LAHORE: Former Test cricketer Wasim Hasan Raja was rumbustious and hirsute all-rounder for Pakistan in the 1970s and 80s. Born on July 3rd, 1952, Wasim was a wonderfully gifted left-handed dasher in the lower middle-order, at his best against West Indies. He played 11 Tests against West Indies, against attacks including Andy Roberts, Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner and Colin Croft, making 919 runs at 57.43, an average that only Greg Chappell exceeded during that era. He also had an excellent record against India, hitting two 90s on the 1978-79 tour when many of the other front-line batsmen crumpled under the pressure and ending the series with 450 runs at 56.25. He made his highest Test score against them –– 125 not out at Jullundur – and had his best bowling figures, 4 for 50, with his under-utilised legspin in the same match. His skiddy, Afridi-esque legbreaks were good enough to snare 51 Test wickets, 33 of them outside Pakistan. He was also an outstanding, lithe cover fieldsman. His younger brother Ramiz Raja, a renowned commentator, also played 57 Tests for Pakistan, the same number as his brother. Wasim will always be remembered for the style and spirit in which he played the game, yet for such a mild-mannered and charming man he had his fair share of clashes with the Pakistan Cricket Board. From a privileged background, he did not enjoy the hierarchy within the side, once refusing to hang out a senior player’s socks to dry, but more importantly he always felt frustrated that he seemed to be picked on a match-by-match basis while a clique of senior players were omnipresent in the team. But for this, he might have captained Pakistan ahead of the more rumbustious Javed Miandad or diffident Zaheer Abbas. After all, as a batsman he was a prodigy at 18 and led the under-19 side. Quite often then he did not bother to wear pads when practising with his contemporary Imran Khan, who admitted that Wasim “was in a different class altogether and was already batting with a maturity beyond his years.” He represented Pakistan in more than 100 international matches, coached the national side for a short while and had a spell as an ICC match referee, being in charge of the last Ashes series in Australia. For a number of years he played minor counties cricket for Durham. Wasim later married an English girl before becoming one of the ICC’s elite panel of match referees. He died in August 2006 and was buried in UK.