Wasim Akram called him a “magician” while Shoaib Akhtar said that he will forever be “indebted” to Abdul Qadir as current and former cricketers paid homage to the spin legend, who died on Friday after suffering a cardiac arrest in Lahore.
Qadir, who would have turned 64 on September 15, died at his Lahore residence, leaving the cricket world stunned.
“They called him the magician for many reasons but when he looked me in the eyes & told me I was going to play for Pakistan for the next 20 years, I believed him. A Magician, absolutely. A leg spinner & a trailblazer of his time. You will be missed Abdul Qadir but never forgotten,” Akram, who played in the national team alongside Qadir,recollected.
“Sad news mate! Loved watching him bowl,” responded Australian speedster Brett Lee in a tweet quoting the one posted by Akram.
Akhtar, one of Pakistan’s most fearsome fast bowlers, put out a video message in which he expressed his gratitude towards Qadir for backing his selection when he was the head of the panel in 2009.
“I would forever remain indebted to Qadir bhai as he supported me in 2009. He fought for my comeback even when I wasn’t fully fit as he believed that I can win matches for Pakistan. The revival of leg spin in cricket is completely credited to him. He inspired a generation of bowlers to take up leg spin. My heart goes out to his family,” Akhtar said.
The death was also condoled by cricket stars in India.
“Shocked to hear Abdul Qadir passed away.met him two years back he was full of energy as always..A champion bowler,Great human being,you will be missed forever..condolences to the family,” tweeted off-spinner Harbhajan Singh.
Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed also expressed his sorrow.
“Absolutely shocking news to hear the sad passing Legend Abdul Qadir saab. May Allah SWT grant him the highest rank in jannah and his family the patience to bear the loss,” the skipper tweeted.
Another former skipper Shoaib Malik also paid homage to the legend.
“My heart goes out to the family of our legend Abdul Qadir saab, May Allah give him the highest level of Jannat and may people always remember him with love and the highest level of respect in this world, Ameen,” Malik tweeted.