Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mansoor Akhtar

Mansoor Akhtar was a flamboyant top-order batsman whose grace and poise are still talked about with awe. He was held in very high esteem by Imran Khan, who was hugely impressed by his batting skills.

He first came in prominence by having featured in a world record opening partnership of 561 in first-class cricket in 1976-77. Still a teenager, his contribution in the monumental stand was an unbeaten 224 while his partner, Waheed Mirza, scored a triple century.

After having blunted the fearsome West Indian pace battery in a side game, he was rewarded with the Test cap against the same opponents in 1979-80. He went on to play 19 Test matches and 41 One-day Internationals for Pakistan but his record was deemed as modest and many people thought that he didn’t do justice with the loads of talent he possessed.

Although he played his last Test and ODI in 1989-90 but he continued playing first-class cricket for United Bank Limited until 1997-98. He has lost none of his hunger for runs and the 53-year-old Mansoor Akhtar is still scoring heavily in veterans cricket at all levels. He has been the head of sports department of United Bank for over a decade.