HARARE – Aliakbar Hamid, who has scored a maiden first-class century for Zimbabwean team Matabeleland Tuskers, was EIGHT years old when his father collapsed and died while playing cricket at Old Hararians Sports Club 14 years ago.

In innings number EIGHT of his fledgling career, the 23-years-old prodigy on Saturday scored his first century in first-class cricket and dedicated it to his late father – a much respected coach, umpire and administrator during his time in Zimbabwe.

Abid Hamid, affectionately known as Abi, was 51-years-old in March 2009 when he collapsed on the pitch during a second league game for his beloved Old Hararians, one of Zimbabwe’s top domestic cricket teams. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital hours later.

Hamid Sr was the cricket section chairman of the club, but when times allowed, he played for OH’s second team, taking several wickets as a spin bowler.

His son, the Tuskers batsman, now has burning ambition to play international for Zimbabwe, just like his role model Sikandar Raza, who like himself is of Pakistani origin.

Ali Hamid bats on his way to 124 not-out against Midwest Rhinos. PIC: ZimCricket Media

Harare-born Ali Hamid is a third generation Zimbabwean. His late father Abi – full name Mohammad Abid Hamid Khan – was born in 1957 in Chipinge, a town is southeastern Zimbabwe, few years after his parents arrived there from Pakistan in pursuit of business opportunities.

Well liked for his affable personality, the late Abi Hamid held several roles within Zimbabwean cricket, outside his duties at Old Hararians where he had been a member since 1980. He became team manager for Zimbabwe ‘A’, board member of the Mashonaland Cricket Association, and Zimbabwe’s technical advisor at the 2008 Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia.

Following his father’s tragic death, Ali Hamid was left in the care of his Pakistan-born cousin Saad Khan. Saad, like his late uncle, went on to become a stalwart of Old Hararians cricket as a player and administrator.

“I’m extremely emotional now,” Saad Khan, a former Old Hararians and Mashonaland batsman, told SportsCast after Ali’s first century in the Logan Cup. “With the help of the Almighty, this will be the first of many hundreds. I see how much hard work he puts in every day. Seeing him getting closer to that first ton and not getting there was heart-breaking. Thank God for this amazing achievement.”

Saad Khan (right) with Pakistani cricketer Mir Hamza in Harare in May 2023.

So close are the two cousins they prefer to call each other brothers – their fathers are brothers. Ali’s maiden century in the Logan Cup for Tuskers against Midwest Rhinos was albeit in a heavy innings defeat to the Midlands side at Takashinga Cricket Club. But Hamid was still grateful for the foundation laid by his late father and loving older brother Saad.

He took to Facebook: “Alhamdulilah! This one is for you (Saad) and Dad!”

Ali Hamid attended Twin Rivers and Ridgeview primary schools in Harare before he was awarded a cricket scholarship at Northwood High School in Durban, South Africa.


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