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  1. #1
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    Talent Spotter : Shaheen Shah Afridi

    A comprehensive profile of an exciting young bowler from FATA, Shaheen Shah Afridi, whose height and natural talent with the ball have caught the eye of many pace-bowling enthusiasts in Pakistan.


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    Full name Shaheen Shah Afridi

    Born April 6, 2000, Khyber Agency

    Height 6 ft 6 in

    Major teams Pakistan Under-19s

    Bowling style Left-arm fast-medium


    Interest in cricket

    I am the youngest of seven brothers and belong to a family where my father is a retired government officer from Khyber Agency. My interest in cricket from a very early age was driven by the fact that our eldest brother, Riaz Afridi, was a Pakistan Test cricketer and he was my inspiration from a very young age. He taught me the basics of cricket including how to bowl and I will always be indebted to him for that help. Due to his success, there was no opposition to my choosing cricket as a career at home but I have also kept up with my education where I have recently completed the matriculation stage (Year 10).


    Being selected for FATA Under-16 without any hard-ball experience

    Incredible as it may seem, I had only played tennis-ball cricket until I appeared for FATA Under-16 trials in 2015, thanks to my brother Riaz. This was the first time I was handed a hard ball to bowl with and I was selected for the FATA regional team. I did not disappoint the selectors and picked up 12 wickets and was the highest wicket taker for FATA in PCB’s regional Under-16 tournament later that year.


    First taste of playing away from home on the Under-16 tour of Australia

    As a result of my performance in the Under-16 tournament, I was asked to appear in a High-Performance camp in Karachi in 2015 in respect of selection for the Under-16 tour of Australia which took place in November 2015. This was a camp consisting of 20 players and we were all put through our paces in practice games as well as fitness tests. Thankfully, I was picked as part of the 16-man squad for the tour which consisted of three One-Days and three Twenty20 games. As one can imagine, this was a great experience of playing in alien conditions and I feel that I did not disappoint the selectors for their trust in me. In the six games we played, I claimed four wickets which helped us win both the One-Day and Twenty20 series 2-1 apiece.


    Selection for the Pakistan Under-19 squad for the Asian Cricket Council Under-19s Asia Cup

    The period following our return from the Under-16 tour for Australia was a crucial one for me as in this time I continued to impress everyone with some good performances in PCB's Cricket Stars Under-16s Tournament 2016. By taking 19 wickets during this tournament, my name came under the scanner for selection for the important ACC Under-19 Cup which was to be held in Sri Lanka towards the end of 2016. After my fine performances in the regional Under-16s, I received a call to join the camp for the ACC Under-19s Cup selection camp. This was incredible as I was still at the Under-16 level and had played no regional or district Under-19 games. At that point, I felt that to be even called-up for an Under-19 camp for such a prestigious tournament was an achievement in itself. Once at the camp, I was given valuable advice and guidance by the likes of Mudassar Nazar, Mushtaq Ahmed and Mansoor Rana and after performing well in the practice games, I was named in the 19-man squad for the upcoming tournament.


    Performance at the ACC Under-19 Cup in Sri Lanka

    I was slightly fortunate that despite not playing any Under-19 cricket at that point, I had some experience of a foreign tour due to my involvement in the Under-16 tour of Australia. As a team, we also had the very useful advice given to us by Mohammad Hafeez who had spoken to us during our training stint at the NCA in Lahore. He had advised us about conditions which we could expect in Sri Lanka and the strategies the bowlers and batsmen could adopt for success in the tournament. I believe that this advice proved useful for the team and for me personally. I took five wickets in the three games I played against Singapore, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and was also able to contribute with the bat with 48 runs off just 33 balls in one of the matches. It was disappointing that we did not win the tournament but playing in an international setting was a great experience for all of us.


    Topping the charts in PCB’s Regional Under-19 tournament in 2017

    With the ACC Under-19 Cup experience under my belt, I was much more confident when I played the Inter Region U-19 One Day Tournament 2017/18. It was great to see that I topped the bowling charts in this tournament with 21 wickets to my name in 8 matches whilst I was also the third-highest scorer for FATA region with 154 runs. Later, I also participated in the Regional Inter District U-19 Tournament 2017-18 and took 29 wickets in four matches.


    Role Model

    Wasim Akram is a legendary cricketer for Pakistan and whilst I was inspired to take on cricket due to my eldest brother Riaz Afridi, Wasim has always been my idol and I have always looked to copy his style by watching video clips of his bowling. Although I have not had a chance to discuss my bowling with him, I have had the honour of meeting him at an airport. We did not speak for too long as he was on his way to catch his flight but he was with Rashid Latif who knew of my bowling and he told Wasim about me as well.


