Mushtaq salutes Alimuddin


Pakistan great Mushtaq Mohammad paid tribute to a “thorough gentleman” in Alimuddin after the former Test opener died aged 81 in London on Thursday. The youngest cricketer ever to make a first-class debut, Alimuddin was aged just 12 years and 73 days when he played for Rajasthan in the pre-partition Ranji Trophy.
He top-scored in his first innings, albeit with 13, and then was second top score in the second innings with 27.
Alimuddin made his Test debut at Lord’s in 1954 during Pakistan’s first tour of England. He went on to play 25 Tests for Pakistan, scoring 1,091 runs at an average of just over 25 with two hundreds, including a best of 109 against England at Karachi in 1961/62. He also faced the first ball bowled in an international match in Pakistan. “I was very close to him,” Mohammad told AFP in a telephone call on Thursday. “When I was a kid he would take me to nets and watch matches with me. I owe him quite a lot. “When I came to England (to play for Northamptonshire) he was still very close to me. I lived in Birmingham and he lived in Harrow, so whenever I came to London I would see him. “He was a thorough gentleman as well as a great cricketer for Pakistan.” Alimuddin, after retiring as a player, moved to London and worked at Heathrow Airport for Pakistan International Airlines. Two of his brothers, Azimuddin and Salimuddin, also played first-class cricket.