Friends and colleagues of former Pakistan batsman Wasim Raja expressed shock on Thursday after his sudden death while playing in England. Raja, 54, collapsed during a match for Surrey Over-50s after suffering a major heart-attack.
“The news was shocking for me and he died as a cricketer while playing a match which showed his love for cricket,” former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad told.
“He was a natural cricketer, a very fine all-rounder and very few cricketers in the world
have played so well against the West Indies like Wasim,” he remarked.
The Pakistani television channels broadcast breaking news bulletins late on Wednesday announcing his death, and newspapers splashed with the news on their front pages.
Former Pakistan captain Intikhab Alam said that he could not believe the news. “He was a young man, a nice fellow and played a lot of cricket under my captaincy,” Alam said.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) director Saleem Altaf hailed Wasim as a gentleman and a fine cricketer.
“We played together a lot and he was one of my closest friends. I am deeply shocked by his tragic news,” a local newspaper quoted Altaf as saying.
Wasim, the brother of fellow Pakistan international Rameez Raja, was a left-handed middle-order batsman who went on to become an International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee. He settled in England after studying at Durham University and marrying an Englishwoman.
Wasim came from a cricketing family. His father, the late Saleem Akhtar, and two younger brothers, Zaeem and Rameez, all played first-class cricket.
He made his international debut in 1973 and went on to play at the highest level for
12 years, appearing in 57 Tests and 54 One-day Internationals (ODIs), including matches
in each of the first three
World Cups, in 1975, 1979 and 1983.
His greatest achievement as a player came during Pakistan’s 1977 tour of the West Indies where, against the home side’s legendary pace attack, he scored 517 runs, including an unbeaten 117 in Barbados.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, August 25th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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