Former Pakistan and India players pay tributes to leg-spin icon Abdul Qadir upon his demise

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Former Pakistan leg-spinner Abdul Qadir.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has led the tributes for former leg-spinner Abdul Qadir who passed away in Lahore on Friday due to a cardiac arrest.

Qadir, who made 67 Test appearances for Pakistan, is considered as one of the most iconic spinners of the game and is credited with reviving the art of leg-spin bowling in the 1970s and 1980s.

The highly-respected spinner’s figures of 9-56 in 1987 against England remain the best-ever by any Pakistan bowler in a single Test innings. He achieved considerable success against the English over the course of his career and picked up a total of 70 wickets both home and away in seven Tests against the opponent in 1987.

The tributes and condolences have been pouring in for Qadir since his demise at the age of 63 with former Pakistan and India players both united in their appreciation for the leg-spin icon.

“Abdul Qadir was a genius, one of the greatest leg spinners of all time,” Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted.

Khan was Qadir’s team-mate and skipper for a significant chunk of the leg-spinner’s playing career.

“And he was also the life of the dressing room entertaining the team with his wit & humour,” Khan added.

“Qadir’s bowling statistics do not do justice to his genius.

“Had he been playing cricket now with the modern DRS system, where batsmen can be given out on the front foot as well, Qadir would have gotten as many wickets as the great Shane Warne”.

Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar and India batting great Sachin Tendulkar took to social media to express their condolences for the leg-spinner as well.

“Legendary leg spinner Abdul Qadir sb passed away. Just got this sad news. The revival of leg spin in cricket is completely credited to him,” Akhtar wrote.

“He inspired a generation of bowlers to take up leg spin,” Akhtar wrote.

“Remember playing against Abdul Qadir, one of the best spinners of his times. My heartfelt condolences to his family. RIP,” Tendulkar tweeted.

Overall, Qadir picked up 236 and 132 wickets for Pakistan in the Test and ODI formats respectively with his final appearance coming in a clash against Sri Lanka at Sharjah in 1993.

The former leg-spinner is also credited with helping shape the rise of Pakistan spinners Mushtaq Ahmed and Danish Kaneria post his retirement.

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