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Born on September 20, 1963, Anil Dalpat Sonavaria is a former cricketer of Pakistan who has represented the nation in nine Tests and 15 One-Day Internationals (ODIs). He was a lower-order wicketkeeper batsman for Pakistan during the mid 80s. On his 52nd birthday, Abhishek Kumar lists out eight important facts about him.

 

1.  First Hindu to represent Pakistan.

 

After becoming an independent country in 1947, Dalpat was the first Hindu to play for Pakistan when he debuted on March 2, 1984 against England at his hometown Karachi under the captaincy of Imran Khan.

 

2.  Named after Norm O’Neill

 

Norm O’ Neill was an Australian cricketer who played from 1958 to 1965. During this period, when Australia toured Pakistan in the late 1959, O’Neill played a splendid innings of 134 at Lahore. A Hindu family from Karachi was so influenced by this knock that they named their son ‘Anil’ after O’Neill, who later went on to play for Pakistan in the mid 80s.

 

3.  A domestic record

 

In 1983-84 season, Dalpat was at the peak of his domestic career and in the same season, he dismissed 67 batsmen which was a record at that time.

 

4.  Enthusiastic father

 

Anil’s father Dalpat Sonawaria was himself a cricket enthusiast and headed the club Pak Hindus in the local tournaments of Karachi. He played a crucial role in making his son a cricketer.

 

5.  Cousin

 

Dalpat’s first cousin Danish Kaneria was another Hindu to play for Pakistan and became the most successful Test spinner of the nation.

 

6.  Cricketing family

 

Not only Danish, Dalpat’s other two cousins Bharat Kumar and Mahendra Kumar have also played cricket at First-Class level in Pakistan.

 

7.  Blamed Imran Khan for ruining his career

 

In 2002, Dalpat blamed former captain of Pakistan Imran Khan for damaging his international career. When Imran was asked about this, he refused to say anything on the matter.

 

8.  Coach

 

Post-retirement from cricket, Dalpat started coaching in Canada and later got involved in business.

 

(Abhishek Kumar is a cricket devotee currently staffing with Criclife.com. He can be followed at abhicricket.kumar and abhishekkr2593)