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Gavaskar is the real Little Master, says Hanif

Published Aug 07, 2013 07:16am


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Hanif Mohammad. -File photo
Hanif Mohammad. -File photo

MUMBAI: Pakistan’s Hanif Mohammad, known as the Little Master of cricket, is being treated for cancer in London.

On Sunday afternoon, he was pleasantly surprised to get a telephone call from another Little Master, India’s Sunil Gavaskar.

Speaking exclusively over telephone from his daughter Seema’s house, Gavaskar inquired after Hanif’s health and wished him a speedy recovery.

“Both Sunil and myself chatted for over five minutes and I was highly impressed with his gesture,” said Hanif.

“Gavaskar, in fact, is the Little Master number one, I come second,” said Hanif in his magnanimous comment for the prolific former Indian batsmen.

Elaborating about his recovery and treatment, Hanif said: “I feel much better after the successful operation here.

“Visited doctor once and will be seeing a surgeon once next week before returning to Karachi on 18th or 21st of August,” he said.

Hanif’s younger son Shahzeb said: “During my dad’s rehabilitation here, he has been receiving several calls from the former cricketers and well wishers.”

“Sunil Gavaskar, Rameez Raja, Zaheer Abbas, Sarfraz Nawaz, Asif Masood, Asif Iqbal have all called to inquire after my father.

Geoff Boycott, Mike Brearely and the MCC have also sent messages and flowers for my father and wished him recovery which is very heartening for us indeed.”


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Comments (43) Closed

Nadeem Mirza Aug 07, 2013 08:05am

What a legend! Mohammad family has served Pakistan and world cricket immensely.

Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Aug 07, 2013 08:25am

What a great comment from a great cricket legend? May God Almighty grant Hanif Mohammad an early, quick and complete recovery. Aameen, Tsum Aameen.

Jb Aug 07, 2013 09:40am

Wish him speedy recovery. I remember him with pride when he held pakistan innings together with good technique and temperament.

Baber Khan Aug 07, 2013 11:40am

In fact, Hanif Mohammed is the one and only!

Sanjeev Aug 07, 2013 11:50am

Surprised to see Imran's name missing who wished little master speedy recovery, though Imran's claim he's cricketer first....

Guest63 Aug 07, 2013 12:10pm

Its a sort of Complimentary Gesture from the loving fans of the game . In my humble opinion , Sunil Gowasker was not yet accustomed to hold a cricket bat in his hand ( i may be wrong ! ) when Haneef was titled " Little Master of the game " so there can not be as such passing on the title as there is no number game or a primary or secondary title of such nature . In the context of Indian and Pakistani cricket , there is no problem as such to have their own ONE LITTLE MASTER as such ..... If the logic of 1st and 2nd is to be applied , then Where will the Little Master Sachin Tendulakar fit in the Indian side of the game as on the Pakistani side , there has been No another Little Master since Haneef hanged or was forced to hang his Gloves and Bat .... So Let the original Little master stick to where it was done decades ago

zia khan Aug 07, 2013 12:34pm

Hanif Muhammad is a great icon of his time and a great national hero

vijay Aug 07, 2013 01:05pm

Thats real sportsman ship. Hat off to Mr. Hanif Mohammed. I wish him speedy recovery.

Pervez Aug 07, 2013 01:14pm

That's why cricket should not be used for political purposes. People across borders have empathy for each other. It's the politicians (trained liars) that cause division and friction to further their own goals. Well done Mr Gavaskar and all others.

kayamat Aug 07, 2013 01:39pm

Let India and Pakistan be good friends like Hanif and Sunil.

jssidhoo Aug 07, 2013 01:40pm

Wish our politicians and armies could behave like these erstwhile cricket greats in a friendly and cordial manner

Fayeq Aug 07, 2013 02:09pm

May Allah bless you best of health. You have been the true representative of Pakistan and an ideal to follow. God Bless You

Nasser Ali Khan Aug 07, 2013 02:09pm

Hanif Mohammad left test cricket 44 years ago. Yet his record of the highest test score made abroad still stands. Both Hanif and Sunil Gavaskar were truly great batsmen; they were not Little Masters but Great Masters.

