Pakistan Cricket team’s former test wicket keeper batsman Taslim Arif has passed away. Taslim had lung problems and was feeling difficulty in respiration. He was admitted to the hospital on the morning of March 12.
He was born in Karachi on May 1, 1954. Taslim played six tests and two ODI matches from Pakistan. He made debut against India on January 29, 1980 in Calutta test with 90-run innings (Scorecard Here).
I have vivid memories of listening to the live commentary of his debut test match at our home. All the men in our house hold were gathered around a big radio set and every one was talking about this new lad Taslim Arif who scored brave 90 runs in his very first innings against India. In second innings also he was a top scorer with 46 along with Javed Miandad.
Taslim Arif’s real fame came from a test match in Faisalabad against Australia. There he came as an opener and scored 210 not out. It was a record score at that time by a wicket keeper batsman. (Scorecard Here). Interestingly the earlier world record of highest score by a wicket keeper also belonged to a Pakistani, Imtiaz Ahmad (209 not out). I remember myself being glued to TV for five days watching Pakistan and Taslim play in this match. Taslim first kept wickets for 3 days and then batted for 2 days. I remember that PTV commentators in that match were all praise for him that he stood in the ground for all 5 days. On the 5th day, the game was called drawn as soon as Taslim Arif broke Imtiaz Ahmad’s record.
Geo News reports:
He hit a total of 501 runs in six test matches with 62.62 average. As many as nine batsmen fell prey to him, of them, he caught six catches and three were stumped out.Though, he was a wicketkeeper, he also took a wicket while bowling in a test match. He made his debut in ODI match against West Indies on November 21, 1980.
Taslim was ailing for last couple of days and was under treatment in a Karachi hospital. He was part of commentary team for
Pentangular Cup being shown on Geo Super before his disease. The deceased left behind a widow, two sons and a daughter.
As a Commentator:
In mid 90s Taslim Arif started doing Urdu commentary on PTV. I always found his style and use of language very enjoyable. Once him and Saleem Altaf were doing commentary. Both were in a lively mood and then during live commentary they suddenly started addressing eachother with their full names. For example when a batsman would play a shot then Saleem Altaf would ask Taslim Arif:
“Taslim Arif Abbassi, ye kaisa shot tha?”
To this Taslim Arif would jovially reply:
“Salim Altaf Bukhari, ye ek acha shot tha”
While his cricket knowledge was very good, he sometimes tried to use impressive words in Urdu commentary. As a result he made funny mistakes too. Once I was watching this live match on PTV where Javed Miandad and Salim Malik were involved in a very big partnership and Taslim Arif was the Urdu commentator. Instead of using the word ‘rafaaqat’, Taslim spoke following sentence by mistake:
“javed aur Salim ki raqaabat mein ab tak 150 runs bun chukay haiN…”
Those were the good memories I had about Taslim Arif until a friend of mine forwarded me an email about his demise few minutes ago. I am saddened. May God rest the deceased soul in peace. Taslim Arif’s complete Career Record can be seen here
lai hayaat aaye le chali qaza chalay
na apni khushi aaye na apni khushi chalay
Photo Credits: cricinfo.com