x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Wasim leads tributes to legendary administrator Nur who dies aged 88

Pakistani sporting icons such as Jahangir Khan, the former world squash champion, also credits his success to the man who brought the cricket World Cup to the subcontinent in 1987.

Former greats mourned the death of Nur Khan, Pakistan's legendary sports administrator, yesterday, saying his contributions fuelled the country's success in cricket, hockey and squash.

Nur, 88, who was also a former air marshal in the air force, died in Islamabad on Thursday. He served as president of the Pakistan Hockey Federation, and chairman of the cricket board and of the Pakistan Squash Federation.

He was credited for bringing the cricket World Cup to the subcontinent in 1987 after the first three editions (1975, 1979 and 1983) were held in England.

Nur also introduced the idea of a World Cup and the elite six-nation Champions Trophy in hockey. "His contribution in bringing the cricket World Cup to India and Pakistan was one of his minor contributions," said Arif Abbasi, the former chief executive of Pakistan Cricket Board.

"His real contributions were in squash and field hockey where he not only built the infrastructure, produced players but introduced main events."

Nur also backed a young Jahangir Khan, a world-record holder of 10 British Open titles and six world open titles in squash.

"Under him we had a golden period in cricket, squash and hockey and from [cricketers] Imran Khan to Zaheer Abbas and from me to [fellow squash legend] Jansher Khan he helped develop a lot of players," Jahangir said.

"He was the right man between the players and the administration and that's why we achieved a lot of success in sports."

Wasim Akram, the former Pakistan paceman, described Nur as a legend off the field. "We can't find an administrator like him now," said Wasim, who has taken 916 international wickets. "What he did for sports in Pakistan will always be remembered."

Hanif Khan, a 1984 Olympian for Pakistan said: "Field hockey is what it is because of him, and because of his contribution Pakistan held Olympic, World and Champions Trophy titles simultaneously."

In other news, Pakistan face Bangladesh in the second cricket Test, starting on Saturday, in Dhaka.