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  1. #1
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    Talent Spotter : Mohammad Irfan (leg-spin bowler)

    A profile of the young leg-spin bowler whose bowling style is based upon the Australian great, Shane Warne.




    Full name Mohammad Irfan

    Height 5ft 8in

    Born August 1, 1989, Bajaur Agency, FATA

    Major teams FATA

    Batting style Right-hand bat

    Bowling style Leg-spin bowler


    Personal and Educational Background

    I was born in Bajaur Agency and have completed education up to the FA level. I started a degree course at the Islamia College in Peshawar but had to give up after four semesters as I wanted to play league cricket in Bangladesh. I do not intend to resume education as cricket takes most of my time and the university will not give me time off to pursue my career on the side.


    Starting Cricket

    Like many others, I started playing cricket in the streets. My interest in cricket was fueled by the fact that my uncle, Shad Mohammad, was an accomplished wicket-keeper batsman and I used to bowl leg-spin to him all day. He used to tell me to work on my fielding and bowling all day and that advice helped me build my passion for cricket and that is the reason I am where I am today. My father passed away when I was young and there was some resistance from my uncles to my wasting time playing cricket. However, with the Almighty’s help and my own hard work, I have managed to stay the course and made cricket my profession.


    Role Models

    I was always impressed by the bowling style and abilities of Mushtaq Ahmed. He has inspired me throughout my career. I have had the honour of meeting and being coached by him a few times and I can’t tell you how proud I am of meeting him in person. Apart from that, I have been told that my bowling action resembles the legendary Australian bowler, Shane Warne. I do love his bowling and but I really can’t say if it has been my intention to copy him, but my run-up is definitely very similar to the great Australian leg-spinner.


    Admiration for Yasir Shah

    I really admire Yasir Shah and know him well. I first came across him when I was playing for Abbottabad region where he was representing Under-19s for Abbottabad. As a youngster I was in awe of Yasir’s skills and he also used to spend time with us showing us some tips about leg-spin. He showed us how to bowl the flipper and other variations. Not only would he teach us but then would check how well we were bowling these deliveries. He was an excellent teacher for younger spinners.


    First Class Cricket

    I played under Under-15 for Abbottabad and Under-19 for FATA and then in 2015, I got my chance to play First-Class cricket for the first time. My First-Class debut which was against WAPDA was something I will remember for a long time as I took four wickets in that game. Even though we lost that match, knowing that I could compete at the highest level in the domestic season gave me great satisfaction. I also knew that playing well at this level was the stepping stone for a place in the national team and performing so well did make me very proud. The WAPDA team management was so impressed that they even offered me a place in their team should I want to move in the next season. I took five wickets in four-day games which is pretty decent given the fact that our team has good fast-bowlers. Opportunities, therefore, to take wickets for me as a leg-spinner were limited but still I feel I did well in the last season. The Quaid-e-Azam Trophy for this domestic season (2016-2017) has started and I intend to put in my best performances. I want to ensure that I give myself the best chance of being noticed by the selectors which will also fulfil my dream of representing my country in the future.


    Performances at the National One-Day and Twenty20 tournaments

    First of all, I must thank the Pakistan Cricket Board for creating such opportunities for Pakistan based players and our local audiences. Both tournaments were held along the same lines as the Pakistan Super League and were of the highest standards with television coverage and good crowd attendances. The kind of exposure such tournaments have given to me is amazing and the PCB must take full credit for successfully organising these events. Personally speaking, I was very happy with my performances for FATA in these tournaments. I managed to pick up seven wickets in the One-Day cup and in the recently concluded National Twenty20 tournament, I took six wickets which is excellent for my career progress.


    Best performance

    I am obviously still new to the domestic scene but if I have to name one performance which gave me a huge boost in confidence and satisfaction, that has to be my spell against Karachi Whites during the recently concluded National Twenty20 Cup where I removed a well-settled Asad Shafiq who was then batting on 62. No other bowler had been able to trouble him in that match so I felt very proud of my achievement, especially given that Asad is a world renowned batsman.


    Favourite/wicket-taking delivery

    I understand that as a leg-spinner, there are many types of deliveries which one can master but whilst I am working on the googly which I feel is in a decent state for me at the moment, I do prefer to bowl normal leg-spin as that seems to give me the best results. At the end of the day, if you cannot bowl the correct line then no amount of variations can help you achieve your goals.


