Former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Imtiaz Ahmed has died in Lahore, five days short of his 89th birthday. He was Pakistan’s oldest living Test cricketer and had been suffering from a chest infection.
Imtiaz played 41 Tests for Pakistan between 1952 and 1962, and captained in four of those matches towards the end of his career. He made 2079 runs at an average of 29, and took 77 catches and made 16 stumpings. His career-best score of 209 came against New Zealand in Lahore in 1955.
He was an integral member of Pakistan’s first official Test side, led by Abdul Hafeez Kardar to India. He played the first three Tests as a batsman but took over the gloves from Hanif Mohammad in the fourth Test in Chennai, and kept wicket for the rest of his international career until his last appearance at The Oval in 1962.
Imtiaz’s first-class career ran from 1944-45 to 1972-73, having made his debut as a 16-year-old for Northern India before partition. He played 180 games, scored 10391 runs with a best score of 300 not out, took 322 catches, and effected 82 stumpings.
In 1960, Imtiaz received the presidential pride of performance award, and later in life he was awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz for his services to the Pakistan Air force; he retired as a wing commander after 27 years spent mainly in administrative roles.
After has playing career, Imtiaz had served as a Pakistan selector for 13 years and was the head of the selection committee between 1976 and 1978. He then took up a coaching role and spent nearly a decade developing Under-19 cricketers. His last assignment was with the department that handles women’s cricket in Pakistan, where he served as an advisor for three years from 2005 to 2008.