Syed Mushtaq Ali: The Sultan of Indian Cricket

OV Digital Desk

Syed Mushtaq Ali (17 December 1914 – 18 June 2005) was an Indian cricketer, and best known for scoring the first overseas Test century.

Life and Career

Syed Mushtaq Ali was born on 17 December 1914, in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India. He studied at Aligarh Muslim University. When Mushtaq Ali was 13, C K Nayudu discovered him in Indore and helped him develop his cricketing skills.

When cricket was a young sport in India, he played for regional teams and private clubs a lot. Between 1930 and 1964, he played for Holkar, Central India, Muslims, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Bharat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and India in first-class cricket. An icon for a generation of young Indians, he wasn’t just a sports legend but a star of his era. He played with another legend, the cautious yet skilled Vijay Merchant. They made up a dynamic and legendary opening partnership for the team.

He scored four first-class hundreds in the 1936 tour and won a Wisden Special Award. A right-handed opener or middle order batsman, he didn’t play much international cricket due to World War II. He played in 11 tests. He played his first test against England at Kolkata, and his last test against England at Madras, at the age of 38.

He played for Holkar for the Ranji Trophy along with other legends like C. K. Nayudu. Ali scored 612 runs in 11 Test matches. In addition to batting, he bowled left-arm spin occasionally and took 3 Test wickets. But his first-class record is better. He scored 13213 runs in 226 matches, including 93 fifties.

In 1967, he published his autobiography, Cricket Delightful. The Indian domestic T20 series Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy was named after him.

He died on 18 June 2005 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India.

Award and Legacy

For his contributions to the game, he was awarded the Padma Shri in 1964 and made a life member of Marylebone Cricket Club.