No bowler has topped the Bradford League bowling more than Jaffer Nazir. The Pakistani opening bowler achieved the feat on an incredible five occasions.
It is an achievement which underlines the incredible consistency of the popular overseas player who managed to win the league’s bowling award with each of his three clubs, East Bierley, Undercliffe and Baildon.
He may have been an unknown quality when he arrived at East Bierley in 1999 aged 22, but he was a household name by the time he departed in 2007.
From the start it was clear that Nazir was a real talent. In 1999, his debut season, he took 51 league wickets at 12.73 to top the average for the first time.
Nazir also proved himself to be a hard-hitting tail ender and that was underlined as he made what proved to be his highest league score of 91.
He was to go on and take over 50 wickets in a season in eight successive campaigns. The only time he failed to reach the mark was in his final year of 2007 when he took 41.
Nazir, who had made his first-class debut with Khan Research Laboratories in 1997, also helped East Bierley to a 73-run win over Yeadon in the Priestley Cup final at Undercliffe.
East Bierley's 2000 Priestley Cup winning team. Back from left: Anhony McGrath, Matthew Barnes, Rob Burton, Jaffer Nazir, Richard Gould, Paul Hemming, Andrew Stothart. Front: Andrew Bairstow, Murphy Walwyn, Dermot McGrath, Paul Carroll, Kez Ahmed.
The 2000 season saw East Bierley complete the only hat-trick of Priestley Cup wins with victory over Hanging Heaton, and Nazir bettered his figures from the previous year with 66 league wickets at 10.77 to win the bowling prize again.
Nazir spent two more years at East Bierley before departing for Undercliffe having taken 242 wickets at an average of 14.38.
His one season at Intake Road saw him top the bowling averages for the third time with 56 wickets at 12.54 and he also became the only player so far this millennium to take all 10 wickets in an innings with 10-68 against Yeadon.
Next stop for the popular Nazir was Baildon where in his only season he captured 55 wickets at 14.79 to again top the bowling charts.
A return to East Bierley in 2005 saw him complete a unique hat-trick when he headed the averages for the fifth time having achieved his last three wins with three different clubs. The 2005 season saw him bag 77 wickets – his best ever haul - an average of 13.13.
Nazir was to take a further 92 wickets in his final two seasons as East Bierley to finish his Bradford League career with 533 wickets at an average of 14.5. Of that tally, 411 came for East Bierley at 14.71.
He will long be remembered at South View Drive for his outstanding bowling and sunny personality. His achievement in winning the bowling prize five times will take a lot of beating and his name will remain etched in the record books for years to come, a permanent reminder of his wicket-taking abilities.