    Love for batting

    Like any other bowler, even I have a great desire to improve my batting. I am spending a lot of time in the nets but obviously as a bowler there is only so much time you can devote to batting. I am lucky that the FATA batting coach has been helping me a lot to work on issues with my batting and I am feeling much more confident about this aspect of my game.


    Selection for Patrons XI squad for match against the West Indies

    I cannot describe in words how I felt when I heard that I had been named in the squad which will play the day/night game against the West Indies team. I was in a part of my home which has no mobile signal so I didn't know about this news until my relatives had to come over to me to tell me that they had seen my name being flashed across television screens. I also got calls from the FATA management to congratulate me. I am overjoyed but I know that the real hard work lies ahead and if given the chance to play, I will need to perform well and justify my selection. Who knows what other doors a good performance in this game might open for me in the future?


    Future aspirations

    I am a great fan of Test cricket and feel that success in this form of cricket gives you the most satisfaction. However, it is also true that one prefers the format where one can perform the best in. I would prefer to play Test cricket for Pakistan but I am happy to serve my country in any format where I can give the maximum benefit to my team.
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 3rd October 2016 at 20:00.


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  2. #2
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    He looks like a real gem, his action on its own will create an international sensation. Should Pakistan give him a chance.

  3. #3
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    Excellent attitude from the young man - well impressed speaking with him. The kind of person who will wear his chand-tara with pride.

    When I called him he said before anything, please say Mubarak to me! I am part of the Patron XIs squad - that is such a great honour for me!

    Wonderful attitude and we wish him all the best.


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  4. #4
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    Looked really good, but has a poor start to his FC career so far.

  5. #5
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    59 in first innings against strongest SNGCP team followed by 21* in second innings uptil now.

  6. #6
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    Very impressed with the attitude and obviously his big turning leg breaks...all he needs is good control and he can be a huge asset for us!

    Best of luck to him

  7. #7
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    Last edited by Abdullah719; 22nd September 2017 at 22:35.


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    excellent action/..
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 22nd September 2017 at 22:36.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRsohail View Post
    excellent action/..
    Best performance I am obviously still new to the domestic scene but if I have to name one performance which gave me a huge boost in confidence and satisfaction, that has to be my spell against Karachi Whites during the recently concluded National Twenty20 Cup where I removed a well-settled Asad Shafiq who was then batting on 62. No other bowler had been able to trouble him in that match so I felt very proud of my achievement, especially given that Asad is a world renowned batsman. - See more at: http://www.pakpassion.net/ppforum/sh...59#post8886859


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    Best performance I am obviously still new to the domestic scene but if I have to name one performance which gave me a huge boost in confidence and satisfaction, that has to be my spell against Karachi Whites during the recently concluded National Twenty20 Cup where I removed a well-settled Asad Shafiq who was then batting on 62. No other bowler had been able to trouble him in that match so I felt very proud of my achievement, especially given that Asad is a world renowned batsman. - See more at: http://www.pakpassion.net/ppforum/sh...59#post8886859
    went thrpugh whole interview,, amzing...i live near bajaur agency and let me know u that they aro poor people with very low income as a whole ...they come to peshawar and most of them work as labourers...M.irfan will be a morale booster for the region as a whole .even if he makes it into the PSL>

  11. #11
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    Noticed him the first time I saw him bowl. He was turning it big.

    Glad to know that Inzi noticed him as well.

  12. #12
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    Quality.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRsohail View Post
    went thrpugh whole interview,, amzing...i live near bajaur agency and let me know u that they aro poor people with very low income as a whole ...they come to peshawar and most of them work as labourers...M.irfan will be a morale booster for the region as a whole .even if he makes it into the PSL>
    Nice to read this.

    Sounds like a decent talent.

    Competition for leg-spinners really hotting up with Yasir Shah, Usama Mir, Mohammad Irfan, Shahzaib Ahmed etc.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    Nice to read this.

    Sounds like a decent talent.

    Competition for leg-spinners really hotting up with Yasir Shah, Usama Mir, Mohammad Irfan, Shahzaib Ahmed etc.
    shadab khan with some batting talent too..

  15. #15
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    looks like he is able to bowl with a great number of revolutions.

  16. #16
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    Like mushy is a little short.

  17. #17
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    Good prospect.hope he improves much.he should be groomed at NCA as our domestic will make make him only bad not good

  18. #18
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    Let see how he respond in this match if he got selected in playing 11. Too early to develop any opinion. Staying in dressing room might bring out his best. Good luck to the youngster.

  19. #19
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    Best of luck to Irfan in future.



  20. #20
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    Picked for Peshawar Zalmi!


