Few people are aware of the remarkable cricketer who, unusually, played for both India and Pakistan during his career. Abdul Hafeez Kardar is that person.
Kardar’s noteworthy but untold tale ought to be recorded in history books. He played his debut Test match for British India before the 1947 partition after being born in Lahore. Kardar, a skilled all-arounder, led India in his first Test match against England in 1946 while making 21 runs.
Kardar, who was born in Lahore, decided to emigrate to Pakistan after the subcontinent was partitioned into India and Pakistan in 1947. He was chosen right away to captain Pakistan’s team against India in their first-ever Test match in 1952.
Kardar thus has the unique privilege of leading both teams in their respective inaugural Test matches. He participated in 23 Tests as Pakistan’s captain and 3 Tests for India overall. In his brief time with India, he claimed 22 wickets while scoring 688 runs for Pakistan and taking 43 wickets.
The first match between Pakistan and India was won by Kardar’s team in 1952, which he cited as his proudest professional achievement. Kardar, who served as Pakistan’s first captain, is revered as the “Father of Pakistani Cricket.”
The rare opportunity to play international cricket for two separate nations is only afforded to a select few people. Kardar’s unique location in history demonstrates how India and Pakistan’s political separation upended the linked cricket culture.
Kardar’s own career served as an example of how the rivalry did not obscure the mutual love of the game. His life’s tale ought to be known to more people as a representation of a complicated yet unified cricketing past. Kardar continues to be one of the most intriguing characters in the rich subcontinental history of cricket.