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Cricket great Hanif Mohammad fights for life at Karachi hospital

57a84772abd23KARACHI: Pakistan’s cricket great Hanif Mohammad was on Monday shifted to a ventilator after he faced respiratory complications during his ongoing treatment at the Aga Khan Hospital here, his son Shoaib Mohammad told DawnNews.

The former batting legend, who is suffering from lung cancer, was admitted to the hospital on July 31 after a two-week-long struggle with breathing problems and congestion, Shoaib told Dawn.com.

After being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013, Hanif underwent surgery in London which helped bring it under control, Shoaib said. “But the cancer spread with time.”

“We sent the latest biopsy to our doctor in London and he said that chemotherapy will not be an effective option for further treatment.”

Shoaib, who is a Pakistan International Airlines employee, said new treatments are expensive and will be difficult for him to finance on his own.

“The latest and effective treatment for this problem costs double the amount of the previous treatment and we will need the help of the government — probably from sports funds to help his (Hanif’s) recovery,” he said.

Born on Dec 21, 1934 in Junagarh, Hanif played 55 Test matches for Pakistan between 1952-53 and 1969-70 and averaged a fine 43.98 comprising twelve hundreds.

At his peak, Hanif was considered one of the best batsmen in the world.

Hanif’s marathon knock of 337 that he scored against the West Indies in a Test at Bridgetown in 1957-58, is regarded as one of the epic knocks in the entire cricket history. After Pakistan found themselves following on from a first-innings deficit of 473 runs on the afternoon of the third day, Hanif spent more than sixteen hours at the crease compiling his runs, allowing Pakistan to draw the game.

It remains the longest innings in Test history (and stood as the longest in all first-class cricket for over 40 years).

It was the only Test match instance of a triple century in a team’s second innings until it was equalled by New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum against India in 2014.

In 1958-59, Hanif surpassed Sir Don Bradman’s record for the highest individual first-class innings. Hanif made 499 before being run out attempting his five hundredth run. This mark stood for more than 35 years before being surpassed by Brian Lara in 1994.

In all Hanif made 55 first-class centuries and finished with a strong career average of 52.32.

Hanif was named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1968. In January 2009, Hanif was named along with two other Pakistani players — Imran Khan and Javed Miandad — among the inaugural batch of 55 inductees into the ICC’s Hall of Fame.

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