By Sohail Alin
LAHORE, Jan 24 (APP):The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday expressed its sadness on the death of Aftab Baloch, who in 1969 made his Test debut at the age of 16 against New Zealand in Dhaka. He was 69.
Aftab scored 25 in his only innings in the drawn Test and had to wait for six years for his second and final Test in which he scored 12 and 60 not out against the West Indies in Lahore.
Aftab remains the sixth youngest player to make a Test debut and is remembered for his 428 (584 minutes, 25×4) in Karachi as Sindh captain against Balochistan in the 1973-74 season. In the same match, Javed Miandad, playing his eighth first-class match, scored 100 and added 174 runs for the fifth wicket with Aftab as Sindh declared their first innings at 951 for seven in reply to Balochistan’s 93 and then skittled out the visitors for the second time for 283.
Aftab ended his 172-match first-class career with 9,171 runs (41.68 average) and 223 wickets (31.62).
After retirement, Aftab Baloch served as Pakistan U19 team manager as well as junior selector. He was presently a member of the Sindh Cricket Association.
PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja said here : “I am deeply saddened to hear the passing of Aftab Baloch, who was one the most popular cricketers when I was growing. I not only had the privilege of watching him in action, but also played against him in the twilight of his career.
“As he was a close friend of my late brother Wasim Hasan Raja, I knew him well outside the field of play and always admired him for his passion, love and understanding of the game. He was gentle, friendly and caring, and had qualities that made him a widely respected and loved person.
“On behalf of the PCB, I would like to pass our condolences to Aftab Baloch’s family, close friends and the Sindh Cricket Association at this difficult time.”