    Bowling strengths and batting abilities

    My out-swing has been the main reason for taking wickets in the past especially in my Under-16 days. Later on, I have developed in-swing also which I feel has given me more options to take wickets. Of course, watching Wasim Akram’s bowling videos has also allowed me to fine-tune my bowling even further. As Hasan Ali has shown recently, having variation in one’s bowling is also important and I also bowl with variety but as always, all that depends on the match situation as well as the bowling conditions. Whilst bowling is a core strength for me, I also consider myself an all-rounder and always play each game with the intention of excelling in bowling, batting and fielding.


    The road ahead

    As a player, one is always looking to improve oneself and also setting challenging targets in the future. I am no different in that sense and my top target is to represent Pakistan in the ICC Under-19 World Cup in 2018 which will be held in New Zealand. There can be no greater honour than to represent one’s country and I will do what I can to ensure that I am selected for this tournament. Of course, at a personal level, to play in the PSL is another goal I have set myself as well. Before I can achieve any of these targets, I know that a lot of hard work is needed to show the world what I am capable of. I am currently taking part in the FATA Regional Under-19 cricket camp in Islamabad under the supervision of Coach Ayaz Akbar Yousafzai and Saqib Faqeer where we are putting in a lot of work on all skills. The PCB in this regard has done a tremendous job to provide players like us great opportunities to prove ourselves by creating tournaments such as the One-Day Pentangular Cup which is scheduled sometime after Eid. It will be a dream come true if I can book a place in the Pakistan Under-19 ICC World Cup squad and achieve something for my country as well. After that milestone, I would love to take part in the PSL and then work towards representing Pakistan at the senior level as well.
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 31st July 2017 at 18:17.


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  2. #2
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    Video of his bowling.


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  3. #3
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    Interesting interview- good to have his height confirmed. Sounds a promising talent with bat and ball- if he carries on his fine form I am sure he will be part of the U19 WC Squad and hopefully he can sign for one of the PSL teams.

    Did you not ask whether he has had his bowling speed measured?

  4. #4
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    Impressive kid. Being brother of Riaz surely helped. Hope he can move the ball like him.


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

  5. #5
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    when did this interview took place Saj bhai? and didn't he feature in Future 11 stars tournament?

  6. #6
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    when did this interview took place Abdullah bhai? and didn't he feature in Future 11 stars tournament?

  7. #7
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    Seems like a nice happy kid lol. Good luck to him. Early signs are good.


    A skilled hawk conceals its talons.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kashmiri_Pak_fan View Post
    when did this interview took place Abdullah bhai? and didn't he feature in Future 11 stars tournament?
    Very recently. As mentioned in OP, he is currently taking part in the FATA Regional Under-19 cricket camp in Islamabad.


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  9. #9
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    Riaz was very promising but became overweight.

  10. #10
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    Wow. Thanks for the interview.

    Looking forward to his further development as an all rounder.

    I also consider myself an all-rounder and always play each game with the intention of excelling in bowling, batting and fielding.
    Sweet

  11. #11
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    What is his pace???

  12. #12
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    Really good height at this young age. Can gain some more. and he has outspoken on his speed. Looking forward, Can he play in PSL.

  13. #13
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    @MMHS exciting talent...but should be given chance before 20 as u always say,unlike his brother,poorly handled by pcb and inzi..

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRsohail View Post
    @MMHS exciting talent...but should be given chance before 20 as u always say,unlike his brother,poorly handled by pcb and inzi..
    I saw his brother live. Not sure, what was his specialty, because in U19 WC of 2004, he was bullying kids at 23, if not 25. Could swing the ball, but at 125KM and even in U19 level, he was huffing & puffing after few overs. He was extremely lucky to be one of 3 players that could break into Inzi's 4 years reign, but couldn't keep his spot.

    This kid is tall, can bat, he is fast & if he is genuine 17/18, potential is endless. What Imarn used to do is every series, he'll take 1/2 almost unknown player in his squad. Even if those kids don't get many games, they'll be travelling with team & practice together - particularly fast bowlers, because fast bowling has lot to do with mentoring. In that regard yes, this kid should be taken in PAK squad as early as the SRL series. Also, it's essential that he should be taken under professionals as early as possible, because at 2 metre height, he is prone to injury and if once those novices get their hand on his body, in a year they'll make it a Md. Zahid case.

    Oblate PAK hardly plays any A team tours, otherwise ideally he should have been playing some A team match this summer before making the higher level. If not SRL series, at least he is a must for PSL draft, through emerging quota - this is one reason, I didn't like the open end emerging quota (that's one can make it unlimited times until 23).