Anand Aug 07, 2013 02:14pm

This is the greatness of great people. Both are among the all time greats.

aamir cheema Aug 07, 2013 03:41pm

sadly none from Imran Khan...Javed Miandad...wasim akram. But hats off to asif masood who played little cricket but has shown hihs class here. I always thought sarfraz nawaz is batmeez by birth but i am force to change my opinion now. In my eyes and in the history, Sunil Gavaskar has truly become the Little Master # 1. I never liked him much before just because he was indian. I also admit that by this gesture Hanif muhammad has done a great service to urdu speaking community, who were renowned for their manners but tarnished by likes of Mustafa kamal of MQM.

Siddharth Aug 07, 2013 03:46pm

This humility is very rare these days. Hanif Muhammad stole our hearts when Pakistan was touring India in 1960/61. We were school kids then and he became our hero. He still is. May God grant him a very long and healthy life.

ABLcric Aug 07, 2013 05:01pm

I am 52 y old and my father wanted me to grow up and become like Hanif Mohammad. When I grew up, I admired Gavaskar's batting and his personality. For me, both are same number LITTLE MASTERS! For Hanif, we all pray for his speedy recovery. By the way, would someone please pass on Hanif's contact number in London to Imran Khan?

Babar Khan Aug 07, 2013 06:32pm

Get well soon Little Master. You will always be number one in my book. Facing Hall and Griffith at a tender age, without helmets and staying at the crease for extraordinarily long periods....truly outstanding. Wish you had taught some technique to today's young impulsive batsmen.

athar Aug 07, 2013 08:15pm

I pray for a speedy recovery for him. He is the gentle cricketer & my favourite when I was child. Great contributions to Pakistan cricket with all hurdles he faced.

Imtiaz Faruqui Aug 07, 2013 08:30pm

Nice of him to say this, but the world know who the little master was and will remain. Hanif Mohd.

a Aug 07, 2013 08:32pm

@Baber Khan: I second that.

Abbas Aug 07, 2013 08:34pm

The worlds greatest fast bowler batsmen that ever was (including Len Hutton, jack Hobbs, Don Bradman and yes Sunil Gavaskar. He faced the the worlds fastest bowlers of his time (Truman, Statham, Wes Hall, Gilchrist.....) with great ease and of course brave face. Watching him play in the Karachi National Stadium as a young man are my most pleasant memories. Thank you Hanif sahib you are the greatest.

razi Aug 07, 2013 09:04pm

I have played with HANIF And watched Sunil play and I rate both as NO 1 little masters alongwith Sachin Tandulkar..They used to play on all surfaces( Turfs)without Helmet and in all conditions. I wish Hanif complete and speedy recovery.

razi Aug 07, 2013 09:10pm

I have played with Hanif And watched Sunil play and I rate both as little masters alongwith Sachin. A treat to watchbatting without helmets.

Dr.Muhammad Abul Hossain Aug 07, 2013 09:19pm

I m very happy 2 know that my dream hero of my younger days is recovering from cancer. I m also very pleased to know the contacts between two super stars of cricket'c communication in spite of the hostilities between Pakistan and India. I hope others will also follow them.

TKhan Aug 07, 2013 09:53pm

Honorable Hanif Mohammad is the most humble man ever. I vividly remember he once visited a family in our Aram Bagh neighborhood. Obviously the son of the family boasted to all of us that Hanif is visiting his house for dinner. I was 12 or 13 year old; my friends and I waited on the stairs of our friends' house with our bats, pens and papers. Finally Hanif arrived after 5 hours of wait. He was running late for dinner, we surrounded him and we all wanted him to sign our bats or autograph books. I remember he signed one book and then excused himself by saying he will be back within an hour to sign the rest. My friends older brother told us later that as soon as he finished his dinner with the family, he excused himself by saying that he will be right back as the kids are waiting for him downstairs. He came down and signed all the items put in front of him. I had a leaky fountain pen, and after signing my bat, I noticed ink on his fingers. He didn't say a word simply rub his fingers on the back of his head, smiled and went back upstairs. Where would we find the greatness like this?

