The fierce, affable cricketer

Dilawar Hussain, known for his 1933 Debut against England and scoring well despite various injuries, and overall a much-liked personality by his cricketing colleagues, was born today in 1907.
Dilawar Hussain; Source: Public Domain

Dilawar Hussain; Source: Public Domain

An encyclopedic memory, which enabled him to recall scores at will, great at eating and talking, excellent at giving monologue after monologue for various subjects like philosophy, to cooking - as one person recalls, ‘seasoning a good curry’ - this man was rather interesting for his contemporaries.

They either loved him or hated him - nothing in the middle. This person was Dilawar Hussain, born on the 19th of March, 1907. A proven Test cricketer, he would go on to have numerous escapades with strange situations, stranger reactions, and a load of different opinions about his attitude from others.

He was a wicketkeeper - batsman on the Indian Test team during the 1930s, playing only three test matches, but all the drama happened in those three.

On his debut, in Calcutta for the England tour of India in 1933-34, he was asked to open the innings. Delighted, he made his way to the pitch, only to be hit on the head by a ball from Morris Nichols.

Injured, he retired with a bandage over his head, and then proceeded to come back once more - just to get hit on the thumb by Nobby Clark. Still, he made the top score with 59, and in the second innings, a blistering 57, becoming one of the few to top score in each of their debut innings.

He must have had a knack for opening stances, for his first class career was also built upon a debut of 64 and 112 in his debut match. Dilawar Hussain would then join Cambridge in their team as he studied from there, and would move to Pakistan after the Partition. He would be known as ‘Professor’ as he was a double MA holder, and served as the Principal of Government College, and Muslim Anglo-Oriental College in Lahore. Continuing to contribute to cricket, he would also be a member of the Pakistan Cricket Control Board.

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