The former Pakistan batter played two Tests, in 1969 and 1975
Miandad’s presence in the 428 match, however, was significant in that it was testament to the depth in Pakistan’s batting during that decade, a depth that kept Baloch out of the side. Between the 1972-73 season and the 1977-78 season, Baloch was at his peak: he scored 5025 runs in Pakistani first-class cricket, averaging nearly 55 with 14 tons.
At the same time, Pakistan had a batting order built around Sadiq Mohammad, Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbas, Asif Iqbal and Mushtaq Mohammad – and then, eventually, Miandad himself. It was among the strongest batting line-ups Pakistan has ever had in Tests.
In those peak years Baloch enjoyed considerable success as captain of a strong National Bank side. He led them to the Patron’s Trophy title in the 1974-75 season and then a double of the Quaid-e-Azam trophy and the Patron’s Trophy again the very next season. The next season he again led them to the finals of both tournaments, though this time they lost both (on first-innings scores rather than outright defeat). Baloch scored three hundreds across all those finals.
“I am deeply saddened to hear the passing of Aftab Baloch, who was one the most popular cricketers when I was growing up,” PCB chairman Ramiz Raja said in a statement. “I not only had the privilege of watching him in action, but also played against him in the twilight of his career.
“As he was a close friend of my late brother Wasim Hasan Raja, I knew him well outside the field of play and always admired him for his passion, love and understanding of the game. He was gentle, friendly and caring, and had qualities that made him a widely respected and loved person.”