Remembering Munir Malik
by Arshad Chughtai

Player:Munir Malik
Event:Pakistan in British Isles 1962

DateLine: 4th May 2013


Haseeb Ahsan’s sad demise reminded me of Munir Malik, the only prominent bowler of Pakistan team on the tour of England in 1962. Unfortunately Munir Malik passed away on 30th November 2012. Born at Leiah (Layyah) on July 10, 1934 he was a right arm medium pace bowler in Fazal Mahmood’s mould and used to bowl leg cutters.


Munir Malik first came into limelight when he claimed 8 for 70 (four in each innings) in the low scoring closely fought match between President XI led by AH Kardar and Richie Benaud’s visiting Australian team at Rawalpindi in 1959-60. This creditable achievement earned him Test debut in the drawn third and final Test at Karachi where he bowled impressively and dismissed Norman O’Neil, Richie Benaud in the first and Colin McDonald In the second innings. Incidentally it was also the first-ever occasion for a US President to witness a Test cricket match. Accompanied by Pakistan's President, Field Marshal Ayub Khan President Dwight D. Eisenhower visited the National Stadium Karachi on the 4th day of the Test match on December 8, 1959.


Omitted from the team on the tour of India (1961-62) and against ERB Dexter’s MCC team, Munir Malik returned to tour England under Javed Burki in 1962. He appeared at Leeds and Nottingham, the later appearance was his last. His 5 for 128 at Headingley Leeds was the only instance of five wickets in an innings for the tourists on that ill-fated tour, which under the circumstances was a tremendous effort.


He was also instrumental in Pakistan’s only victory in a county match on the tour when he claimed 3 for 116 and 1 for 62 against Surrey. The strong county team included such stalwarts like Peter May, Ken Barrington, John Edrich and Mike Stewart. His other notable performances were against Cambridge University (2/50 & 3/65), versus Derbyshire (1/91 & 4/70) and against AER Gilligan’s XI (3/68 & 2/47).


Munir bagged 197 wickets in 49 first class games between 1956-66 while representing Punjab, Rawalpindi and Services teams. His career best was for Rawalpindi against Peshawar with a seven for 27 and match figures of 12 for 39 in a Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match. He took 9 wickets in 3 tests at an average of 39.77.


Ironically as a fallout of the disastrous tour of England not only Munir Malik’s Test career ended but also of a record number of ten other players including Fazal Mahmood, Imtiaz Ahmed, Mahmood Hussain, Alimuddin, Ijaz Butt, Wallis Mathias, Antao D'Souza, Haseeb Ahsan, Shahid Mahmood and Javed Akhtar. Two years later Pakistan had to raise almost an entirely new team.

(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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