“They are all-time greats and truly outstanding ambassadors for Pakistan and global cricket,” said PCB chief Ramiz Raja
After a professional career that lasted 20 years and having inspired generations of fast bowlers – Shoaib Akhtar called him “a torch bearer” – Mahmood died in 2005 aged 78. In 2012, he was posthumously awarded the Hilal-e-Imtiaz – the second highest civilian award – in recognition of his services to Pakistan cricket.
Qadir was every bit as influential and had such mastery over his legspin that it was almost like magic. Over a 13-year Test career, he picked up 236 wickets at an average of 32.80, including a nine-for against England. But numbers alone cannot encompass his impact on the game. He was a showman. When he had the ball, no one could look away. Even his action was a wonderfully extravagant routine, and he admitted more than once that it was contrived as a spectacle to distract the batters. Variety was the key; it was said he had six different deliveries per over.
PCB chairman Ramiz Raja heaped praise on both men as he prepared to induct them into the hall of fame, alongside Hanif Mohammed, Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Zaheer Abbas.
“Fazal’s heroics in the early days introduced Pakistan cricket to the world as a force to be reckoned with and later inspired the next generations of fast bowlers,” Raja said. “The wily, crafty and magical Abdul Qadir revived and reignited the slowly vanishing art of wristspin bowling. Fazal Mahmood and Abdul Qadir are all-time greats and truly outstanding ambassadors for Pakistan and global cricket.”