Mohammed Nissar: The Forgotten Hero of Lahore’s Cricket Legacy

New York    -   Mohammed Nissar, hailed as one of the fastest bowlers of the 1930s, remains an unsung hero of Lahore. A product of Minto Park, Islamia College, and Government College Lahore, Nissar’s cricketing journey saw him selected to play for All-India against England in the inaugural Test series at Lord’s on June 25, 1932.

Nissar holds the historic honor of delivering the first ball in Test cricket for the Indo-Pak subcontinent and claimed the first Test wicket, achieving a remarkable five-wicket haul in that debut match. Today marks the 92nd anniversary of this significant achievement.

RECOLLECTIONS FROM THE HISTORIC 1932 TOUR

Below are excerpts from Nissar’s reflections on the 1932 tour to England, as published in the 1942-43 edition of Crickinia Magazine:

BEGIN EXCERPT

“The 1932 tour to England is filled with happy memories. Representing one’s motherland abroad generates immense pride and self-esteem, even in the most ascetic individuals – and I was no Buddhistic recluse!

Naturally, I was thrilled with my selection and eagerly anticipated playing at Lord’s, the Oval, and Manchester. Cricket had been a lifelong passion, and I avidly followed the careers of Hobbs, Sutcliffe, Bradman, and other cricket legends. Talking about their performances felt like discussing local games at Minto Park or Lawrence Gardens.

The prospect of competing against such giants thrilled me. Joy and nervousness coexisted as we set sail with high spirits. Our journey on the ship was filled with camaraderie and enjoyable moments. The change in environment upon landing at Marseilles, both geographical and human, was transformative and filled us with new perspectives.

Upon arriving in England, we were greeted by cold weather and wet conditions, which initially kept me out of the first few matches. However, my unexpected success in subsequent games, particularly against Minor Counties and Oxford University, boosted my confidence. Positive media coverage played a significant role in my later successes in England.

My ‘Five for ninety-three’ in the Test match was a pleasant surprise. Despite our eventual defeat, the team’s performance received high praise. While our batsmen struggled, Amar Singh and Jehangir excelled with the ball. Our loss was honorable, and we had no reason to feel disgraced.

END EXCERPT A FORGOTTEN LEGACY

Despite his contributions, Mohammed Nissar, the Lahorite who put pre-partition India on the world cricketing map and later served as the chief selector for the Board of Cricket Control in Pakistan (BCCP), selecting the first Test team for Pakistan, remains largely forgotten. Lahore and Pakistan still have not honored him with any stadiums, pavilions, or streets named in his memory.

Azhar Khan is an accomplished senior sports journalist with extensive experience in the field. He can be reached at azharmasood786@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter at @azharmasood786

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt