories of the incident.
“I was tired after traveling for 15 or 16 hours straight, but my biggest problem was when I was told at Johannesburg airport that my luggage left in Hong Kong.”
Aamir Nazir says that when I reached the ground, it had been 35 minutes since the Test match started. I wore Wasim Akram’s kit while I used Manzoor Elahi’s shoes. When I bowled, I got cramped due to constant travel and I had to go off the field.
Remember that Aamir Nazir could only do ten overs on the first day. He took two wickets in South Africa’s first innings and one in the second innings.
Akram Raza fielded as a substitute until Aamir Nazir reached the ground with a 35-minute delay.
This is a memorable and interesting event of Pakistan and South African cricket. Let’s look at a few other similar cases.
Pakistan’s lowest score is 49
After dismissing South Africa for 253 on the first day of the first Test at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on February 1, 2013, Pakistan ended the game with six runs unbeaten in the minds of captain Misbah-ul-Haq and his teammates. It wasn’t that they would face a situation the next day that no team would like to see.
From the second over of the next day, the fate of Dale Steyn woke up and the fate of the Pakistani team began to fall asleep.
It started with Mohammad Hafeez and then Stein showed the way back to Nasir Jamshed who played his first Test in his next over. Younis Khan’s important wicket also came in his share in the same over.
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Azhar Ali passed 13 more overs and it seemed that the Pakistani team had recovered from the initial shock but when Jacques Kallis dismissed these two batsmen, the ground felt slippery under the feet of the Pakistani team.
Flander also bowled Asad Shafiq and Umar Gul in the same over.
For Dale Steyn, three overs proved to be enough for the next three wickets and the Pakistani team piled up the lowest score in the history of Test cricket at 49.
Dale Steyn’s impressive figures in getting the Pakistani team to this point were as follows. Maiden in 8.1 overs and only eight runs for six wickets.
Dale Steyn also took five wickets in the second innings to seal South Africa’s 211-run victory.
The Pakistani team broke the ten-year-old record by being bowled out for 49 when they lost by 59 and 53 runs in both innings of the Sharjah Test against Australia in October 2002.
Azhar Mahmood’s century, Wisden’s eighth best innings
All-rounder Azhar Mahmood’s entry into Test cricket is very interesting.
When he went to help with his father’s steel work, his eyes would be damaged by welding rays. His father was initially against his son playing cricket but when he found out that his son was serious about cricket, he insisted that he keep himself away from welding.
When the South African team came to Pakistan in 1997, three new players Muhammad Ramzan, Ali Naqvi and Azhar Mahmood were given Test caps in the Rawalpindi Test.
Azhar Mahmood and Ali Naqvi scored centuries in their first Test.
Azhar Mehmood’s century was notable for not only batting at number eight and scoring an unbeaten 128, but also for sharing the last wicket with Mushtaq Ahmed when Pakistan’s nine wickets had fallen to 305. Adding 151 runs equaled the record for the largest partnership of the last wicket in Test cricket.
Azhar Mahmood also scored a half century in the second innings without getting out. Azhar Mahmood also scored centuries in Test matches in Johannesburg and Durban during his 1998 tour of South Africa.
Durban’s innings is considered memorable in many ways.
When he came to bat at number seven, Pakistan’s five wickets had fallen to just 89, but the aggressive style he took against the stormy bowling of Alan Donald, Sean Pollack, Lance Klosner and Fanny de Villiers took everyone by surprise. Who was
He scored 132 runs out of which 96 runs were scored with the help of fours. He shared 80 runs for the ninth wicket with Shoaib Akhtar, in which Shoaib Akhtar’s share was only six runs.
Wisden had selected 100 best innings in the 2001 edition, in which Azhar Mahmood’s innings was ranked as the eighth best innings.
“It was a special innings for me because I played it in a difficult situation,” says Azhar Mahmood. I was enjoying playing strokes on the bouncy wicket. Happiest of all was the fact that I had disproved those who were saying that I had scored a century on Pindi’s straight wicket and that I would fail in South Africa.
Farewell test of Inzamam-ul-Haq
When the South African team came to Pakistan in 2007, the disappointing performance in the World Cup and above all the death of coach Bob Woolmer had badly affected the morale of Pakistani cricket.
Inzamam-ul-Haq, the captain of the Pakistan team in the World Cup, had reached the end of his ODI career, but the Pakistan Cricket Board gave him a chance to say goodbye to international cricket by opening him in the Lahore Test match.
Inzamam-ul-Haq’s wish to end his career brilliantly could not be fulfilled and most of all, he could not break Javed Miandad’s record of 8832 runs scored by Pakistan in Test cricket.
Inzamam-ul-Haq had scored 8813 runs before the Lahore Test.
He was dismissed for 14 in the first innings. In the second innings, he had just scored three runs when he tried to get the ball out of the boundary of sniper Paul Harris to break the record of Miandad, but the ball went to wicketkeeper Mark Boucher’s gloves instead of the bat. Who didn’t make the mistake of stumping. Thus, Miandad’s record was saved from being broken.
Asim Kamal, 99 on debut
After zero, the second most unpopular number for any batsman is 99.
What will happen to this batsman when he is just one run away from a century and what could be more disappointing than that batsman getting out at 99 in his debut Test?
There are only three such batsmen in Test cricket, one of whom is Asim Kamal of Pakistan.
In the Lahore Test against South Africa in 2003, when everyone was waiting for Asim Kamal’s century, fast bowler Andre Neal bowled him and deprived him of the honor.
Speaking to BBC Urdu, Asim Kamal says, “Every cricketer wants to show a performance in his first Test that will be remembered. I had the opportunity to come into Test cricket after playing first-class cricket for seven years and I joined the team in place of Inzamam-ul-Haq who became unfit.
Asim Kamal says, “Before this test, I had prayed to Allah to give me a prominent position.”
“It was a pity not to have a century, but then I also thought that I was one of the three cricketers in the world to be dismissed for 99 in my first Test. This is also a record. Even after that I played a lot of good innings in Test cricket.
“My fondest memories are of Pakistan cricket but it is a pity that I was not given the opportunity to play much,” he said.