Pakistan’s top sports persons , including cricketers, paid homage to country’s greatest ever sportsperson Mohammad Hanif. The high profile sports personalities attended the funeral of the Pakistan’s former captain and legendary batsman Hanif. During funeral ceremony, many even lamented that sporting great were not given their due recognition they deserved during their career.
Hanif was 81, passed away on Thursday at a local hospital after a long battle with a lung cancer and other related complications.
The funeral attended by former captains Javed Miandad, Wasim Bari, Saeed Anwar and Moin Khan, squad legend Jahangir Khan, hockey Olympians Hanif Khan, Islahuddin Siddique and Samullah among others.
Dignitaries from the government were also present at the funeral held on Friday near the former captain’s home.
“Hanif Mohammad was the greatest cricket brain I have come across. He was a cricket genius who did wonders for Pakistan,” Miandad told the media.
“Unfortunately in our country we don’t honour and recognise our greats during their lifetime. What is the use of honouring them after they are gone,” he said.
Mushtaq Mohammad, Hanif brother, also a former Pakistan captain, said that his elder brother was not only a great cricketer but also a humble human being.
“He was more like a father to us and we all learnt our cricket from him. He taught us a lot and he is gone now. I don’t think the void will ever be filled,” a sobbing Mushtaq, who flew down from London, said.
He also said that Hanif had been one of the pillars of Pakistan cricket in its formative years and should be remembered for his achievements.
In 2013 Hanif was diagnosed with lung cancer and went to London for surgery and treatment and returned home well but his condition deteriorated over time as cancer had spread with time.
He was admitted to hospital on July 30 with respiratory complications which eventually led to his passing away.
Hanif was a member of Pakistan’s first touring Test squad that went to India in 1954 and went on to play 55 Tests, scoring a memorable 337 runs against West Indies in 1957.
His 337 is still the longest innings in Test history and stood as the longest in all first-class cricket for over 40 years.
Squash legend Jahangir Khan said that Hanif had always worked tirelessly to promote sports and sportspersons in Pakistan.
“Whether it was cricket, hockey, squash or tennis when he was in PIA he always backed us and we learnt from him. His death is a big loss to Pakistan sports,” he said.