Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pakistan's Future - For Soulberry...

Soulberry asked me about a few young cricketers who are currently prominent in the domestic scene in Pakistan. This post is for you berry.

Anwar Ali
Anwar Ali was a member of the Pakistan U-19 team that won the world cup in 2006. He is a fast bowler and was the one who destroyed India's batting line up in the final of the U-19 WC picking up 5 wickets with his banana inswingers. Click here to view footage of those wickets. He has been playing for Karachi and PIA in the Pakistan domestic season for the last 2 years and many consider him to be the future of Pakistan's bowling attack. He's only 21 and should be playing for Pakistan in the next 2 years.

Imad Wasim, Ali Asad, and Adil Raza
All these 3 are members of the current Pakistan U-19 team that is playing a series against the touring Bangladesh team. Imad Wasim is the captain of the side and is expected to lead them in the U-19 world cup in February as well. He is a left arm spinner and a lower order hard hitting batsman. He's played a few first class games for Islamabad and has done very well with the ball.

Ali Asad is the wicketkeeper of the U-19 team and made his first class debut for Karachi this season. He is playing for Karachi as a specialist batsman and has already scored a 100 and a 50 in the current season while opening the batting. He was also a member of the U-19 team that won the 2006 world cup.

Adil Raza is ony 15 years old and is a pace bowler. During the U-19 camp this summer, Wasim Akram mentioned that he was the most promising bowler out of the lot that he saw. Adil is yet to play a first class game but he played for the U-19 side against Australia last month and Bangladesh recently. He took 5 wickets in one of the ODIs against Australia U-19, a series that Pakistan won 5-0.

It is still too early to say if they have the potential to play for Pakistan in the longer term.

Najaf Shah and Kashif Raza
Najaf Shah is a left arm fast bowler who opens the attack for PIA along with Anwar Ali. Najaf made his ODI debut this year in May against Sri Lanka in the series played in Abu Dhabi and went wicketless in his 10 overs. He's been on the domestic circuit for over 5 years now and is considered as one of the best pacers around - he has about 250 wickets in 50 odd games. He's only 22 and is always nudging the selectors with his domestic performances.

Kashif Raza is a right arm fast bowler and has played 1 ODI for Pakistan way back in 2001 against Sri Lanka in Sharjah and took 1 wicket. Since then Kashif has been a star performer for his first class side WAPDA where he's picked up close to 300 wickets in 80 odd first class games.

I never understand these one match wonders - why don't the selectors persist with them? Both Najaf and Kashif picked up 5 wicket hauls in their last first class game this week.

Zulqarnain Haider
He is a wicketkeeper and was in the Pakistan squad as reserve keeper on the tour of South Africa earlier this year and on the tour to England last summer. Despite Akmal's poor performance he was not given a chance in any of the matches apart from the 20-20 game against South Africa. He has been around the domestic scene for 4 years and many have called for him to replace Akmal in the side. For the current tour of India, however the PCB went ahead with U-19 world cup winning captain Sarfraz Ahmed as the reserve keeper who made his debut in the 5th ODI.

If Akmal is dropped from the side you can expect Pakistan to give both Zulqarnain and Sarfraz ample chances at the international level.

Hasnain Abbas
Hasnain is an opener and has been around the domestic scene for almost 6 years, but he hasn't done anything of note yet for the selectors to notice him. He hasn't played that much and is still a fringe player in first class cricket.

Make your pitch on this post...

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8 Pitched:

  1. Soulberry said...

    Thanks Q, I appreciate your detailed post.

    606 is BBC's sports forum. You must visit their cricket section. Earlier, it used to be called TMS boards. (Test Match Special Boards)

    These names were brought up by a poster there during a discusiion on Paksitan team composition, especially in the light of injuries.

    Najaf Shah, the proposer felt, would be the next Wasim Akram.

    He had a good word for Kashif too.

    Amamzing stuff Anwar bowled! Thanks for the video, but why isn't he playing for Pakistan already? At least limited overs...this boy can swing the ball, and has pace too!

    Thanks for the video link, Q.

  2. Soulberry said...

    BBC 606

    You could navigate to the sport you like and registration is free. There is some modertaion initially but that's gone after the customary time for new registrations.

  3. Soulberry said...

    And there is Jamshed. My friend MP, tells me that he is only 16 and is clocking 85mph!

  4. Q said...

    Thanks for the link to 606. I surf the net quite a bit but had never been there.

    Yep Jamshed Ahmed is a quickie too - he was Anwar Ali's partner in crime in that final and took 3 wickets in the match.

    After that match (the link that u saw), Anwar Ali made his first class debut for Karachi and PIA and his 1st season wasn't that impressive. He's done well this season though - he's being looked after at the national academy in Khi and has played regularly for Pakistan A. I think the selectors don't want to rush him into the team.

    As for Najaf - he's called the Wasim Akram of the domestic scene. He's a left armer like Akram and swings the ball both ways. I have no idea why he was ditched after being in the ODI squad in May.

  5. Soulberry said...

    Strange are the ways of selectors. Must have rubbed someone important the wrong way.

    This way, Pakistan cricket will be ripe for an ICL-like situation.

    If they are playing regularly in the domestic circuit, they cannot be far away from recall/first-chance. Asif is there, Tanvir is finding his feet in the big league...someday Akhtar will retire and the rest of the existing bowlers will surely give way to better talent and youth. I just hope it doesn't get down to the situation where those who are in are able to remain in.

  6. Q said...

    I agree Soulberry. Theres a whole lot of pace talent in Pakistan.

    I'll give u an example of the selectors ways - If u remember about 3-4 years ago Pakistan had found a very promising opening pair in Imran Farhat and Taufiq Umar. They put on several century stands in a series against South Africa. They both played for a good year and were succesful. The 1st hint of bad form and they were ditched.

    These 2 have been opening together for the last 10 years for the U-19 team, Lahore, and Habib Bank. They should be opening for Pakistan today as well yet you will watch them play tomorrow in the Chandigarh Lions vs Delhi Jets match.

    Here are links to two of their recent first class matches for Habib Bank. As recent as a month ago. Check out the scores in both the innings.

    Haven't done badly have they?

  7. NAzhar said...

    The Pakistani young fast bowlers need to be given a chance. I really think it is time for Sami and Shoaib to retire! Gul can never stay fit...I say give these lads a chance to play!

  8. Soulberry said...

    I remember Imran Farhat and Taufiq Umar. I really wondered where Taufiq Umar had disappeared to...we saw Imran Farhat in England though.

    Now the problem with subcontinent, as against say, Australia or SA, is that they support their players through. It isn't easy to get into their teams or out of it. If they've invested, more often than not they'll find a way to get you out of your rut before dropping.

    Kallis didn't have a great beginning to his career...Amla isn't...Prince too is having an up and down career, but see how they stick with people they deem as good talent.

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