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LAHORE: Cricket legend Zaheer Abbas (74), one of the most stylish and elegant batters to ever play this great sport, was formally inducted into the PCB Hall of Fame on Saturday when he received his commemorative cap and plaque from the PCB Chief Executive Faisal Hasnain.

Zaheer Abbas is the third PCB Hall of Famer after Fazal Mahmood and Wasim Akram to be formally inducted, with the remaining five inductions to take place in due course, a PCB spokesman, said.

Zaheer Abbas said, “I feel humbled to have been recognized in such a respectful and honorable manner by my parent organization at my home ground, during play of my favorite format of the game and in front of passionate cricket fans that have also played an integral part throughout my cricketing career.

It has been a privilege to have represented Pakistan for nearly two decades and contribute in the national side’s growth in terms of stature and reputation. It was a delight to play with and against some of the all-time greats in an era when cricket regulations and playing conditions were not as stringent as today. Of course, the opportunities were also limited as compared to today, but the rewards, appreciation and acknowledgement was always extremely high and satisfying.”

Zaheer Abbas said, “Cricket has moved on from my playing days but it still remains a gentleman’s game. It gives me great pleasure and satisfaction to see that this beautiful sport remains in the safe and capable hands of modern day elite cricketers who, day in day out, give their very best in striving to continue to enhance the standard of this sport and in doing so, attract, inspire and motivate younger generation of cricketers.

I want to thank the PCB, my family; friends and all my contemporaries who supported me in this memorable journey and helped me perform for this great country as well as my national, domestic and England teams.”

Faisal Hasnain said, “On behalf of the PCB and Pakistan cricket fans, I want to congratulate Zaheer Abbas on his induction into the PCB Hall of Fame. Zaheer Abbas is not only a Pakistan icon, but a highly respected and admired world figure that made cricket proud wherever he played.

Zaheer Abbas played and performed in an era that boasted some of the most destructive and fearsome fast bowlers, as well as world-class spinners. He not only dominated them, with his technique and style made batting look like poetry in motion. We wish Zaheer Abbas well and hope he will continue to inspire our current and future generation of cricketers.”

To date, Zaheer is the only Asia batter to score a century of first-class centuries after he finished his illustrious 459-match career with 108 centuries and 158 half-centuries from 1965-66 to 1986-87, while amassing 34,843 runs with an average of 51.5. In international cricket, Zaheer scored 5,062 runs in 78 Tests at an average of 44.79 with 12 centuries. He struck seven centuries in 62 ODIs while scoring 2,572 runs at an average of 47.62.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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