  15. #15
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    Pakistan is lacking tall bowlers who are 6ft3+. Ideally you want at least one 6ft4 - 6ft6 bowler in the team like Asif, Wasim Akram, Sarfraz Nawaz etc. Would love this see this guy play in the 2019 WC.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    I saw his brother live. Not sure, what was his specialty, because in U19 WC of 2004, he was bullying kids at 23, if not 25. Could swing the ball, but at 125KM and even in U19 level, he was huffing & puffing after few overs. He was extremely lucky to be one of 3 players that could break into Inzi's 4 years reign, but couldn't keep his spot.

    This kid is tall, can bat, he is fast & if he is genuine 17/18, potential is endless. What Imarn used to do is every series, he'll take 1/2 almost unknown player in his squad. Even if those kids don't get many games, they'll be travelling with team & practice together - particularly fast bowlers, because fast bowling has lot to do with mentoring. In that regard yes, this kid should be taken in PAK squad as early as the SRL series. Also, it's essential that he should be taken under professionals as early as possible, because at 2 metre height, he is prone to injury and if once those novices get their hand on his body, in a year they'll make it a Md. Zahid case.

    Oblate PAK hardly plays any A team tours, otherwise ideally he should have been playing some A team match this summer before making the higher level. If not SRL series, at least he is a must for PSL draft, through emerging quota - this is one reason, I didn't like the open end emerging quota (that's one can make it unlimited times until 23).
    I have seen Riaz also on TV and agree with your analysis about him and about Shaheen.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    I saw his brother live. Not sure, what was his specialty, because in U19 WC of 2004, he was bullying kids at 23, if not 25. Could swing the ball, but at 125KM and even in U19 level, he was huffing & puffing after few overs. He was extremely lucky to be one of 3 players that could break into Inzi's 4 years reign, but couldn't keep his spot.

    This kid is tall, can bat, he is fast & if he is genuine 17/18, potential is endless. What Imarn used to do is every series, he'll take 1/2 almost unknown player in his squad. Even if those kids don't get many games, they'll be travelling with team & practice together - particularly fast bowlers, because fast bowling has lot to do with mentoring. In that regard yes, this kid should be taken in PAK squad as early as the SRL series. Also, it's essential that he should be taken under professionals as early as possible, because at 2 metre height, he is prone to injury and if once those novices get their hand on his body, in a year they'll make it a Md. Zahid case.

    Oblate PAK hardly plays any A team tours, otherwise ideally he should have been playing some A team match this summer before making the higher level. If not SRL series, at least he is a must for PSL draft, through emerging quota - this is one reason, I didn't like the open end emerging quota (that's one can make it unlimited times until 23).
    His brother was the highest wicket taker in u-19 world cup leading us to world cup victory.
    His brother took loads of wickets in first 2 FC seasons not only against u-19 kids.
    His brother is only one of the few bowlers in last 15 years or so who can swing and seam the ball and move the ball both ways.
    His brother was bowling at 130+ in u-19 wc and wasnt bowling at 125kph as you said.
    His brother was the highest wicket taker with 81 wickets in hist first season troubling some of country's top batsmen.
    His brother's downfall came as he became overweight and didnt care about himself resulted in loss of pace too.

    Lastly if you write off every player after just 1 match you will never develop players.
    Last edited by SarfiBabarHaris; 1st August 2017 at 23:11.


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarfiBabarHaris View Post
    His brother was the highest wicket taker in u-19 world cup leading us to world cup victory.
    His brother took loads of wickets in first 2 FC seasons not only against u-19 kids.
    His brother is only one of the few bowlers in last 15 years or so who can swing and seam the ball and move the ball both ways.
    His brother was bowling at 130+ in u-19 wc and wasnt bowling at 125kph as you said.
    His brother was the highest wicket taker with 81 wickets in hist first season troubling some of country's top batsmen.
    His brother's downfall came as he became overweight and didnt care about himself resulted in loss of pace too.

    Lastly if you write off every player after just 1 match you will never develop players.
    I am not sure if you are agreeing with my post or criticizing me.

    I do agree that 1 match isn't the best judge, but there is a clue in my post as well - he was huffing & puffing in a 50 over match & by the time he made it to PAK team, someone Bob Woolmer was Coach - you don't expect him to allow human meat ball in his team to bowl fast, therefore don't think it was management's fault only. Actually opposite - in 4 years, he was among 3 lucky players who debuted under Ul Haq - Asif & Rehman other 2. Asif was dropped for 12 months after SCG debut & came back ironically in that Test Ul Haq was injured at Karachi while Rehman played his first one against SAF at Karachi in 2007, Ul-Haq's penultimate Test, when Ul Haq himself actually forced his way in the team. I that regard, Riaz wasted a rare opportunity for PAK youngsters under Ul Haq.


