NEW DELHI, Sept 7: Batting great Sachin Tendulkar led the Indian cricket fraternity's tribute for Pakistan spin legend Abdul Qadir, who died in Lahore after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Qadir, who would have turned 64 on September 15, passed away on Friday before he could be brought to a hospital.
Tendulkar, who as a 16-year-old had played many attacking shots against Qadir during an exhibition match, described him as one of the best spinners of his times. "Remember playing against Abdul Qadir, one of the best spinners of his times. My heartfelt condolences to his family. RIP," Tendulkar wrote on his twitter handle.
Ace India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also took to twitter to express his grief at Qadir's demise. "Extremely saddened by the demise of Abdul Qadir the spin bowling stalwart from Pakistan. My heart goes out to his family and friends. #RIP," Ashwin tweeted.
Harbhajan too expressed his shock at the death of the legendary spinner. "Shocked to hear Abdul Qadir passed away. Met him two years back he was full of energy as always ... A champion bowler, great human being, you will be missed forever ... condolences to the family #RIPabdulqadir," he tweeted.
In his condolence message, former India batsman VVS Laxman said was always mesmerised by Qadir's unique bowling style. "Sad to hear about the demise of Abdul Qadir. Was always mesmerised by his unique style of bowling and he was one of the best leg-spinners to play the game. Heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones."
Qadir became an icon for keeping the art of wrist spin alive in the '70s and '80s with his bouncy and unique run-up and flamboyant personality. Qadir played 67 Tests and 104 ODIs to pick up a total of 368 wickets in his international career.
Tributes also poured in from Australian spin legend Shane Warne, who termed him a "terrific bowler", someone he always looked up to. "It's very sad news about Abdul Qadir. I had the opportunity to meet him in 1994 during my first tour of Pakistan and a lot of people who bowled leg-spin like I did, we looked up to him," he said on air during the ongoing Ashes Test match between England and Australia.
"He was a terrific bowler who bamboozled a lot of batsmen," said Warne.
Former Indian cricketer Madan Lal also lamented that he will miss his "dear friend". "Shocking news legendary leg spinner Abdul Qadir passing away. He was a dear friend will miss him. I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to his family.May his soul Rest in peace," he wrote in his handle.
Former India batsman Aakash Chopra also offered his condolences, saying Qadir made leg-spin fashionable. "Abdul Qadir The man who made leg-spin fashionable. Long curly hair...bounce in every step of a fairly long run-up. Rest In Peace. Condolences to the family and loved ones," he tweeted.
In his condolence message, former England cricketer Mark Ramprakash wrote: "Tragic news to hear of the passing of Pakistani leg spinning great Abdul Qadir, what an entertainer - RIP. - PTI