Abdul Qadir obituary

Pakistani cricketer who turned the unfashionable leg break into a powerful new weapon Until the arrival in the late 1970s of Abdul Qadir, cricket’s most arcane discipline – leg break bowling – appeared to be in terminal decline. In the first-class game no one had much bothered with its difficult subtleties for more than a decade, and there were no players at international level who could hold a candle to former exponents of the art such as Clarrie Grimmett and Richie Benaud . Many teams contained no leg break bowlers at all, and commentators routinely wondered whether, outside club cricket, they might be heading for extinction. Qadir, who has died aged 63 of a heart attack, changed all that. In 67 Tests for Pakistan between 1977 and 1990 his magical talent as a “leggie” – spinning the ball with the wrist rather than the fingers, thereby turning it more dangerously away from, rather than into, the right-hander – fired the imagination of a new generation of cricketers. Among them were a fellow Pakistani,