||02 April 1932
Mahmood Hussain, one of the stalwarts of Pakistan's early cricket, who took 60 wickets in 29 Test matches, died at Northwick Park Hospital at the age of 59, having been admitted there in September for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Known as a 'great fighter' during his playing days, he maintained his spirit to the end, in his battle with the dreaded complications of diabetes.
Mahmood was the fastest of a trio of new ball bowlers around whom Pakistan's attack was built in the 1950s. Fazal Mahmood, Khan Mohammed and Mahmood Hussain were all born in Lahore and did their city proud as they helped Pakistan to one famous victory after another in their early days. The first of these came on the inaugural tour of India in the Second Test at Lucknow in 1952-53. Mahmood was brought into the side as a result of injury to Khan and took four wickets on his debut, including three for 35 in the first innings (off 23 overs). The second of these victories and in many ways their greatest came at The Oval against England in 1954 with Mahmood taking five wickets in the match including four for 58 in the first innings. He missed the series against Australia in 1956 because of commitments to studies and business, but in 1958-59 when Pakistan beat the touring West Indies 2-1, he took five wickets in the second Test of the series at Dacca, including four for 48 in the second innings.
For much of his career Mahmood was overbowled, particularly on the featherbeds encountered on the sub-continent and the Caribbean at the time. As a result he often broke down with injuries but he was always a great trier to the last. When other heads went down, Mahmood was still available to give it one more try for captain and country. After an unsuccessful tour of England in 1962 Mahmood faded but he made one more appearance in England as manager of the 1978 Pakistan team. By now he had become a successful businessman spending summers at his Wembley home and winters in Pakistan.
Mahmood will be remembered as the gentle giant with a great sense of humour and a fighter to the last. A larger than life figure, he will be counted amongst those who were pioneers of Pakistan cricket.