Glowing tributes were paid to Pakistan’s former Test cricketer and chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed Sallu by sportsmen, colleagues and noted dignitaries in a grand reception arranged to celebrate his 50-year association with Pakistan cricket at a local hotel in Karachi on Saturday.
Little Master Hanif Mohammad, who was the chief guest, former captain Intikhab Alam, T20 skipper Shahid Afridi, ex-skippers Moin Khan and Younis Khan and several others recalled their cherished association with Sallu and eulogised his principled stance as a national selector, a position that he held for a record ten times including twice as chief selector.
Renowned writer and humourist Anwar Maqsood, who acted as the master of the ceremony, had the audiences in splits with his crisp remarks and cricketing anecdotes which made the evening a truly memorable occasion indeed.
Sallu, 68, was admired by the speakers for his knowledge and love for the game and for selecting and grooming so many talented players during his various tenures as selector including Saeed Anwar, Moin, Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Saqlain Mushtaq who went on to become the legendary figures of the game.
Though Sallu managed to play only five Test matches for Pakistan, his love for the game never diminish and he continued to serve Pakistan cricket in one or the other capacity throughout during the past 50 years. Currently, he is working as the advisor to the PCB Chairman and is active as ever.
Nadeem Omar, owner of Pakistan Super League’s Quetta Gladiators team, recalled his first interaction with Sallu during a veterans’ cricket match 22 years ago.
“Sallu bhai told me that I have a great future in cricket ahead. Unfortunately, I could not do much at cricket. It might be because Sallu bhai was not a selector at the time,” said Nadeem.
Sallu, later spoke briefly about his association of five decades with Pakistan cricket and thanked everyone including his captains and colleagues as well as the PCB administrators who kept faith in his abilities to support him all through his cricketing journey. Known for his penchant for good poetry, Sallu also rendered a few couplets to end the evening that was organised by Omar Associates in association with the AlBaraka Bank.
Mr. Salahuddin ( Sallu ) is one of the finest Selectors and a great administrator in Pakistan who has produced some of the Cricket greats of our country, he indeed has brought out absolute and most ambitious players on terms of pure merit. We all respect and applause his great talent and hard work over the years along with his passion and love for the country and the sport. His achievements have actually been praised and compared with legends who have scored numbers of runs and wickets in ground and will be remembered . Wishing him lots of good luck and positive strength to keep delivering in the world of Pakistan Cricket.