    For the rest part, not sure how to response - he indeed won the U19 WC taking highest wickets, but don't think it was that special for a 23-25 years young man playing U19 WC.

    He actually didn't take much of FC wickets at the time he made PAK debut which was at the start of 2004-05 season, rather he made it on potential, but couldn't keep it. Here is his domestic season by season summary

    http://www.pcboard.com.pk/Pakistan/P...by_Season.html

    Debuted for PAK with <50 FC wickets, @ around 30, and took 80 wickets @<20 in 2004-05 season, but by that time already debuted & got exposed to Woolmar. That 80 wicket was in 2004-05 season, his 4th, not first - apparently, he debuted in FC cricket at the kid age of 15, in 2001 ........

    He indeed did swing the ball, but not sure about seem movement - inthat Karachi Test, on Day 1, A Razzak took a 5for, and he was seeming in like spinners. Also, not sure how you came to that speed of 130KM+, because there was no speed gun that time. My estimation was from the position & carry to WK, but I might be wrong. His action & run-up doesn't suggest other way though.

    Last one is definitely true - he was over weight at U19 level & added few stones more by that Karachi Test, so decline was sharp and expected.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    I am not sure if you are agreeing with my post or criticizing me.

    I do agree that 1 match isn't the best judge, but there is a clue in my post as well - he was huffing & puffing in a 50 over match & by the time he made it to PAK team, someone Bob Woolmer was Coach - you don't expect him to allow human meat ball in his team to bowl fast, therefore don't think it was management's fault only. Actually opposite - in 4 years, he was among 3 lucky players who debuted under Ul Haq - Asif & Rehman other 2. Asif was dropped for 12 months after SCG debut & came back ironically in that Test Ul Haq was injured at Karachi while Rehman played his first one against SAF at Karachi in 2007, Ul-Haq's penultimate Test, when Ul Haq himself actually forced his way in the team. I that regard, Riaz wasted a rare opportunity for PAK youngsters under Ul Haq.


    For the rest part, not sure how to response - he indeed won the U19 WC taking highest wickets, but don't think it was that special for a 23-25 years young man playing U19 WC.

    He actually didn't take much of FC wickets at the time he made PAK debut which was at the start of 2004-05 season, rather he made it on potential, but couldn't keep it. Here is his domestic season by season summary

    http://www.pcboard.com.pk/Pakistan/P...by_Season.html

    Debuted for PAK with <50 FC wickets, @ around 30, and took 80 wickets @<20 in 2004-05 season, but by that time already debuted & got exposed to Woolmar. That 80 wicket was in 2004-05 season, his 4th, not first - apparently, he debuted in FC cricket at the kid age of 15, in 2001 ........

    He indeed did swing the ball, but not sure about seem movement - inthat Karachi Test, on Day 1, A Razzak took a 5for, and he was seeming in like spinners. Also, not sure how you came to that speed of 130KM+, because there was no speed gun that time. My estimation was from the position & carry to WK, but I might be wrong. His action & run-up doesn't suggest other way though.

    Last one is definitely true - he was over weight at U19 level & added few stones more by that Karachi Test, so decline was sharp and expected.
    First full season after u-19.
    130+ in u-19 wc and a match televised. You can see his bowling in the Ali Imran Pasha videos i posted.
    Seam movement I have seen and also rated the best swing and seam bowler in Pakistan by NCA coaches like Aqib who was also the u-19 coach and at that time said he is better than Asif.

    Taking highest wickets in an u-19 world cup is special and he was not 23-25 thats too much exaggeration. Generally Pathans are strongly built and look older maximum he was 21.
    Also taking highest wicket in first full FC season and among leading wicket takers in first 2 seasons is special and I read interviews of batsmen who played against him on Urdu express newspaper (only Urdu akhbaar which used to give details of national sports) who rated his bowling very highly.

    Lastly as discussed above the reason for his downfall is his careless attitude and overweight. When he should have started peaking he regressed. To say he didnt have potential after 1 match is not right imo. Similar to what Pakistanis did with Asif, Hasan and recently Abbas. That being said, he has himself to blame that he became overweight and didn't care.
    Last edited by SarfiBabarHaris; 2nd August 2017 at 01:29.


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

  20. #20
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    Riaz was a poor man's Sohail Khan.


    A skilled hawk conceals its talons.

  21. #21
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    He looks genuine 17 to me in that pic, no facial hair.

