Dr. Zafar Altaf


Professional Sportsman

Designation: Cricket Administrator/Economist
Institution / Org:


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Zafar Altaf (Born in Agra, India, 1 August 1941) is a former cricketer for Pakistan, a cricket administrator, economist, senior civil servant and author.

Cricketing career

Altaf made his first-class debut in 1958–59 as a middle-order batsman for Lahore. In his third match he made 99 in the semi-final of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy against Combined Services, and a few days later hit 111 for Punjab University in a first-class match against Sind University.

He was selected to tour India with the Pakistan team in 1960–61, and scored 262 runs in eight first-class matches at 29.11. Although he did not play in any of the Tests, he took a catch in the First Test in Bombay while fielding as a substitute.

His form fell away in the next two seasons: in six matches he scored only 82 runs.In 1964–65 he hit his second first-class century, 139 not out for Lahore against Punjab University. In 1965–66 he scored 268 for Lahore Greens against Bahawalpur, adding 346 for the fourth wicket with Majid Khan, setting a Pakistan record for a fourth-wicket partnership.

He had his most successful season in 1967–68, scoring 605 runs at 37.81, and returned to the notice of the national selectors. After captaining Lahore Greens against Karachi Blues in the long-delayed final of the 1965–66 Ayub Trophy and scoring 118 and 87, he played for The Rest against a Pakistan XI, scoring 43 in each innings. He played in the Karachi Blues team that won the 1967–68 Ayub Trophy, then captained South Zone to victory against the touring Commonwealth XI in Karachi, in a match brought to life by adventurous declarations by both captains. A few weeks later he captained North Zone against the Commonwealth XI in Peshawar, top-scoring in each innings with 64 not out and 32. He then played in the last of the three matches between Pakistan and the Commonwealth XI, scoring 13 and 5 in a drawn match. He was the only player on the Pakistan side who did not play Test cricket.

He played only six more first-class matches, in 1970–71 and 1971–72, for Rawalpindi, three of them as captain.

Cricket administration

Altaf served as Secretary of the Pakistan Cricket Board from 1972 to 1975. He later served on the national selection committee from the mid-1980s, and as chairman of the committee from 1994 to 1996. He managed the Pakistan team that finished second in the World Cup in 1999.

Education and civil service career

Altaf received an MA in Psychology at the University of the Punjab in 1963, and a PhD in Economics at the University of Birmingham in 1981.

Dr Altaf worked as an economist in the Pakistan civil service, rising to the position of Federal Secretary for Agriculture, which he occupied for ten years from the early 1990s. He chaired the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council in 2009.

Books by Zafar Altaf

Pakistani Entrepreneurs: Their Development, Characteristics and Attitudes 1983
Entrepreneurship in the Third World: Risk and Uncertainty in Industry in Pakistan 1988
Rural Transformation 1988
Agricultural Support Prices in Pakistan: Dogma and Doctrinaire 1989
Limitations of the Mind 1999
Lost Capitalism: Essays 1999
Transforming Pakistan's Agriculture: Options for the Millennium 1999
Economic Management: Dreams and Hopes 2000
Poverty: Practical Solutions to Pakistan's Economic Problems 2004
Working with Benazir, Nawaz and Musharraf c 2004
Hunger Pains: Pakistan's Food Insecurity 2010

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