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  21. #21
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    5-66 in a winning cause.

    FATA beat Lahore by 57 runs.


    Mujhay hai Hukm e Azaa-n

  22. #22
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    What's happened to him, totally gone off the radar.

  23. #23
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    Hes in one of the squads for Pakistan Cup.

  24. #24
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    Irfan is currently in Lahore at GSL. He's been called up for the training camp in case Yasir fails to make it for the SL series.


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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    Irfan is currently in Lahore at GSL. He's been called up for the training camp in case Yasir fails to make it for the SL series.
    Do you know how much better is Irfan compared to Usama Mir?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by sshakir411 View Post
    Do you know how much better is Irfan compared to Usama Mir?
    Have only seen them bowl in T20s (Irfan only a few overs) so can't really say much. Usama is tall so gets more bounce but I think Irfan puts more revs on the ball. Neither of them have a lot of FC experience.


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  27. #27
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    I knew the guy will get a call - actually wrote that just when came to know that Yasir was struggling for fitness.

    Prodigious turner of the ball with a nice side on action for whole day work load and he can get a bit drift (inward, for right handers). If he can find his RADAR, much better prospect than Yasir. The amount of turn he can generate for such an easy & fluent action, he doesn't need a big turning Google actually - just if he can master on his judgement on exactly how much he is going to turn on each ball, he'll trouble every modern batsman. Hopefully, still is around 30, so should have solid 5-6 years ahead.

    I hope, he doesn't debut at Abu Dhabi though - that wicket isn't for turning classical leg spinners. He might get the opposite reception of Shoaib Malik, after his 243 on that wicket, batting at 3 - Malik was intelligent, quickly realized that he needs to retire from Test, if he wants to prolong his career; otherwise PAK's batting thick tank will make him bat at 3 against same Poms, few thousand KMs north & west ... then they'll drop him from LOs for Test scores. I wish, Irfan doesn't end up at the opposite ebb of same thought process - like something cost, what would have been a fantastic International career as a fast bowling all-rounder for Sohail Khan.

  28. #28
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    Nice. Really excited to watch him at any level. The drift he creates is unbelievable.


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  29. #29
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    Why are they doing a fitness test this early? The 1st test is next week, not tomorrow.

  30. #30
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    As much as I like Yasir, I actually wouldn't mind if Irfan played ahead of him. Yasir shouldn't have put himself in this position in the first place, and it clearly would do him good to have some competition for his place.

    Plus, from the footage I have seen Irfan looks like he has potential and I like his attitude (from the interview).
    @Abdullah719 do you have any footage of him bowling in a FC match?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    The amount of turn he can generate for such an easy & fluent action, he doesn't need a big turning Google actually - just if he can master on his judgement on exactly how much he is going to turn on each ball, he'll trouble every modern batsman.
    Do you rate his googly?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    @Abdullah719 do you have any footage of him bowling in a FC match?
    Nope, sadly.


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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherlock View Post
    Why are they doing a fitness test this early? The 1st test is next week, not tomorrow.
    He should be fit, regardless.

  34. #34
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    Wouldn't be upset at seeing him get a chance versus a weak Lankan team.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    Irfan is currently in Lahore at GSL. He's been called up for the training camp in case Yasir fails to make it for the SL series.
    This may be a blessing in disguise. I love Yasir and over the past couple of years, he's been great for us but a part of me is wishing that Yasir isn't fit for the first test so we can get to see this gem who looked brilliant in the Twenty20 competition.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    He should be fit, regardless.
    Agreed but...

    Not the question I asked.


    "When You Have Eliminated The Impossible, Whatever Remains, However Improbable, Must Be The Truth!

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherlock View Post
    Agreed but...

    Not the question I asked.
    Because they needed to finalise a squad before they flew out to Dubai. No point picking a 16 member squad only for two players to fail their fitness tests a couple of days before the 1st Test and then you're scrambling around for replacements.

    It's actually another disadvantage of having our home Tests away from home but oh well.

  38. #38
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    Such a smooth, Warne-esque run up and action.

    Good that he's on the selectors radar.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    Such a smooth, Warne-esque run up and action.

    Good that he's on the selectors radar.
    Not least because he is from an under-represented region.

  40. #40
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    Makes his BPL debut, takes 1/20 in four overs including wicket of Gayle.


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  41. #41
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    He looks good . He can be a long term replacement for Yasir Shah in test cricket.

  42. #42
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    he is neck to neck with Shadab in t20..