Krish Chennai Aug 07, 2013 11:41pm

God Bless Hanif Mohammad, and Wish him Speedy Recovery. One reason he avers Gavaskar as "Master", is no doubt because he faced the greatest of the Windies bowlers, Malcolm Marshall, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Joel Garner, without a helmet anytime. Not for nothing did Sir Garfield Sobers call Gavaskar as the greatest batsman he has ever seen.

tariq Aug 08, 2013 03:08am

Yes I saw Wesley Hall and Griffith bowling their bullet like bouncers to Hanif. Without Helmets or screens!. Wow he was brave and stood out there .Someone is right.Both he and Gavaskar are Great masters.

Jupiter59 Aug 08, 2013 03:22am

A truly magnanimous gesture indeed. They don't make them like Hanif Mohammed anymore. Class personified.

Balwanjee Aug 08, 2013 06:27am

Hanif Jee - You have been my hero since I started to play cricket in the streets of my city, and you will remain so while I am alive. I believe the world of cricket owes you a lot. Thank you for serving the sport of cricket and your country in the ways you did. Best wishes for your speedy recovery, which come from the bottom of my heart and are like silent prayers and are heeded by the Big Guy upstairs.

SBB Aug 08, 2013 06:33am

First of all - wish you a speedy recovery Sir! I never watched you play, but heard great things about your batting.

And your class is permanent.. thank you for reminding us that not too long ago, conversations like these were the norm, not the exception. Truly wish you the best, and a long life. Magnificent!

Balwanjee Aug 08, 2013 06:35am

Further to my earlier note Sunil Gawakar's good wishes for Hanif and Hanif,s reciprocal regards for Sunil are a hero's tribute to another hero.

ssf Aug 08, 2013 06:58am

Sorry to hear about Hanif's illness, he will come thru it, winners usally do. I have not followed his cricket career but remember him well. Karachi schools used to have tournament called Ruby Shield, it was sometime in the late 1940's and I played for ST. Patrick and Hanif represented Sind Madrassa High. We were always feaful of Hanif's batting but somehow we won the shield couple of time but he showed great potential for the future. I wish him the best.

Mohammad Afzal Aug 08, 2013 08:28am

Hanif Mohammad, Greatest of Pakistani batsman of his time. He played such technical batting that very few can play in todays times. He had temperament and patience to stay on the wicket for a long time. As regards moral character and attitude, he was a role model "on" and "off" the field and new generation of cricketrers should learn from him. May Allah grant Hanif bhai a speedy recovery and healthy life.

Mohammad Afzal Aug 08, 2013 08:32am

@Nasser Ali Khan: So well said. Nice.

Mohammad Afzal Aug 08, 2013 08:34am

@kayamat: Absolutely. Actually, we are one people and must respect each other and stop hatred on the basis of language, ethnicity, or religion. No religion teaches hate. Love, live and let live.

Anuj Aug 08, 2013 11:00am

when people in India into cricket talk of tall scores, the first thing we hear is Haneef's name .....when we hear of someone scoring 400+, you feel it must've been a this case the colossus may have been small in size, but very large in temperament and character. Look at him fighting cancer today like he fought fast demon bowlers like Hall or Griffith once. What an icon ! Get well soon sir.

Muhammad Anwar Khan Aug 08, 2013 12:30pm

Hanif Muhammad is pride of Pakistan. May Allah bless him with good health.

NK Ali Aug 08, 2013 01:16pm

A very noble and magnanimous comment from Hanif Sahib. Sunil Gavaskar has given a new definition of batting with his flair and stroke play. get well soon Hanif Sahib. Salams

ABLcric Aug 08, 2013 02:22pm

@Nasser Ali Khan: yes, highest Test batting score on away series (not on home ground) and 'probably' highest score while batting second innings

ANANTH Aug 08, 2013 05:52pm


mohabbat434 Aug 09, 2013 08:16pm

wish you a quick recovery Sir. Heard great stories about your talent from my father. God bless.

(Dr.) B.N. Anand Aug 09, 2013 10:29pm

The name and fame which Mr. Ha if Mohammed earned during the sixties was unparalleled going by the way he had played the fastest bowlers of those times without helmet. His courage was always a matter of headlines those days. Well, if Sunil Gavaskar has called him, that is no surprise for us. Mr. Gavaskar besides his game is also an embodiment of deceny and gentlemanliness. It is difficult to beat him in his mannerism. It was very generous of Hanif to reciprocate in more magnanimous way. Hopefully he recovers soon from the dreaded diseases of cancer. All the best wishes to him. BNA