RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Cricket Board and Cricket Australia on Wednesday announced the introduction of the Benaud-Qadir Trophy. This will be a perpetual Trophy and will be presented at the end of each men’s Test series played between the Pakistan and Australia cricket teams to celebrate Australia’s first Test series in Pakistan in 24 years.
Pakistan captain, Babar Azam, and Australia captain, Pat Cummins, unveiled the Benaud-Qadir Trophy at the Pindi Cricket Stadium ahead of the first Test, which commences on Friday. The Benaud-Qadir Trophy will be presented to the winning side at the headquarters of Pakistan cricket in Lahore, where the three-Test series will culminate.
Benaud and Qadir were two skillful, distinguished, and immensely respected cricketers of different eras, who served the game with honor, pride and distinction. Benaud got wrist-spin bowling noticed and recognized as an attacking and wicket-taking option, an art that was subsequently taken to the next level by Qadir with some incredible performances against high-quality batters at a time when express fast bowlers were ruling the roost.
Benaud captained Australia on the team’s first full tour to Pakistan in 1959 and won the series 2-0, while Qadir played in 11 Tests against Australia in which he took 45 wickets, including 33 wickets in two three-Test series in 1982 and 1988 against Kim Hughes and Allan Border’s sides, respectively.
Individually, in 63 Tests from 1952 to 1964, Benaud took 248 wickets, whereas Qadir took to Test cricket in 1977 and finished in 1990 with 236 wickets in 67 Tests. For their respective heroics, achievements, and accomplishments, Benaud was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2009, while Qadir was included in the PCB Hall of Fame in 2021.
PCB Chief Executive Officer, Faisal Hasnain, said, “There can be no better way to celebrate and mark the revival of Pakistan-Australia Test rivalry in Pakistan by launching the trophy in the names of two absolute legends and icons of this great game – Richie Benaud and Abdul Qadir. These two gentlemen remain a flavor of all eras and ages as their contributions towards cricket in general and wrist-spin bowling, in particular, are second to none”.
“The launch of the Benaud-Qadir Trophy will add further context and spice to the Pakistan-Australia Test series, which historically have been well-contested and hard-fought. I am confident that players from either side will draw further inspiration from this initiative and would want to be the first to put a hand on the trophy. Meanwhile, Pakistan cricket fans are looking forward to the opportunity of seeing two outstanding sides it battling out on the field in a bid to win the inaugural Benaud-Qadir Trophy”.
“The launch of Benaud-Qadir Trophy is a joint initiative of the PCB and CA that clearly demonstrates the strong and cordial relationship between the two cricket boards. The PCB looks forward to working very closely with the CA in the years to come”, he said.
Thanking the families of legendary cricketers, PCB CEO said, “I would like to thank and pass on my gratitude to the families of Richie Benaud and Abdul Qadir, who very generously and graciously allowed us to launch the prestigious trophy in their names. This initiative not only reflects the love, value, and respect for our great game but for each other’s countries, people, culture, and heritage.”
Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer, Nick Hockley, said, “This Test series is an exciting and historic occasion with Australia touring Pakistan for the first time in 24 years. Given that context, it is fitting that we can honor two genuine legends of the game, Richie Benaud and Abdul Qadir, by inaugurating a trophy the two sides will play for with those legendary names on it”.
“From an Australian perspective, Richie is a wholly appropriate choice for this honor given his immense contribution to the game, the respect and affection he commands in Australia, Pakistan, and throughout the cricket world, and the fact that he captained the first full Australian tour to Pakistan in 1959/60″.
“Furthermore, having his name alongside that of another great of the game, Abdul Qadir, is a recognition and celebration of the art of leg-spin, a skill they both did so much to showcase”, he added.
“We believe that having a perpetual trophy for this and future series between Pakistan and Australia and having the names of Richie and Abdul illustrates the desire of both governing bodies, Cricket Australia and the Pakistan Cricket Board, to grow the stature of these series moving forward”, CA CEO concluded. Daphne Benaud, Richie’s wife: “I am delighted to give my approval for Richie’s name to be on this trophy alongside that of Abdul Qadir. Richie had very high regard for Abdul and the fact that both were leg-spinners has a nice ring to it.