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Taslim Arif dies at 54

March 14, 2008

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KARACHI, March 13: Pakistan’s former Test wicketkeeper batsman and junior team selector Taslim Arif died in Karachi on Thursday night after a brief illness. He was 54.

Taslim, a chain smoker, was rushed to hospital in the afternoon after he complained of chest pain, which was later diagnosed as lung infection. Born in Karachi in 1954, Taslim made his Test debut in 1979-80 against India at Calcutta, scoring a fluent 90 and 46.

In his third Test against Australia the same winter, Taslim made a mighty seven-hour 210 not out, the highest score by a wicketkeeper in a Test until Andy Flower of Zimbabwe bettered it 21 years later by scoring 232 not out in 2000-01. He also featured in two one-day internationals.

A reliable custodian of stumps at all levels, Taslim represented Pakistan in six Tests, scoring 501 runs at an impressive average of 62.62. In December 1980, he signed for Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket and played one full season there. He also played for National Bank in domestic circuit for several years.

An unassuming, affable man, Taslim later took to radio and television commentary and was a regular feature in domestic and international matches at home, besides running a cricket academy in partnership with former Test spinner Tausif Ahmed. He is survived by wife, two sons and a daughter.

His Namaz-i-Janaza will be held after Friday prayers at a mosque opposite his residence in R-95, Block 19, Gulshan Bungalows, Gulistan-i-Jauhar.