LAHORE: Former Pakistan Test cricketer Aftab Baloch, who is remembered for his quadruple century innings of 428 in a first-class match in 1970s, has passed away aged 68.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) expressed its sadness upon the death of Aftab Baloch, who in 1969 made his Test debut at the age of 16 against New Zealand in Dhaka.
Aftab scored 25 in his only innings in the drawn Test and had to wait for six years for his second and final Test in which he scored 12 and 60 not out against the West Indies in Lahore. Aftab remains the sixth youngest player to make a Test debut and is remembered for his 428 (584 minutes, 25 fours) in Karachi as Sindh captain against Balochistan in the 1973-74 season.
In the same match, Javed Miandad, playing his eighth first-class match, scored 100 and added 174 runs for the fifth wicket with Aftab. Sindh declared their first innings at 951 for seven in reply to Balochistan’s 93 and then skittled out the visitors for the second time for 283.
Between the 1972-73 season and the 1977-78 season, Baloch was at his peak scoring 5025 runs in first-class cricket, averaging nearly 55 with 14 tons. Aftab ended his 172-match first-class career with 9,171 runs (41.68 average) and 223 wickets (31.62).
He was never picked to play for Pakistan again. After retirement, Aftab Baloch served as Pakistan U19 team manager as well as junior selector.
PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja in his message said: “I am deeply saddened to hear the passing of Aftab Baloch, who was one the most popular cricketers when I was growing. I not only had the privilege of watching him in action, but also played against him in the twilight of his career.”
“As he was a close friend of my late brother Wasim Hasan Raja, I knew him well outside the field of play and always admired him for his passion, love and understanding of the game. He was gentle, friendly and caring, and had qualities that made him a widely respected and loved person. On behalf of the PCB, I would like to pass our condolences to Aftab Baloch’s family, close friends and the Sindh Cricket Association at this difficult time.”