Zafar Altaf, Pakistani cricket player, Died at 74


Zafar Altaf was born on August 1, 1941, and died on December 5, 2015.

He was a cricketer for Pakistan, a cricket administrator, economist, senior civil servant and author.

Zafar made his first-class debut in 1958 to 1959 as a middle-order batsman for Lahore.

In his third match he made 99 in the semi-final of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy against Combined Services, and a few days later hit 111 for Punjab University in a first-class match against Sind University.

Zafar was selected to tour India with the Pakistan team in 1960 to 1961, and scored 262 runs in eight first-class matches at 29.11. Although he did not play in any of the Tests, Zafar took a catch in the First Test in Bombay while fielding as a substitute.

His form fell away in the next two seasons: in six matches he scored only 82 runs.

In 1964 to 1965, Zafar hit his second first-class century, 139 not out in Lahore against Punjab University.

In 1965 to 1966, he scored 268 for Lahore Greens against Bahawalpur, adding 346 for the fourth wicket with Majid Khan, setting a Pakistan record for a fourth-wicket partnership.

Zafar had his most successful season in 1967 to 1968, scoring 605 runs at 37.81, and returned to the notice of the national selectors.

After captaining Lahore Greens against Karachi Blues in the long-delayed final of the 1965 to 1966 Ayub Trophy and scoring 118 and 87, Zafar played for The Rest against a Pakistan XI, scoring 43 in each innings.

Zafar played in the Karachi Blues team that won the 1967 to 1968 Ayub Trophy, then captained South Zone to victory against the touring Commonwealth XI in Karachi, in a match brought to life by adventurous declarations by both captains.

A few weeks later, Zafar captained North Zone against the Commonwealth XI in Peshawar, top-scoring in each innings with 64 not out and 32.

He then played in the last of the three matches between Pakistan and the Commonwealth XI, scoring 13 and 5 in a drawn match.

Zafar was the only player on the Pakistan side who did not play Test cricket.

He played only six more first-class matches, in 1970 to 1971 and 1971 to 1972, in Rawalpindi, three of them as captain.

Zafar Altaf passed away at age 74 in December 2015.