  43. #43
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    his batting is not that Bad ,should be considered as a replacement of yasir and 2nd spinner in tests plus when Shadab is not availbale ,he can play t20 and odi.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    Makes his BPL debut, takes 1/20 in four overs including wicket of Gayle.
    Any footage?

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    Any footage?
    Few deliveries in this video.



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  46. #46
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    batting now but SHAFI wasted too many deliveries.
    Last edited by hadi123; 4th December 2017 at 23:45.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    Few deliveries in this video.

    Thanks.

    Looks like he has good variations including a decent googly. How was that LBW not given? Varies his pace nicely- will be a valuable asset for Multan in PSL.
    Last edited by mak36; 3rd December 2017 at 20:07.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    Thanks.

    Looks like he has good variations including a decent googly. How was that LBW not given? Varies his pace nicely- will be a valuable asset for Multan in PSL.
    i think he is in Peshawar??

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRsohail View Post
    i think he is in Peshawar??
    https://www.dawn.com/news/1362937

    He is the one they are calling Irfan Khan.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    https://www.dawn.com/news/1362937

    He is the one they are calling Irfan Khan.
    i think he was with peshawar last year but did not playa single game.

  51. #51
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    Jeez, pure quality. Stop wasting time on Asghar and freaking Bilal Asif.


    A skilled hawk conceals its talons.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Destroyer View Post
    Jeez, pure quality. Stop wasting time on Asghar and freaking Bilal Asif.
    Oh GOd at least someone from my list got greed with me on this man,but unfortunately he from FATA so less chances and all ready 28 ...guy has not even played much domestic cricket,,was out of National t20 though zulfi baba was playing.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRsohail View Post
    Oh GOd at least someone from my list got greed with me on this man,but unfortunately he from FATA so less chances and all ready 28 ...guy has not even played much domestic cricket,,was out of National t20 though zulfi baba was playing.
    Don't worry- PSL will be his chance to shine. As I said earlier, Multan have done well to secure his services; he will bowl beautifully in tandem with Imran Tahir.

    Re domestic cricket he hasn't done too well in QeA this year but given the seamer-friendly pitches this is hardly a surprise.

  54. #54
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    He's the successor of Warne, not Shah. It's unfortunate we found him so late and are still wasting time. I hope we can develop him in the next two years to get at least six years out of him.


    A skilled hawk conceals its talons.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Destroyer View Post
    He's the successor of Warne, not Shah. It's unfortunate we found him so late and are still wasting time. I hope we can develop him in the next two years to get at least six years out of him.
    So long as Shah keeps playing unfortunately I can't see Irfan breaking into the test team. That said, Mushy seems to rate him so he is likely to be on stand-by.
    Last edited by mak36; 3rd December 2017 at 23:35.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRsohail View Post
    Oh GOd at least someone from my list got greed with me on this man,but unfortunately he from FATA so less chances and all ready 28 ...guy has not even played much domestic cricket,,was out of National t20 though zulfi baba was playing.
    As a follow up to my previous post- Mushy rates him so he should be in safe hands. Here is what he said in his PP interview:

    “The NCA helps to bridge the gap between the Pakistan selection committee and Mickey Arthur. This is an important link as Mickey will not know which player is match ready if an injury occurs during a tour or a series. We recently had an issue with the fitness of Yasir Shah and I was asked for a possible replacement and I recommended Mohammad Irfan. Many wondered why that was the case but we saw talent and skills in him based upon our assessment of his bowling."

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    So long as Shah keeps playing unfortunately I can't see Irfan breaking into the test team. That said, Mushy seems to rate him so he is likely to be on stand-by.
    At least in UAE. You never know. If he impresses and Shah gets battered away, Mickey might just put him in.


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  58. #58
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    What’s stopping us from playing two leggies in the UAE? He looks like he could be devastating in test cricket.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    As a follow up to my previous post- Mushy rates him so he should be in safe hands. Here is what he said in his PP interview:

    “The NCA helps to bridge the gap between the Pakistan selection committee and Mickey Arthur. This is an important link as Mickey will not know which player is match ready if an injury occurs during a tour or a series. We recently had an issue with the fitness of Yasir Shah and I was asked for a possible replacement and I recommended Mohammad Irfan. Many wondered why that was the case but we saw talent and skills in him based upon our assessment of his bowling."
    thats goood thing that Mushy knows him.

