The sports world have seen many glorious and embarrassing moments during the 12 months of 2016. The world saw Andy Murray reaching the heights of success with his sheer hard work and they also witnessed Olympic medalists being ripped off from their medals because of using banned substances. The world also seen tragic incidences like saddening plane crash where Chapecoense whole side lost their lives, who were on their way to Columbia compete in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional.
Here are five sports heroes that left us during 2016.
Unarguably, Muhammad Ali is the most celebrated boxer of all time. The man, who believed in floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee, had a career record of 56-5. He had 37 knockout wins to his name. He took off his boxing gloves in 1981 forever . He had a disappointed end to his career in the ring as he lost two of his last three bouts. But, the man is still believed to be one of the most respected sportsmen of all time. Muhammad Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984. The legendary boxer was admitted in hospital earlier in June due to some respiratory issues and lost the fight of his life on June 3, 2016.
The Dutch soccer legend, Johan Cruyff, was an immensely successful player and team manager. He made his senior debut back in 1964 for an Ajax team. He had a successful run with the side as they won six Dutch championships, three European cups and two UEFA Super Cups. He made his only World Cup appearances for his home team during 1974 campaign. The Dutchmen reached the final, but, unfortunately could not win. However, he was named as the best player of the tournament. After his retirement, he had a successful run as Barcelona’s manager. He guide them to four league titles, three Super Cups, one European Cup and a Copa Del Rey title. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in October, 2015 and died from the disease on March 24, 2016.
The real Little Master of the cricketing world, Hanif Mohammad represented Pakistan in 55 Test matches between 1952 and 1969. The batting legend scored 3,915 runs in his international career at an average of 43.98 with the help of 12 centuries. The highlight of his career was his marathon inning of 337 runs inning against the mighty West Indies that saved Pakistan from an almost confirmed defeat at Bridgetown. He stayed at the crease for 16 long hours, which is still the longest Test inning of the history of this game. He also scored 499 runs during a first-class match breaking Sir Don Bradman’s record of highest total in a first-class game, he was run out while taking the 500th run. He was also the member of inaugural batch of ICC Hall Fame. The Little Master passed away on August 11, 2016 at an age of 81 years.
Martin Crowe is often regarded as one of the finest cricketers produced by New Zealand. The former skipper of Blackcaps made his international debut in 1982 and failed early in his career. However, he soon showed the glimpses of his potential and he eventually went on to score 17 Test centuries. He played 77 Tests for New Zealand and scored 5,444 runs at an average of 45.65. Whereas, he represented his country in 143 ODIs and scored 4,704 runs at an average of 38.55 with the help of 4 tons. He is one those unlucky players, who got out on 299 runs in a Test inning, he would have been the first triple-centurion for the Kiwis had he scored just one more run. Crowe was an unorthodox captain, he opened the bowling with spinners in that era and used to set unique field placements and also used pinch-hitters. Crowe was suffering from lymphoma and died from it on March 3, 2016 at an age of 53.
Shahlyla Baloch might not be as famous as the other mentioned names above. But, her death has been a huge loss for Pakistan. Baloch, who was a professional footballer, was the first ever Pakistan’s female footballer to score a hat-trick on foreign land in Maldives. She also scored against Bhutan, which gave Pakistan a convincing victory by 4-1 in 2014 SAFF Women’s Championship. Shahlyla Baloch was just 20-year old when a fatal car accident in Karachi took her life on October 13, 2016.