KARACHI: Col. Rafi Nasim, a former Secretary of BCCP, now PCB, passed away on Dec 7 after a protracted illness. He was reported to be 90.

Actively involved in resumption of the Test series between Pakistan and India after 18 years in 1978, he served the cricket board from 1978 to 1988 under Lt Gen.(ret) K.M Azhar and later with Lt. Gen (retd) Safdar Butt - both as secretary and later as media relations officer.

Rafi was later appointed secretary of Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA) and served for six years from 2006 to 2012.

As a writer who had a good eye on the game, Rafi never hesitated in putting his point of view across whenever possible. A self righteous man, he for reason known to him, never saw eye to eye with the Pakistan captain of the eighties and now country’s PM, Imran Khan which resulted in an ungainly incident during the third ODI of a five-match series against the West Indies in 1985-86 in Peshawar. I was a witness to that ugly incident.

Later, Imran narrated this incident in his autobiography. Imran wrote: “Mian Aslam who was one of the umpires in the third ODI, had given Larry Gomes out correctly but the unhappy batsman swore at the umpire before walking back. The umpire, who became visibly nervous after Gomes’ outburst, later gave some incorrect decisions against Pakistan players.

“At lunch break, I (Imran) told the umpire to report Gomes’ rude outburst to the West Indian manager. However, umpire Mian Aslam told me that no one had abused him at which all the team burst into laughter because we had all seen and heard what Gomes had done. But, of course, we could see that the umpire was scared about reporting the incident,” wrote Imran.

“Col Rafi Nasim at that time walked into the Pakistan team dressing room and I (Imran) told him that the board should appoint competent umpires, at which the secretary reacted by saying, ‘Ok, who is your favourite umpire, who do you want?’ I was furious at his reply and ordered him to leave the dressing room. He came back later and locked the dressing room door and demanded an apology from all the players for ordering him out. He told me (Imran) that I need to be put in my place.”

“No one apologised and I was furious at his (Rafi’s) behaviour and though I was padded up, I left the dressing room to avoid any further ugly incident,” wrote Imran.

The incident at the time attracted worldwide attention.

Published in Dawn, December 11th, 2020

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