LAHORE - Former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Imtiaz Ahmed has died in Lahore, five days short of his 89th birthday. He was Pakistan's oldest living Test cricketer and had been suffering from a chest infection.

Ahmed, a member of Pakistan's first-ever Test team, died in a Lahore hospital Saturday after a brief illness, his family said.

The 88-year-old Ahmed featured in Pakistan's first Test played in Delhi against India in October 1952 and went on to play 41 matches as a wicketkeeper-batsman.

Ahmed's family confirmed his death. "He (Imtiaz) was suffering from chest infection and died early Saturday," a member of the family told local media.

He was laid to rest in a local graveyard on Saturday and prayers for his soul would be offered on Sunday morning at 11 PM at his residence at Street no 16 Cavalry Ground Extension, Lahore.

Ahmed was known as an aggressive batsman who had a variety of strokes, most notably the hook and the pull shot. Ahmed played 41 Tests for Pakistan between 1952 and 1962, and captained in four of those matches towards the end of his career. He made 2079 runs at an average of 29, and took 77 catches and effected 16 stumpings. His career-best score of 209 came against New Zealand in Lahore in 1955. He put on 152 for the first wicket with the legendary Hanif Mohammad in the Bridgetown Test against West Indies in 1958, scoring 91. Mohammad, who died in August this year, went on to score an epic 337 in 970 minutes -- still the longest innings in Test cricket history.

"This is a sad day for Pakistan cricket," PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan said in a statement. "Losing another legend after Hanif Mohammad in the same year is a great loss to Pakistan's cricket. The entire cricketing fraternity, in this country, is in sorrow over the sad demise of Imtiaz Ahmed. He was a great gentleman and will be missed."

Ahmed was an integral member of Pakistan's first official Test side, led by Abdul Hafeez Kardar to India. He played the first three Tests as a batsman but took over the gloves from Hanif Mohammad in the fourth Test in Chennai, and kept wicket for the rest of his international career until his last appearance at The Oval in 1962.

Imtiaz's first-class career ran from 1944-45 to 1972-73, having made his debut as a 16-year-old for Northern India before partition. He played 180 games, scored 10391 runs with a best score of 300 not out, took 322 catches, and effected 82 stumpings.

In 1960, Imtiaz received the presidential pride of performance award, and later in life he was awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz for his services to the Pakistan Air force; he retired as a wing commander after 27 years spent mainly in administrative roles.

After his playing career, Imtiaz had served as a Pakistan selector for 13 years and was the head of the selection committee between 1976 and 1978. He then took up a coaching role and spent nearly a decade developing Under-19 cricketers. His last assignment was with the department that handles women's cricket in Pakistan, where he served as an advisor for three years from 2005 to 2008.

Meanwhile, former PCB secretary Col (retd) Rafi Naseem showed deep sorrow and grief over the demise of Ahmed with whom he had old association spanning over decades. Naseem said his association with Imtiaz Ahmed started just after the partition when Naseem was secretary at Ravi Gymkhana Cricket Club which was captained by Imtiaz Ahmed. Then Imtaiz also took a coaching role during Naseem’s tenure as PCB secretary. Naseem described Imtiaz as a thorough gentleman and top professional who served his country with pride. Ahmed's death means that middle-order batsman Waqar Hasan is now the only surviving member of Pakistan's first Test team.