Hanif Mohammad 21 December 1934 – 11 August 2016) was a Pakistani cricketer. He played for the Pakistani cricket team in 55 Test matches between the 1952–53 season and the 1969–70 season. He averaged 43.98 scoring twelve centuries. At his peak, he was considered one of the best batsmen in the world despite playing at a time when Pakistan played very little Test cricket; Hanif played just 55 Test matches in a career spanning 17 years. In his obituary by ESPNcricinfo, he was honored as the original Little Master, a title later assumed by Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar. He was the first Pakistani to score a triple hundred in a Test match.
Hanif was trained by Abdul Aziz, an Afghan cricket player, who had earlier played in Ranji Trophy for Jamnagar and father of Indian cricketer, Salim Durani. He made his first-class debut playing for Pakistan against the MCC in November 1951. He made 26 in 165 minutes.
In 1958–59, he surpassed Don Bradman’s record for the highest individual first-class innings. Hanif made 499 for Karachi in a match against Bahawalpur before being run out attempting his five hundredth run; this stood for more than 35 years before being passed by Brian Lara in 1994. In all, he made 55 first-class centuries and finished with a strong first-class career average of 52.32. He could bowl with either arm and kept wicket on a number of occasions. He is known to have played the slowest test innings when he scored 20 off 223 balls at a strike rate of 8.97.
Hanif’s career lasted until 1975–76, but he never played in the English County Championship, although he did have an outing for the Northamptonshire Second XI in August 1965 whilst preparing for his appearance for a Rest of the World XI against England at the Scarborough Festival a few days later. Hanif was named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1968 and in January 2009 he was named along with two other Pakistani players, Imran Khan and Javed Miandad, among the inaugural batch of 55 inductees into the ICC’s Hall of Fame.
In one Test match against Australia, Hanif scored a century in the first innings. In the second he was given out stumped by Barry Jarman off the bowling of Tom Veivers for 93. Hanif respected the umpire’s decision. Later in a press conference, Jarman admitted that Hanif was not out.