Rawalpindi, March 2 (IANS) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Cricket Australia (CA) on Wednesday announced the introduction of the Benaud-Qadir Trophy for Test series between Pakistan and Australia. The trophy is named in honour of two legendary leg-spinners, Richie Benaud and Abdul Qadir and will be presented at the end of each men’s Test series played between Pakistan and Australia.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Australia skipper Pat Cummins unveiled the Benaud-Qadir Trophy at the Pindi Cricket Stadium ahead of the first Test starting from Friday. The newly-announced first edition of the Benaud-Qadir Trophy will be presented to the winning side at Lahore, where the three-Test series will culminate.
“The game is today healthy, wealthy and strong because of such individuals and their legacy, as such, we must always recognise and acknowledge their contributions and services. We have our sights firmly on the Benaud-Qadir Trophy, both the sides will have to bring out their very best during this series as this promises to be a really competitive contest,” said Azam in a statement.
Benaud and Qadir were two skilful, distinguished and immensely respected cricketers of different eras, who served the game with honour, pride and distinction. Benaud got wrist-spin bowling noticed and recognised 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.
“This series will significantly enhance the quality of Test cricket, which cricket fans inside the venues and world-over can thoroughly enjoy. I am honoured that I will be leading the Pakistan team in the Benaud-Qadir Trophy, we will try and give performances that will be a tribute to these two legends who will always remain legends of the game,” added Azam.
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.
“To be able to compete for the Benaud-Qadir Trophy for the first time is a huge honour. As current players, we really are standing on the shoulders of these greats of the past who helped to grow and popularize the game in years gone by, and if my team can collect that trophy at the end of this series then it really would be the perfect end to the Test part of this historic tour,” stated Cummins.
Before the Benaud-Qadir Trophy, Pakistan and Australia have played 25 Test series with Australia winning 13 and Pakistan winning seven. When Pakistan last hosted Australia in 1998, Mark Taylor’s side won the series 1-0, while Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men won 1-0 in Pakistan’s last home series in the United Arab Emirates in 2018. The last Test series between the two sides was played in Australia in 2019, which was won 2-0 by Australia.