Karachi, Aug 11: Pakistan's legendary former captain and batsman Hanif Muhammad, who held the record for the longest innings in Test cricket, passed away today (August 11) after a prolonged battle with lung cancer.
A spokesman for the Aga Khan Hospital, where he was being treated, confirmed that Hanif had passed away at the age of 81.
"He was in Intensive Care Unit and on a ventilator for respiratory problems and passed away today," he said.
Several cricketers, present and former, expressed sadness at the passing of Hanif on Thursday.
"Rest In Peace Little Master. The Legendary batsmen Hanif Mohammad will be missed but never forgotten.My Love to Shoaib & family at this time," former Pakistani paceman Wasim Akram wrote on his Twitter page.
Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar wrote, "The cricketing legend #HanifMohammad was always positive and supportive. Have fond memories of meeting him in 2005. RIP."
In a statement, International Cricket Council's (ICC) Chief Executive David Richardson said Hanif was one of the top cricketers of all-time and an idol for many batsmen.
"It's sad to hear of Hanif's death and I'd like to extend my condolences and those of everyone here at the ICC to Hanif's family, which counts so many cricketers in its number. Hanif took batting to great heights and many batsmen drew inspiration from him.
"His contribution to the game has been enormous and one can only imagine the kind of impact his batting had on others over the years. Hanif's triple-century against the West Indies was a legendary innings and unsurprisingly he was one of the original inductees into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame," Richardson said.
Hanif, who scored 3,915 runs in 55 Tests including 12 centuries, is best known for the longest Test innings played. He batted 970 minutes for his career-best 337 against the West Indies in Bridgetown in 1957-58. The next year, he also recorded the then highest individual first-class score of 499.
Hanif's short stature and immaculate technique earned him the sobriquet of "Little Master" much before India batsmen Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar were referred to by the same nickname.
Hanif was among four brothers to represent Pakistan. His elder brother Wazir played along with him during Pakistan's debut Test against India at New Delhi in 1952. In his last Test against New Zealand in Karachi in 1969, he played along with younger brothers Mushtaq and Sadiq. Another brother, Raees, played first-class cricket and was once the 12th man for a Test match.
Hanif's son Shoaib Mohammad played 45 Tests and 63 One-Day Internationals for Pakistan.
Rest In Peace Little Master. The Legendary batsmen Hanif Mohammad will be missed but never forgotten.My Love to Shoaib & family at this time
Rest In Peace Little Master. The Legendary batsmen Hanif Mohammad will be missed but never forgotten.My Love to Shoaib & family at this time— Wasim Akram (@wasimakramlive) August 11, 2016