(REUTERS) – Former Pakistan cricket captain Hanif Mohammad, who was dubbed ‘Little Master’ years before the sobriquet was given to India’s Sachin Tendulkar, has died at the age of 81, world cricket’s governing body said yesterday.Hanif, who was renowned for his immaculate defensive technique, played in Pakistan’s first-ever Test match and scored 3 915 runs in 55 Tests.He is best known for playing the longest innings in Test cricket. In 1958, he batted for 970 minutes to make 337 runs against West Indies in Bridgetown to save the Test for Pakistan who were following-on.Hanif scored 499 playing for Karachi in 1958-59, the highest individual score in first-class cricket until West Indian Brian Lara made 501 not out for English county Warwickshire in 1994.“It’s sad to hear of Hanif’s death and I’d like to extend my condolences and those of everyone here at the ICC to Hanif’s family, which counts so many cricketers in its number,” International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson said in a statement.“Hanif took batting to great heights and many batsmen drew inspiration from him.“His contribution to the game has been enormous and one can only imagine the kind of impact his batting had on others over the years.”Indian batting great Tendulkar took to Twitter to offer his condolences.“The cricketing legend #Hanif Mohammad was always positive and supportive. Have fond memories of meeting him in 2005. RIP,” the former India batsman tweeted.Hanif was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2013 and was undergoing treatment at Karachi’s Aga Khan Hospital.He was among four brothers to represent Pakistan and his son, Shoaib, played 45 Tests.
Nick Evans has targeted a top-four finish for Harlequins this season.The fly-half’s flawless kicking helped his team to a 29-24 victory over London Irish in Saturday’s Premiership opener at Twickenham.Morale in the Quins camp is high after last season’s Amlin Challenge Cup success and Evans declared: “Top four, that’s where we want to get to – that’s our ambition.AdChoices广告“We’ve got a taste for winning trophies now, but we’re not going to come out saying we’re going to win this and that, so top four is what we’re aiming for.“I came over here to win trophies, with a young squad when I arrived. But you can throw that away now – we’re not a young squad anymore. We’ve been together for three years, so maybe some are young in age but not experience.“We’ve played in finals, gone to Munster and things like that. Trophies are what we’re here for and I enjoy rugby when we’re winning.”Quins’ winning start to their campaign was somewhat marred by a sickening injury to the unfortunate Tom Guest.The stand-in number 8, who spent most of last season out of action, had his arm broken in two places in a collision with Chris Hala’ufia.
From left are Tom Glavine in 2008, Greg Maddux in 2008, and Frank Thomas in 1994 file photos. Glavine, Maddux and Thomas were selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/File)NEW YORK (AP) — Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas were elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame on Wednesday, while Craig Biggio fell two votes short.Maddux was picked on 555 of 571 ballots by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. His 97.2 percentage was the eighth-highest in the history of voting.Glavine, Maddux’s longtime teammate in the Atlanta rotation, appeared on 525 ballots and received 91.9 percent. Thomas, the first Hall of Famer who spent the majority of his career as a designated hitter, was at 483.The trio will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 27 along with managers Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa, elected last month by the expansion-era committee. Maddux and Glavine played under Cox for most of their careers.Writers had not elected three players in one vote since Nolan Ryan, George Brett and Robin Yount in 1999.Biggio received 427 votes and 74.8 percent, matching Nellie Fox in 1985 and Pie Traynor in 1947 for the smallest margin to just miss. Biggio appeared on 388 ballots in his initial appearance last year and appears to be on track to gain election next year.Mike Piazza was next was 62.2 percent followed by Jack Morris, who was 78 votes short at 61.5 percent in his 15th and final appearance on the writers’ ballot.Controversy over how to evaluate stars tainted by the Steroids Era continued to impact the vote totals of players with stellar statistics. In their second appearances on the ballot, Roger Clemens dropped from 37.6 percent to 35.4, Barry Bonds from 36.2 to 34.7 and Sammy Sosa from 12.5 to 7.2.Appearing for the eighth time, Mark McGwire fell from 16.9 to 11.0. Rafael Palmeiro will be dropped from future ballots after falling to 25 votes and 4.4 percent — below the 5 percent threshold necessary to remain eligible for next year’s vote.Eighth on the wins list with a 355-227 record and a 3.16 ERA over 23 seasons, Maddux won four consecutive Cy Young Awards from 1992-95 and a record 18 Gold Gloves with the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta, the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego. An eight-time All-Star, he won at least 13 games in 20 straight seasons.Among pitchers with 3,000 innings whose careers began in 1921 or later — after the Dead Ball Era — Maddux’s 1.80 walks per nine innings is second only to Robin Roberts’ 1.73, according to STATS.Glavine, a 10-time All-Star and a two-time Cy Young winner, was 305-203 over 22 seasons.A two-time AL MVP, Thomas hit .301 with 521 homers and 1,704 RBIs in 19 seasons with the White Sox, Toronto and Oakland.Writers who have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years at any point were eligible to consider the 36-player ballot.Next year’s vote could be even more crowded when Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Carlos Delgado and Gary Sheffield become eligible, five years after their retirements. The BBWAA last month formed a committee to study whether the organization should ask the Hall to change the limit of 10 players per ballot.