Fidahussein Habib Rhemtulla Kara – (FHR)

A Legendary Cricketer

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FHR was born in Dar es Salaam on 2nd November, 1920.  He began his sports career in 1934 from school days with cricket and volleyball as his favorites. Besides being extra brilliant and exceptional cricketer, he excelled in volleyball playing for Ithnasheri Sports Club-Dar es Salaam whom he led successfully from 1943 to 1952, and helped the club to clinch most of trophies and honors in the local tournaments. He ruled the court with his accurate smashes putting the opposite teams in disarray.

fhr_2His illustrious cricket career spanning from 1938 to 1995 with interval of 12 years of 'no cricket' while he settled in Zaire during the period, his career expounded two phases feature 30s, 40s, and 50s in East Africa known as 'FHR' and 70s, 80s and 90s in Pool Sports Club – England as 'Kara'. He earned laurels and accolades in his lengthy sports career which rarely has been accomplished by any cricketer in East Africa. He must have scored thousands of runs, obtained hundreds of wickets and held hundreds of catches. His most memorable performance was in 1945 during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of H. H. the Aga Khan, he played for Dar es Salaam Combine against the strong East African Ismailis for the 'Diamond Jubilee Cup' and led his side to victory with an unbeaten innings of 109 and then proceeded to claim 9 wickets for just 20 runs. His scintillating performance earned him praises from His Highness the Aga Khan himself who came to watch the game and was the first to congratulate him.

Above Photograph: FHR, Captain of DSM Combine in conversation with Judge Green Col., Bell captain of Zanzibar Combine and Mr. Wheatly-President of Zanzibar Cricket Association on 30th August, 1953.

Br. Mohamed Nathoo, a veteran retired cricketer writes the following on this legendary Cricketer who was fondly known by his initials - FHR:

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"I cultivated in myself adoration, affection with high respect toward the veterans of the game who were once the icons in the sports fraternity. Many, I had opportunity to witness them in action on the field and some I missed due to age difference. Among them, the magnificent cricketer known by his initials FHR whom I was not fortunate to witness him in action during his golden days. Since the commencement of my sports career in Zanzibar, the renowned and legendary name was being mentioned, discussed and echoed whenever the topic of cricket emerged.

My first acquaintance in person with him was in 1987 in Dar es Salaam where he was present as a Spectator for the Supreme Council Sports Tournament on Kinondoni Ground hosted in Dar es Salaam and thus we became close and affectionate to each other.

During my last visit to London in October 2011, I had an opportunity and an honour to meet FHR after 24 years at his London residence accompanied by Br. Mustafa Pirbhai, who was a fine cricketer and played for the Union Sports Club – Dar es Salaam for many years before migrating to the UK".

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FHR's pleasant personality earned him great respect from his team-mates and cricketing clubs.

He started his carrier playing for Bohora Gymkhana; later on he joined the Ithna-Aheri cricket team when it was established in Dar es Salaam. It was him with other senior sportsmen efforts to establish the Ithnasheri Sports Club in 1951 and immediately the Club became a force to reckon in Dar cricket scene. They clinched its first Cricket Championship in 1954.

FHR left for Congo few years later but was recalled to play for Tanganyika against Uganda in Kampala. Although Tanganyika lost the match FHR won special tribute from the captain of Uganda Mr. Adams an ex-Cambridge and English county player.

FHR will be remembered in the Tanzania cricket fraternity as one of the finest all-rounders and a great captain of his time. He commanded the confidence and respect of his team- mates, and was respected as well by the competing team. He conducted himself to the strict code of cricket ethics, his positive attitude towards the game which he enriched with simplicity and sincerity remains a hall mark of this pleasant sportsman.

We send our best wishes to FHR and to his family on this auspicious occasion of Eid –ul Fitr and pray for his long and healthy life - Ameen.

Article contributed by:

Mohamed Nathoo
July, 2013.

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