  22. #22
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    Excited about this lad.

    Looks a special talent and something different that Pakistan hasn't had for a while, a bowler with that height and pace and hopefully a good level of fitness.



  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    Excited about this lad.

    Looks a special talent and something different that Pakistan hasn't had for a while, a bowler with that height and pace and hopefully a good level of fitness.
    have you seen him live? in a match or doing net practice?



  24. #24
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    Just quoting this interesting post from @A-1 about Shaheen from the other thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by A-1 View Post
    I played against him last year in a tournament in Jamrud Khyber Agency. A friend of mine asked me to open the batting for his team so I accepted his request and the team we were playing against had shaheen. We bowled them out cheaply (IIRC below 100 runs). So I opened the batting and he was the opening bowler

    His first spell was decent, not much pace but good control. He didnt swing the ball as much and the slight swing he was getting was because of the new ball. Anyway he was decent and we were pretty careful initially. In jamrud the pitches are extremely flat and the teams usually turn to their spinners very quickly. They brought on spinners and we cruised along. When he was given the ball for his second spell I remember my batting partner telling me that he bowls that heavy ball once every over and watch out for it.

    The first ball of his second spell was extremely quick, I didn't see the ball at all and i just said to myself ok that's the heavy ball for the over. The ball was old by the time he started his second spell so we weren't exactly expecting pace from him. The second ball was even quicker and it missed my helmet by a couple of cm. He was bowling at frighting pace and the bounce he was getting was unbelievable, the keeper was collecting the ball chest height. No swing but his pace was very impressive that entire over. I didn't see the ball at all and he got me out in the very next over. He started our collapse and got further 3 wickets on the trot and gave away just couple of runs. All of our batsmen were shell shocked and all of them were in awe of his pace. He ripped into our middle order and nearly won the game for his team


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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Langau View Post
    have you seen him live? in a match or doing net practice?
    No I have not.

    The videos look impressive and I guess we will know how good he is sooner or later.



  26. #26
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    Thrilling.

    This is the joy of loving Pakistan cricket.

    I felt like this when Waqar first emerged in mid-1989 and I felt like this in September 1987 when Mushtaq Ahmed bowled out the England tourists at the Sahiwal Biscuit Factory.

    And, of course, I felt like this when an unknown kid from Islamia College took 7-50 against the touring Kiwis in late 1984.

    The excitement is all the greater due to the current lack of height and lack of pace in the attack.

  27. #27
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    Riaz Afridi did always look big for his 'Stated' age and used to bowl good outswingers (he would just flick his wrist a la famous Akram saying) and that flicking almost used to give the illusion that he might be chucking it. Although I am quite sure that was not the case because he was barely hitting the 130 KMH mark, let alone going for much higher speeds. He definitely did not look threatening at such slow crawl speeds even when fit and then he just balooned up and faded away! I was infact left boiling seeing they did not pick some other bowlers available and picked this slow Tatuu like bowler instead :-)

    Back to his younger brother, I am really excited after reading his interview and watching his videos (I already watched them a while back as well). He looks to be a one in a generation type of talent going by the full package:

    Height - Extra Check (Exceptional height)

    Young age - check

    Athletic build - check (Hopefully he does not follow his elder brother's example and become really bulky)

    Pace - check (seems to be at least 135+ or more going by videos, reaction of batsmen, and reading accounts of others who have played against him or seen him live)

    Swing/Movement - Some is evident and rest can be taught since he is so young

    Right Mindset - Check (Interview sheds a positive light on this kid being smart)

    In his case, having an ex-Test player as a brother is an asset unless his brother has some friction with a lunatic like Shakel Sheikh or like. I am as excited as any and expect this kid to be a big time part of our team in near future as long as Mr. Action Changer is not allowed to 'Tweak' his action or something!

    Lastly, does Mickey Arther knows about him, I am quite sure if he is shown this talent, he would immediately try to get him to at least train with the squad or bowl at the batsmen to get them set for upcoming tours etc.


    Sir Mamoon:
    Is Yasir a very good spinner? No - Is Yasir good enough for overseas Tests? No

  28. #28
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    And still the irony is this lad doesnt get a chance in Pakistan's U19 team. 20 players are shortlisted and he is missing ìn the team.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsArslan View Post
    And still the irony is this lad doesnt get a chance in Pakistan's U19 team. 20 players are shortlisted and he is missing ìn the team.
    Selected for what? And source pls.

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    playing for fata in t20 cup

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ataullah View Post
    playing for fata in t20 cup
    Hope he gets some game time.

    It'll be interesting to see what he's like in these early stages of his career.



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