MUMBAI - On Mother's Day on Sunday, former Pakistan captain Hanif Mohammad vividly remembered his mother Ameer Bee Mohammad, who gave births to five sons, four of whom (Wazir, Hanif, Mushtaq and Sadiq) played Test cricket for Pakistan and the fifth, Raees, just missed debut as he was 12th man for a Test against India in Dacca (now Dhaka) in 1954-55.
"My mother, who passed away at the age of 85-90 years in 1992, was the real motivational force behind success of us", the 80-year-old Hanif said exclusively over telephone from Karachi. "Being a sports lover herself, she won two finals in badminton and carom. She was very fond of playing cards. She loved songs and ghazals."
"Ours is a sports-loving family. My son (Shoaib) played for the country and grandson (Shehzar) is a First Class cricketer. My mother was very happy when I scored those 400 runs. She became annoyed on the fielder who ran me out while attempting my 500th run in a Karachi v Bahawalpur match (Quaid-e-Azam Trophy - Semifinal in 1958-59). I was then struck on 499 runs. She was also aware (there were no TVs' then) of my slowest triple hundred (337 runs made against West Indies in a six-day Test at Bridgetown in 1957/58. Hanif was at the crease for more than 16 hours)", Hanif recalls.
"I also remember my mother informing elder brother Wazir to request Wes Hall not to bowl bouncers at me. My mother had hosted dinner at our house for the visiting West Indies team in 1959. Hall was a very tall cricketer and my mother was worried about my safety as she feared Hall would bowl bouncers at me." The concern of Hanif's mother is understandable. The original "Little Master" is tiny in height. "She was very kind, religious, humble and down to earth. I miss my mother on this day today", he signed off.