Cricketer Taslim Arif (1954-2008) Passes Away

Posted on March 13, 2008
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, People, Sports
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Owais Mughal

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

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23 responses to “Cricketer Taslim Arif (1954-2008) Passes Away”

  1. D_a_n says:

    Rest in peace Tasleem Sb…

    thanks for the stories and the memories…..

    am rather upset that cricinfo did not report his passing…like they do every other tom dick and harry aussie or brit player who ever carried drinks onto a field….for shame!

  2. Nasim says:

    You may delete this if you don’t like it. I have nothing against the man and did not even know him well.
    This is about his non selection to Pakistani cricket team.

    First, Taslim was in an era when Wasim Bari was still riding high. Second, Taslim and Aftab Baloch two friends were known as junkies in Karachi cricket circles.Both were known to smoke hashish during, before, and after the games they played in Karachi.
    That was one major reason Aftab Baloch, despite being a stylish and an accomplished batsman in the first Class circuit, never made it good in at the test level. Aftab did appear in couple of matches and scored a fifty on debut against WI. Still, they were both considered bad influence in the locker room.

    I doubt that he was born in 1954, he was clearly older and like they used to do in the old days had his birth date changed. Taslim appeared way past 30 on his debut.

    Lastly, many athletes use marijuana or hashish for relaxation and believe that poppy provides the physical endurance for the athletic events. Many in the NBA reportedly smoke marijuana!

  3. shahran says:

    Inna lilah wa innah ilaya rajioon.

    Aqil you are correct that Tasleem Arif was one of the players who was lost due to poor cricketing selection system that is still prevailing in pakistan. We lost a number of talented players like him who even excelled even in those limited opportunities that were provided to them but then lost due to the system.

    Tasleem Arif was a good commentator and I also remember that when he used to do the commentary of domestic matches, he always used to admire inzamam ul haque.

    I remember a number matches when inzi was playing for multan and at that time no one knew who inzi was, he was the one who would always say that Inzamam is a promising player. This happened so often that I started thinking if he is his relative. Even if inzi was out on a duck he would still say with no fear that he is a promising cricketer.

    I think his prediction was successfull during the 92 worldcup.

  4. shuaib says:

    May Allah bless his soul.
    During live commentory I remmeber him saying
    “Team per pressure ka dabao hey” :-)
    May Allah forgive all his sins.

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