This was the eighth match of the inaugural World Cup competition held at Edgbaston, Birmingham UK in the summer of 1975. Without the services of our Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal and the young all-rounder Imran Khan who were unavailable because of injury, few expected much of us against the powerhouse West Indians. However the pundits were proved wrong by a masterly innings from Majid Khan who made 60, Wasim Raja 58, I made 55 and Zaheer Abbas 31. Pakistan made 266 for the loss of 7 wickets from our 60 over allotment, and had Majid and I not been unfortunately dismissed ‘playing on’, the total may have been larger.
One of Pakistan’s famous five, Mushtaq Mohammed went on to score more first-class centuries and take more wickets with his wrist-spin than any of his elder siblings. In an international career that spanned three decades, he emerged from the classroom to become the youngest Test centurion in history, and 40 years later, he was still at the sharp end of Pakistan cricket, as coach of the side that reached the final of the 1999 World Cup.
Mushtaq’s is a story that has been waiting to be told, not least because his career virtually spans the entire history of Pakistan cricket, starting as it did with his family’s trek from Western India to Karachi at Partition in 1947, whereupon he spent his formative years living and learning his cricket in a former Hindu temple.
Mushtaq’s career numbers are impressive from 57 Tests he had scored 3,643 Test runs at 39.17 and had taken 79 wickets at 29.22. He remains the only Pakistan cricketer to have scored a hundred and have taken five wickets on two separate occasions. His First Class figures read 31,907 runs at 42.07 and 936 wickets at 24.34. The man one of the brightest stroke players and aggressive leg spinners even by the high standards set by the Pakistan cricketers remains one of the characters of the game. He was a fighter to the bone and he was innovative enough to be one of the exponents of the reverse sweep at the highest level. Mushtaq was the third from the family of illustrious Mohammeds to play Test cricket. He was one of the brightest stars even by the high standards set by his family.