Former Pakistan captain Saeed Ahmed passes away at 86

Pakistan cricket mourns the passing of a true legend. Saeed Ahmed, a former captain and a dashing batsman of his era, breathed his last on March 20, 2023, at the age of 86.

Saeed Ahmed’s name is etched in the annals of Pakistan cricket history. Debuting at a young age, he carved a niche for himself with his elegant strokeplay and valuable contributions with the ball. This article delves into the life and career of this remarkable cricketer, exploring his achievements, his leadership stint, and the legacy he leaves behind.
A Glimpse into Saeed Ahmed’s Early Life and Debut

Born in Lahore in 1937, Saeed Ahmed’s cricketing journey began at a tender age. His talent was evident early on, and he quickly rose through the ranks of domestic cricket. In 1958, at the young age of 20, Ahmed received his international call-up for the historic drawn Test match against the West Indies in Bridgetown. This match witnessed the legendary Hanif Mohammad’s marathon knock of 337, and Ahmed, batting alongside him, played a crucial role in holding one end up with a gritty 65. This marked the beginning of a promising international career for the young batsman.

A Dashing Batsman with All-round Abilities:

Saeed Ahmed wasn’t just a prolific scorer; he possessed a unique style that captivated audiences. His elegant strokeplay and ability to find gaps with ease made him a nightmare for bowlers. He was particularly adept at playing spin, displaying a solid technique and excellent timing. While batting remained his primary strength, Ahmed was also a handy off-spinner, picking up 22 wickets in his Test career. This all-round ability added a valuable dimension to the Pakistan bowling attack.

A Respected Figure: Captaincy Stint and Playing Career Highlights

In 1969, the mantle of captaincy fell upon Saeed Ahmed’s shoulders when he replaced Hanif Mohammad for a three-Test series against England. While all three Tests ended in draws, Ahmed’s leadership qualities were evident. He instilled a sense of discipline and camaraderie within the team, laying the foundation for future successes.

Memorable Performances:

Throughout his career, Saeed Ahmed produced several noteworthy performances. His three centuries against arch-rivals India stand out, showcasing his temperament and ability to perform under pressure. Another significant knock came in the 1972-73 tour of Australia, where he scored a gritty 81 against a formidable bowling attack. His contributions with both bat and ball were instrumental in Pakistan’s emergence as a force to be reckoned with in Test cricket.

An Undignified End and Life After Cricket

Unfortunately, Saeed Ahmed’s international career ended on a controversial note. During the 1972-73 tour of Australia, he was sent home for disciplinary reasons. While the details remain unclear, this incident undoubtedly cast a shadow over his otherwise illustrious career.

A Life Beyond the Pitch:

Following his retirement from cricket, Saeed Ahmed chose a life largely away from the public eye. He dedicated himself to his personal life and rarely appeared in cricketing circles.

A Legacy of Elegance and Grit

Despite the controversies surrounding the end of his playing career, Saeed Ahmed’s contribution to Pakistan cricket remains undeniable. He was a pioneer who inspired a generation of young cricketers with his elegant batting and all-round abilities. His leadership qualities, though displayed only briefly, served as a testament to his cricketing acumen.

Remembering the Man Behind the Wicket:

Beyond the on-field heroics, it’s important to remember Saeed Ahmed, the individual. He was known for his gentle demeanor and his dedication to the sport. His passing leaves a void in the cricketing fraternity, and his legacy will continue to inspire future generations.


Saeed Ahmed’s life story is a testament to the enduring spirit of Pakistani cricket. He rose through the ranks, carved his name on the international stage, and left behind a legacy of elegance and grit. While his career may have ended prematurely, his contributions to the sport will forever be cherished by fans and players alike. As Pakistan cricket moves forward, Saeed Ahmed’s memory will serve as a reminder of the unwavering passion and dedication that defines the sport in the nation.

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