Karachi, Dec 24: Hanif Mohammad, often called the sub continent's original Little Master, celebrated his 80th birthday with the complaint that the Pakistan cricket authorities had to this day not recognised and rewarded him for his triple century against the West Indies in 1957.
Although Hanif's 80th birthday was on Sunday but he decided to hold a small reception yesterday at his residence to officially celebrate the occasion, apparently since the chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Shaharyar Khan was also in town.
Unfortunately, for some reasons Shaharyar didn't show up for the function, but Pakistani players Younis Khan, Moin Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Anwar Ali, Adnan Akmal, Taufiq Umar all showed up to spent time with the legend.
"The cricket authorities have recognised and rewarded Younis Khan and Inzamam-ul-Haq for scoring triple centuries but it still remains one of the saddest moments for me that my feat is yet to be recognised," Hanif said.
He said he had scored his 337 runs at a time when the pitches were not covered and there was no proper gear for players to protect them.
'I took blows during that innings'
"I took blows and also underwent an operation after that innings. But what is disappointing is that until today the authorities have not recognised my triple century or acknowledged my effort," he complained.
Hanif said that cricket had changed a lot from the time he played cricket. "Today I am happy to see the cricketers are so well paid and are well off. I wish professionalism had come into the game in my time as well." Younis, while cutting the cake with Hanif, acknowledged that he was thrilled to be with the batting legend.
"To be honest these are the real legends of Pakistan cricket because today we have the best protective gear and equipment to play with and the pitches are also generally flat. I think the runs scored by Hanif Mohammad carry much more value than what I have done," he said.
Younis recalled that when Hanif worked with the Pakistani batsmen some years back in South Africa he insisted on them facing short pitched balls in the nets to be prepared for the challenge. "He made us play short pitched balls on grassy and bouncy tracks and said playing the bouncer properly was one of the key requirements to be a great batsman," Younis recalled.