Fazal Mahmood

Country: Pakistan
Born: February 18, 1927, Lahore, Punjab
Batting Style: Right hand Bat
Bowling Style: Right arm Fast medium
Playing role: Bowler
Died: May 30, 2005, Lahore, (aged 78y 101d)

Fazal Mahmood Bio

Fazal Mahmood: Pakistan’s First Great Bowler

Fazal Mahmood, born on February 18, 1927, in Lahore, Pakistan, was a legendary cricketer who became Pakistan’s first great bowler. Fazal’s illustrious career spanned from the 1950s to the early 1960s and he played a crucial role in inspiring his country to many significant victories.

Tall, handsome, and with a charismatic personality, Fazal quickly became a well-known figure in Pakistani cricket. His distinctive Comptonesque mop of hair earned him the nickname “Pakistan’s own Brylcreem Boy” and even led to him featuring in advertisements.

Fazal’s bowling skills were exceptional, particularly his ability to cut and seam the ball at an impressive pace. This made him a formidable force on the artificial pitches that were widely used in Pakistan during the 1950s. He possessed the remarkable talent of making the ball “talk” on matting, as highlighted by Neil Harvey, one of the great Australian batsmen of the time.

One of Fazal’s most memorable performances came in only Pakistan’s second official Test match against India in October 1952. Playing on a mat in Lucknow, Fazal astounded the cricketing world by taking twelve wickets, including seven for 42 in the second innings, leading Pakistan to a victory by an innings.

Fazal’s brilliance continued during the inaugural tour of England in 1954. He played a pivotal role in Pakistan’s stunning series-levelling win against England at The Oval, where he took twelve wickets. Despite England looking well-positioned to chase down the target of 168 runs, they collapsed after being 109 for two, losing their last eight wickets for just 34 runs.

Another outstanding performance was witnessed when Pakistan played their maiden Test against Australia in Karachi in 1956. Fazal’s ability to vary his swing with a mixture of leg-cutters and breakbacks resulted in him taking thirteen wickets for 114, contributing significantly to Pakistan’s victory. This achievement earned him high praise from Wisden, the prestigious cricket publication.

However, overwork eventually took its toll on Fazal’s form. In the 1957-58 series against West Indies, he bowled an exhaustive 250 overs in the first three Tests. Nevertheless, he still managed to claim eight wickets in the final Test, which Pakistan won. During the following season, Fazal became the first Pakistani cricketer to reach 100 Test wickets, achieving this milestone in his 22nd match. He continued to shine by adding twelve more wickets in the next game against West Indies at Dacca.

Fazal’s leadership qualities were recognized, and he was appointed as Pakistan’s captain for ten Tests. He retired after the 1962 England tour, leaving behind an impressive first-class bowling average of under 19. Hanif Mohammad, Pakistan’s legendary batsman, fondly remembered Fazal as a great human being always ready to offer advice. Hanif credited Fazal for all of Pakistan’s victories since the country began playing Test cricket.

Interestingly, Fazal could have represented India. The senior Nawab of Pataudi desired him on the 1946 tour of England, but other selectors believed he was too young. Although he was selected for the 1947-48 tour of Australia, Fazal ultimately chose Pakistan due to the partition.

Beyond cricket, Fazal had a successful career in the police force. He was in charge of the sports department, where he nurtured several top-class hockey players. Even during retirement, Fazal remained involved in the corporate world, serving as the director of a textile firm.

Tragically, Fazal Mahmood passed away on May 30, 2005, at the age of 78, after suffering a heart attack in his office. His contribution to Pakistani cricket and his remarkable achievements on the field forever cement his status as one of the game’s legends.

Fazal Mahmood Career Stats

Fazal Mahmood Batting Stats

Batting Matches Innings Nos Runs High Score Ave BF SR 100s 50s 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 34 50 6 620 60 14.09 - - 0 1 - 2 11 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 112 147 33 2662 100* 23.35 - - 1 13 - - 39 0
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Fazal Mahmood Bowling Stats

Bowling Matches Innings Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10w
Tests 34 53 9834 3434 139 7/42 13/114 24.7 2.09 70.7 6 13 4
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 112 - 25932 8837 466 9/43 - 18.96 2.04 55.6 - 38 8
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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