He was nicknamed 'black and bold' by his teammates for he was a little dark, had less hair and yet when he steamed in, for the likes of Mohammedan and Azad Boys back in the 80s, it left batsmen quivering.
Cricket journalists back then often compared him to the menacing West Indian fast bowler Malcolm Marshall. "Here comes Marshall Masud", they used to joke whenever the bowler took his run-up.
Tall, muscular and fast, Khondokar Ziaul Islam Masud, was in many ways considered to be the pioneer of Bangladesh's pace bowling. Openers had to be cautious, because in his prime his mere run-up was good enough to instil a sense of fear into their minds.
As competitive as Masud was on the field, off it he was what they called the perfect gentleman.
"He was a very noble man. No matter who he talked to, he used to address formally and say 'aapni' no matter how old or young one was. And he was the fastest without any doubt," recalls Tanzil Ehsan Saad, his bowling partner back in the 80s.
National selector Minhazul Abedin, who captained Masud during the latter's last year in domestic cricket in 1989, goes a step further.
"Till date I don't think I have seen a fast bowler with Masud's ability and discipline. We did not have too many facilities back then but he kept working with his dumbles and made the most of what we had.
"On the field he was the bowler you yearned for and off the field he was like an elder brother," Minhazul recalls.
The love for the game kept Masud in the sport even after his retirement as he took up the role of an umpire.
A member of the Bangladesh team that played in the ICC trophy in 1979, the pacer from Pabna passed away at the age of 63 at a hospital in the capital yesterday. He left behind two sons, his wife and a host of friends who can attend his namaz-e-janaza at the Baitul Noor Jame Mosque in Wari after Zohr prayers today.