Former Pakistan leg-spinner Abdul Qadir Khan passed away on Friday after suffering a cardiac arrest at the age of 63 in Lahore, Pakistan daily Dawn reported.

Regarded as one of the best leg-spinners of his generation and credited for reviving the art of leg-spin bowling in 1970s and 80s, Qadir died of a heart attack in his hometown Lahore, his son told AFP on Friday.

Qadir picked up 236 Test wickets in 67 matches and 132 wickets during 104 One-Day Internationals while playing for Pakistan. He later also served as chief selector for the Pakistan Cricket Board.

“My father never had a heart problem so it was sudden and shocking that he suffered a severe attack and could not survive,” Salman Qadir said.

Qadir, who would have turned 64 on September 15, was one of favourites of former captain Imran Khan – now Pakistan’s prime minister.

Qadir made his Test debut against England in 1977 and went on to play 67 Tests, taking 236 wickets with a best of 9-65 against England at the same venue in 1987.

Those figures are still the best by a Pakistan bowler in a Test innings.

He also took 132 wickets in 104 one-day internationals, with Imran using him as an attacking weapon in the 1983 World Cup held in England.

He played last of his international matches in 1993.

Qadir’s unique dancing action was as attractive as it was destructive, spinning the ball prodigiously and had a lethal googly and a flipper.

Legendary Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne – the second highest Test wicket taker with 708 (only behind Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan’s 800) – was also a big fan of Qadir.

Former Pakistan captains Wasim Akram, Moin Khan, Rashid Latif and Waqar Younis led the condolence messages, saying Qadir’s death was “a great loss of Pakistan cricket”.

“We have lost a great man who was an institution in himself,” said Wasim who played alongside Qadir in the 1980s.

Tributes and condolence messages poured in on social media after the news of his death.