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Pakistan and Australia to play for the Benaud-Qadir Trophy - cricket.com.au

Source: cricket.com.au

Test series between Pakistan and Australia will now be played for the Benaud-Qadir Trophy in honour of the two legendary leg-spinners. Current Test captains Pat Cummins of Australia and Pakistan's Babar Azam today unveiled the new trophy at the Rawalpindi Stadium, where the first Test will be played from Friday. Australia are making their first visit to Pakistan for a Test series since 1998, when Mark Taylor's side won a three-match series 1-0. Benaud was the part of Australia's first Test in Pakistan in 1956 – the country's first ever in Asia – and top scored with a second-innings fifty in what was an eventful affair played on a matting pitch in front of a passionate home crowd in Karachi, and resulted in a heavy defeat for the visitors. He was then skipper when Australia returned in 1959, his first away series as captain, which the tourists won 2-0. A legendary player and broadcaster, Benaud passed away in 2015. Australia captain Pat Cummins and Pakistan captain Babar Azam unveil the Benaud-Qadir Trophy at Rawalpindi Stadium // cricket.com.au Hailed as a 'magician', Qadir was credited for reviving the art of leg-spin bowling in 1970s and 80s, and Benaud was said to have held him in very high regard. The crafty leg-spinner took 236 wickets in 67 Tests for Pakistan, with 45 of those coming in 11 Tests against Australia. Qadir played three Test series against Australia, at home in 1982 and 1988, as well as in Australia in 1983-84 when he claimed a five-wicket haul in that summer's Boxing Day Test. The Best of Benaud in the commentary box He also took 132 wickets in 104 one-day internationals, with Imran Khan using him as an attacking weapon in the 1983 World Cup held in England. Qadir, who later served as chief selector of Pakistan and ran a private academy in Lahore, also played a summer in Victoria's Premier Cricket competition in 1998-99, at age 43, and took 72 wickets 15.87 for Carlton Cricket Club. He died suddenly in 2019 at the age of 63. "I am delighted to give my approval for Richie's name to be on this trophy alongside that of Abdul Qadir," Benaud's wife, Daphne, said in a statement. "Richie had a very high regard for Abdul and the fact that both were leg-spinners has a nice ring to it. From the Vault: Qadir takes five at the MCG "I know Richie would be very pleased to approve a trophy the aim of which is not only to enhance Test cricket but also to advance cricket more broadly between these two countries. I wish both sides the very best of luck for the series and I shall be following it with interest." The current tour is the 26th Test series the two countries have contested, with Australia having won 13 to Pakistan's five. Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockely, who is with the Test squad in Pakistan, said inaugurating a perpetual trophy underlined the desire to play more Tests in future. "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 to grow the stature of these series moving forward," Hockley said in a statement. "From an Australian perspective, Richie is a wholly appropriate choice for this honour 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. "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." Benaud played a key role in the early days of Pakistan-Australia Test matches in Asia, which were a shock to the Australians as they were played on matting pitches instead of turf. Expecting to face more matting surfaces on the 1959 tour, Benaud enacted extraordinary measures during a pre-tour exhibition game played in Brisbane to celebrate Queensland's centenary by arranging for Gabba ground staff to lay out a length of matting over a closely cropped section of the outfield where squad members for the upcoming Test tour could ready themselves. It proved prescient with the first Test in Dhaka, in what was then East Pakistan, played on matting, but Australia won by eight wickets, with Benaud claiming four wickets in each Pakistan innings. The victory was also memorable due to a remarkable 96 scored by Neil Harvey, who was suffering from dysentery and was forced to leave the field up to half a dozen times during his innings. Benaud's Australia clinched the series with a seven-wicket win on turf in Lahore before a drawn third Test in Karachi, back on matting. Benaud was introduced to Pakistan president Ayub Khan during the third Test and, along with team manager Sam Loxton, impressed upon the leader that his nation's standing in the eyes of the cricket world would be considerably enhanced if they played all future Test matches on turf pitches. Pakistan never played a Test on matting again. Richie Benaud v Pakistan Tests: 4 | Wickets: 19 | Avg: 21.89 | BBI: 5-93 | Runs: 144 | HS: 56 | Avg: 28.80 Abdul Qadir v Australia Tests: 11 | Wickets 45 | Avg 35.86 | BBI 7-142 | BBM 11-218 | 5WI: 3 | 10WM: 1 Australia v Pakistan Test record Played: 66 | Australia won 33 | Pakistan won: 15 | Drawn: 18 Qantas Tour of Pakistan 2022 Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (vc), Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Zahid Mahmood. Reserves: Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Haris Australia Test squad: Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner. On standby: Sean Abbott, Brendan Doggett, Nic Maddinson, Matthew Renshaw March 4-8: First Test, Rawalpindi March 12-16: Second Test, Karachi March 21-25: Third Test, Lahore Australia ODI and T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa March 29: First ODI, Rawalpindi March 31: Second ODI, Rawalpindi April 2: Third ODI, Rawalpindi April 5: Only T20I, Rawalpindi All matches to be broadcast in Australia on Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports