There’s no dearth of cricketing talent in Pakistan and when we talk about the cricketers of the late 60s then some of the names in that list stand out. Today, in our biography section, we’re going to talk about Wasim Bari.
He was one of the first prominent wicket-keeper batsmen produced by the country. Also, Wasim Bari was one of the few cricketers who were born just after the independence of Pakistan.
Early Life and Career:
Wasim Bari was born on the 23rd of March in 1948. He opened his eyes in the city of lights Karachi and started playing cricket in his early school and college days. He studied from the Saint Patrick High School in Karachi.
He made his Test debut in 1967 in the month of July against England. He was regarded as one of the best glove-men of his time. He played for Pakistan in 81 Test matches and represented the men in green 51 ODIs as well.
Wasim Bari played for almost two decades for Pakistan and his 17-year long career had many significant contributions for Pakistan cricket.
He was a stylish right-handed batsman and a wicket-keeper who played between 1967 and 1984 for his country. He was perhaps a better wicket-keeper than a batsman and his career average of 15 states that clearly.
However, he was first recognized by some members of the U-25 English side when they called him the best wicket-keeper of South Asia. He was a smart bloke behind the wickets and it was also in England when he took his first dismissal as a Test wicket-keeper for Pakistan. Colin Milburn was his first victim behind the wickets.
Some of the best wicket-keepers also acknowledged Bari’s talent to a great extent. Former English captain Tony Greig believed that Alan Knott was the best wicket-keeper at that time but Knott himself said that Bari was so much better than him with the gloves.
It is always said that a wicket-keeper’s first job is to keep the wickets and then think about batting. Bari was a classic example of that saying.
There’s was no point in arguing over his wicket-keeping skills but his batting credentials always used to come under criticism. He managed to score 11 half-centuries in his 81 Test matches and scored 1366 runs for Pakistan. He also scored 971 runs in 51 ODIs with 5 half-centuries to his name.
As we speak about the achievements of Wasim Bari then it is very natural to say that all of his major achievements in the field of cricket were behind the stumps.
In 1971 at the famous ground of Leeds, Bari equaled the record for the most number of catches taken in a Test match. He took 8 catches in that match to record his name in the books.
He joined the record books once again in 1976-77 when he got four stumpings in a Test match against Australia. In 1979, he made another record of catching behind the stumps.
He caught 7 out of the first 8 batsmen from the Kiwis’ side. It became a world record at that time. It was the record for the most number of dismissals in a Test innings. He finished his career with 228 victims behind the stumps and it was also a record at that time. Bari’s 228 dismissals were most by any Pakistani and a South-Asian wicket-keeper at that time.
Right now, only the former captain of India Mahendra Singh Dhoni has more catches and stumps than that of Wasim Bari. However, Bari will always be considered as a master of wicket-keepers in the South Asian region.