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Former Pakistan Test quick Farooq Hamid claims he bowled at ‘110-115 mph’ in the Sixties

by Wisden Staff 3-minute read

Former Pakistan quick Farooq Hamid, claims that he produced speeds of “110-115 mph” in the Sixties, but was forced to quit cricket at the age of 25 due to politics in Pakistan cricket.

The 75-year-old Hamid, whose solitary Test appearance came in 1964 on Pakistan’s tour to Australia, picked up the wicket of Ian Chappell in the drawn game. In an interview with Dawn, Hamid recalled how he was compared to Fred Trueman and Charlie Griffith, claiming that he was considered “the fastest bowler” by many.

“Many international cricket personalities such as great Sir Don Bradman besides or [our] own Imtiaz Ahmed, Zaheer Abbas and others considered me as the fastest bowler, even faster than Charlie Griffith of the West Indies,” Hamid said.

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“On that tour [playing for the Commonwealth XI in Pakistan], great batsman Rohan Kanhai was floored by my lethal bouncer. Later, the commentators said that I was much quicker than Griffith. I must have been bowling at around 110-115 miles per hour I think,” he said.

The fastest ball recorded in modern cricket was bowled by Shoaib Akhtar in the 2003 World Cup, when he clocked 161.3 kph (100.2 mph) against England.

Hamid went on to say that he was forced to give up the game due to Pakistan cricket, which, he feels still exists in the system, proving deterrent to the game’s progress.

“When I took seven wickets for 16 runs against Wellington in a match (on a New Zealand tour), they were dismissed for 53 runs in just ten overs,” he said. “However, everyone was surprised to see that I was not in the Pakistan team for the Test match that was played at the same venue after a couple of days. And neither was I included for the other two Tests played against New Zealand in that series.

“In 1963 when I was part of the Pakistan Eaglets team touring England, I had taken five wickets in three overs but my captain Wazir Mohammad did not give me the ball for further bowling against Lancashire at the old Trafford ground,” Farooq said. “Later, Secretary MCC Mr Howard told my manager that, ‘today Farooq bowled a yard quicker than Trueman at his best.’

“This and much more of the same treatment disheartened and demoralised me so much that I decided to quit cricket at the young age of just 25. Yes, the same politics is going on and harming our cricket.”

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