Pakistan cricket great Abdul Qadir, who revived the art of leg-spin bowling, has died at the age of 63, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Friday.
Pakistani media reported that he died of cardiac arrest.
Qadir made his Pakistan debut in 1977 in Lahore and went on to play 67 tests and 104 one-day internationals, claiming a total of 368 wickets.
The PCB wrote on Twitter: “PCB is shocked at the news of ‘maestro’ Abdul Qadir’s passing and has offered its deepest condolences to his family and friends.”
Qadir was an influential figure in Pakistan’s most successful teams in the 1980s and later a mentor to the next generation of leg-spinners, including Australia’s Shane Warne and Pakistan’s Mushtaq Ahmed.
After retiring from the sport, he served as the chief selector for Pakistan.
“They called him the magician for many reasons but when he looked me in the eyes & told me I was going to play for Pakistan for the next 20 years, I believed him,” former Pakistan bowler Wasim Akram wrote on Twitter.
“A Magician, absolutely. A leg spinner & a trailblazer of his time.”