Abdul Hafeez Kardar

Abdul Hafeez Kardar (Urdu: عبد الحفیظ کاردار ‎) About this soundpronunciation  or Abdul Kardar (17 January 1925 – 21 April 1996) was a Pakistani cricketer and politician. He was the first captain of the Pakistan Test cricket team. He is one of the only three players to have played Test cricket for both India and Pakistan, the other two being Amir Elahi and Gul Mohammad.[2]

Abdul Hafeez Kardar
Personal information
Full nameAbdul Hafeez Kardar
Born(1925-01-17)17 January 1925[1]
Lahore, Punjab, British India
(now Pakistan)
Died21 April 1996(1996-04-21) (aged 71)[1]
Islamabad, Punjab, Pakistan
BowlingSlow left arm orthodox spin bowler
RelationsZulfiqar Ahmed (brother-in-law),
Farooq Kardar (cousin),
CAF Hastilow (father-in-law)[1]
Shahid Kardar 


Alma Mater Oxford University and Islamia College, Lahore.
International information
National sides
Test debut (cap 29/7)22 June 1946 
India v England
Last Test26 March 1958 
Pakistan v West Indies
Domestic team information
1953–1954Combined Services
1947–1949Oxford University
1943–1945Northern India
Career statistics
Competition Test First-class
Matches 26 174
Runs scored 927 6832
Batting average 23.76 29.83
100s/50s 0/5 8/32
Top score 93 173
Balls bowled 2712 24256
Wickets 21 344
Bowling average 45.42 24.55
5 wickets in innings 0 19
10 wickets in match 0 4
Best bowling 3/35 7/25
Catches/stumpings 16/– 110/–
Source: CricketArchive, 3 December 2008

He also served as the member of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab and remained Punjab Minister for Food under the Bhutto government.[1]

He married an English woman, Helen Rosemary Hastilow, the daughter of the Warwickshire County Cricket Club chairman Cyril Hastilow[1] and a Pakistani woman, sister of Pakistani cricketer Zulfiqar Ahmed.[3]

He captained the Pakistan cricket team in its first 23 Test matches from 1952 to 1958 and was later the nation's leading cricket administrator. He is widely regarded as the father figure of Pakistan cricket. He received the Pride of Performance Award from the Government of Pakistan in 1958.[4][5]

Early careerEdit

Kardar was born in a famous Kardar Arain family of Lahore, Punjab in 1925,[6] and educated at Islamia College, Lahore and University College, Oxford. He played domestic cricket for a variety of teams, including Oxford University, Northern India and Muslims. He was one of the few players of his generation who played for India in Tests against England, and following the independence of Pakistan, representing Pakistan.[1] Kardar was appointed to lead the team which would play its first official Test series touring India in 1952–53. Kardar fielded his men against Lala Amarnath's Indian team. Although India won in Delhi and Bombay and won the series, Kardar's Pakistani team achieved their first Test victory in only the second Test in Lucknow.[1]

He was a left-handed batsman and a slow left-arm orthodox spin bowler, scoring 6,832 runs and taking 344 wickets in first-class cricket. He averaged 29.83 in batting, and 24.55 in bowling. Kardar played for the Pakistan team from 1948 to 1952, in the years before Pakistan was granted Test status. Kardar also played for Warwickshire and Pakistan Services.[7]

Pakistan's captainEdit

Kardar captained Pakistan against all the Test playing nations of the day, and achieved an unparalleled distinction of leading his team to victory against each of them, which was remarkable for a nascent cricketing nation. Especially famous was the series-levelling victory achieved touring England in 1954 at The Oval. Kardar and his men also created history by winning the first-ever and only Test against Australia in Karachi in 1957. Although aggressive, motivated and confident, Kardar's Pakistan was yet immature, inexperienced and raw in their cricketing skills to win series victories. The attitude of the players was especially criticised when all the five Tests played by the Indian cricket team on its first tour of Pakistan in 1954–55 ended in a draw. The fear of both Indian and Pakistani players of losing to each other, owing to political tensions and the bloody legacy of independence, was too much for competitive cricket to be played. During his tenure, Pakistan won six, lost six and drew eleven matches in a total of 23 Tests. In all his positions of authority, he was inclined to be dictatorial and quickly angered, especially by any hint of criticism. But he was also a visionary and was an advocate of neutral umpires.[7] Kardar retired from international Test cricket in 1958.[7]

Later careerEdit

Kardar had been a strong supporter of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and an adherent to the idea of Muslim glory in India. Abdul Hafeez Kardar went into politics and served as the president of the Pakistan Cricket Board from 1972 to 1977.[1] His tenure was notable for increasing representation of Asian and African cricketing nations with the International Cricket Council. Kardar was forced to resign after an embarrassing pay dispute with the players in 1977. He also worked with many charitable and social development causes, and in the last years of his life was Pakistan's ambassador to Switzerland,[1] prior to his death in his hometown, Lahore in 1996. Kardar is today credited with popularising cricket among Pakistani people, for his tutelage of some of Pakistan's greatest cricketers, young talent and prodigies, and his stewardship of the Pakistan team and the board in its early years, developing a culture of pride and professionalism. He was also elected to the provincial assembly of Punjab in 1970 on a ticket of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and served in the provincial cabinet as a minister.[1]


In 2019, he was featured as a Google Doodle on what would have been his 94th birthday.[2]

Awards and recognitionEdit

Books by A.H. KardarEdit

  • Inaugural Test Matches (1954)
  • Test Status on Trial (1954)
  • Green Shadows (1958)
  • People's Commitment (1971)
  • The Cricket Conspiracy (1977)
  • Is the Economic Future of Our Youth Become? (1985)
  • Bangladesh: The Price of Political Failure (1985)
  • Memoirs of an All-rounder (1987)
  • Pakistan's Soldiers of Fortune (1988)
  • An Ambassador's Diary (1994)
  • Failed Expectations (1995)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Obituary: Abdul Hafeez Kardar Independent (UK newspaper), Published 10 May 1996, Retrieved 21 June 2019
  2. ^ a b c "Abdul Hafeez Kardar'okte=21 June 2019".
  3. ^ "Cricketing dynasties: The 22 families of Pakistan Test cricket — Part 2 | Sports | thenews.com.pk". www.thenews.com.pk.
  4. ^ The top 10 Pakistan Test cricketers The Sunday Times (London newspaper), Retrieved 21 June 2019
  5. ^ a b Pride of Performance Award for Abdul Hafeez Kardar info on Pakistan Sports Board website Retrieved 21 June 2019
  6. ^ "Player Profile: Abdul Kardar". CricketArchive. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  7. ^ a b c Profile of Abdul Hafeez Kardar on espncricinfo.com website Retrieved 21 June 2019
  8. ^ "President confers civil awards on Pakistani citizens and foreign nationals - Top Story". The News International. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2020.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Pakistan Cricket Captain
Succeeded by
Fazal Mahmood