  60. #60
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    The guy has a big leg spinner but needs a lot of bowling in FC to get him ready for the national side. ATM he is no where near ready.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Destroyer View Post
    He's the successor of Warne, not Shah. It's unfortunate we found him so late and are still wasting time. I hope we can develop him in the next two years to get at least six years out of him.
    Of course he turns it more than Yasir which automatically puts him at Warne level which is something because he's rank mediocre in domestic cricket.

  62. #62
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    Good start to the Departmental One Day Cup for Mohammad Irfan, he has seven wickets in two games already.


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  63. #63
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    Wouldn't mind seeing him get a chance .

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    Good start to the Departmental One Day Cup for Mohammad Irfan, he has seven wickets in two games already.
    15 wickets in 6 games now - Highest wicket-taker.


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  65. #65
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    I hope multan sultans give irfan a chance. He's been getting tips of imran tahir. Really rate this guy

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by ataullah View Post
    I hope multan sultans give irfan a chance. He's been getting tips of imran tahir. Really rate this guy
    I doubt we'll see two legspinners in the same eleven.


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  67. #67
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    If they have any sense, they will play him in the upcoming A tours.

    Him and Zafar bowling in tandem would be a real joy to watch.

  68. #68
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    So according to CI, he played in round one of the Quaid-e-Azam One Day Cup for PTV and took 2-44. However, the PCB scorecard is referring to him as Mohammad Irfan Jr (which can't be the tall r/a bowler as he plays for SSGC).

    PTV have two Irfans, (the leggie and the SLA) so it could be him but i've never heard him be referred to as 'Jr.'

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    So according to CI, he played in round one of the Quaid-e-Azam One Day Cup for PTV and took 2-44. However, the PCB scorecard is referring to him as Mohammad Irfan Jr (which can't be the tall r/a bowler as he plays for SSGC).

    PTV have two Irfans, (the leggie and the SLA) so it could be him but i've never heard him be referred to as 'Jr.'
    The Irfan situation is hella confusing.

    Your best bet (as you probably know) is the team averages page on the PCB website (as it lists type of bowler) and that seems to confirm him as the leggie. https://www.pcb.com.pk/averages-repo...atch_type_id=9


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  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    The Irfan situation is hella confusing.

    Your best bet (as you probably know) is the team averages page on the PCB website (as it lists type of bowler) and that seems to confirm him as the leggie. https://www.pcb.com.pk/averages-repo...atch_type_id=9
    I'll be honest, I had completely forgotten about that. Thanks Abdullah bhai.

    Good bowling effort from him in that case. Seems like spinners will have more of a role to play this season (hint, hint Mickey...)

  71. #71
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    @Abdullah719 it would be helpful if the PCB linked the names in the scorecards to the player's profile (in the same way CI's scorecards do).

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    @Abdullah719 it would be helpful if the PCB linked the names in the scorecards to the player's profile (in the same way CI's scorecards do).
    I would hope they intend on doing that sometime in the future.

    The old PCB website had this facility, their statistics database was based on Cricket Archive. Need to bring this one up to standard as well.


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  73. #73
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    9.2-0-44-4 in the second round of the One Day Cup (ODC) vs Lahore Blues.

  74. #74
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    10-0-43-2 vs Rawalpindi to help his side stay unbeaten in the QeA Cup.

    PTV need to play him in FC!

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    10-0-43-2 vs Rawalpindi to help his side stay unbeaten in the QeA Cup.

    PTV need to play him in FC!
    I have been saying this since the start of the season, and they finally have the sense to give him his first FC match this season.

    He took his chance and took a five-fer to reduce Karachi Whites from 139-2 to 223 all out. Excellent effort from him and a timely performance given the upcoming A tours.

    16.3-2-77-5

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Destroyer View Post
    Nice. Really excited to watch him at any level. The drift he creates is unbelievable.
    Looking at the video at 1:39 (and 0:58) it looks like he has slightly modified his action. Not sure who advised him, but unless it is someone like Mushy he should be careful. That said, doesn't appear to have affected his domestic form too much.


  77. #77
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    Why not select him for the A tour at least?

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    Looking at the video at 1:39 (and 0:58) it looks like he has slightly modified his action. Not sure who advised him, but unless it is someone like Mushy he should be careful. That said, doesn't appear to have affected his domestic form too much.

    Could be just a high arm variation.


    A skilled hawk conceals its talons.

  79. #79
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    Match-winning spell of 9-0-36-4 (List A) to help his side defeat ZTBL.

  80. #80
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    We need a leggie for LO cricket with Shadab having a dip in form. Why not give him a chance ? He seems to be doing well.


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