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  1. #1
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    "I am confident I'll earn my place back in the Pakistan team" : Hammad Azam

    UBL captain, Rawalpindi's Hammad Azam, made his debut for Pakistan during the tour of West Indies in 2011. Given limited chances at the international level he is yet to make a significant impact in international cricket and hopes to put things right once given another go.

    In an exclusive interview with PakPassion.net, Hammad expressed his delight on captaining the UBL side, spoke about the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, the competition for places in the national team, about his ambitions of making a Pakistan comeback and much more.



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    PakPassion.net: You are captaining UBL in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy this season that must be an honour?

    Hammad Azam: It is a matter of immense honour and a privilege for me to be leading a team like United Bank Limited. One must take pride in captaining any team, but it is a special occasion for a player to lead a team with names such as I have playing under me in our team. It is a learning curve for me, but I've enjoyed this new experience so far and I hope I'll get to learn more from the senior players in the team. All the players are very cooperative and very supportive. I have got to learn a lot from players like Umar Akmal and Sohaib Maqsood. Moreover, we feel honoured and blessed to share the dressing room with someone like Younis Khan, who is a legend of the game himself. Younis has not played a match so far, but has remained with us as part of the coaching staff. His batting tips always come in handy.


    PakPassion.net: How do you feel the season is going so far for UBL?

    Hammad Azam: We have had a fantastic start to the Quaid-e-Azam trophy so far. Our performances, as a team have been very satisfying. There used to be a notion and a belief that regional teams are considerably weak as compared to the departments, but this year teams have been evenly matched and we're getting to see competitive cricket all around. Regions such as Karachi and Lahore have got some very talented players in their ranks and we have enjoyed playing against them.


    PakPassion.net: What have the pitches been like so far in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy?

    Hammad Azam: This season, the pitches have been pretty lively as well. The pitch in our first game was very supporting to the batsmen as well as to the bowlers. Runs were scored and wickets fell, giving everyone a chance to chip in with what they are good at. In our second match in Lahore, we played on a track which was a tad slower. As professional cricketers, we have to understand the nature of the pitches and also keep in mind we will have to play in different conditions and sometimes not as favourable as our players would desire them to be.


    PakPassion.net: You scored a century in your first match as captain. That must set you up nicely for rest of the season?

    Hammad Azam: Absolutely! We wanted to start off well as a team and we could not have asked for a better start to the season. It was needed and thankfully, the players delivered for the team. As far as I am concerned, I am happy with the way I performed in the opening match. As a skipper, I had a lot of responsibility and the onus is always on the captain to do well and to lead from the front. Inshallah, I will try to make sure I keep performing and end this season in the same way I have started it. As every other player, I also have my goals and aims. I have discussed my plans with the coach and as a unit, we will try to implement those plans. I bat in the lower-middle order and I'll be satisfied with myself should I manage to score anywhere near 650 runs by the time this season ends.


    PakPassion.net: You've been given limited chances to perform for Pakistan in international cricket. Does that hurt?

    Hammad Azam: No, that does not, actually. I always keep myself motivated to perform well and to earn a recall into the national side. Whenever the team is announced and I do not find my name in it, I lift myself up and it serves as an inspiration for me to do better in future. Easier said than done, but one must stay focused and always keep one's chin up. I am working hard and I am confident I'll earn my place back in the Pakistan team very soon.


    PakPassion.net: Do you feel you can compete with the likes of Aamir Yamin and Faheem Ashraf?

    Hammad Azam: Both Aamir Yamin and Faheem Ashraf are bowling all-rounders and I am a batting all-rounder. Many people are of the view that I am a bowling all-rounder, which is not exactly the case. I know the competition for places is tough, and to make a comeback for Pakistan, I will have to compete against these players. However, I am determined to work hard, score runs and to change a few wrong perceptions about me as a player.


    PakPassion.net: Do you believe pace-bowling all-rounders are a rarity in Pakistan these days?

    Hammad Azam: Yes, that is true. I put this down to the conditions we have in our country. Not that there are not many all-rounders in the domestic circuit, and tough competition for places exists too. We have Aamer Yamin, Faheem Ashraf, Bilawal Bhatti and Anwar Ali. All of them are decent bowling options, and all of them need persistent chances to show signs of improvement in their performances. Modern cricket demands pace bowling all-rounders. This is not cricket of yesteryear. Cricket has gone through several revolutions in the recent past, and one cannot deny the value of all-rounders in this day and age. Just like every team, Pakistan also needs all-rounders in their side.


    PakPassion.net: Do you feel you are still good enough to play for Pakistan?

    Hammad Azam: Yes, absolutely. I do feel my best years are still ahead of me. As I said before, I always keep myself motivated to do well in domestic cricket. The world lives upon hope and I am confident of a comeback in the national team. I believe this Quaid-e-Azam trophy season is very important for me. This is the premier tournament we have in our country, and performances in this tournament go a long, long way. I am always determined to work hard.


    PakPassion.net: How much do you rate UBL's chances of winning the Quaid-e-Azam trophy this season?

    Hammad Azam: I believe we have a very balanced squad and we have got a perfect start to the season as well. We finished third last year, and second a year prior to it. This time we will try to make sure we go one step further and manage to win the competition. I would like to mention Saad Ali and Umar Siddiq. Both of them scored centuries for us in our second match against Lahore Whites. They are the ones to look out for. As with every other side, our goal is to end the season as champions too. Inshallah, all the players in the team will work hard to achieve this goal. We are wary of the fact that there are some very strong teams in the competition this season. HBL, SNGPL, SSGC etc. are all well equipped and very dangerous outfits on their day. Team combination matters a lot when you take the field, and the right combination wins you matches. The team which performs better on the day obviously has a better chance of winning the match and in the end, the competition as well.
    Last edited by hadi123; 10th October 2017 at 09:31.


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  2. #2
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    If you're a batting all rounder bat yourself higher up. Shouldn't be batting lower than 6 if he wants to stake a claim at returning to the national side.

  3. #3
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    I still feel he has more ability than asraf , yamin and co

    Not saying he deserves a call up just yet , but I hope he has a great season with the bat. There is a player there that could play all formats for Pakistan


    "Last time Uganda toured Canada, half their team ran away to start a new life" - cricfan967

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boi View Post
    If you're a batting all rounder bat yourself higher up. Shouldn't be batting lower than 6 if he wants to stake a claim at returning to the national side.
    I've said the same thing to him many times.

    He was held back by one particular player who captained him in domestic cricket. But now that he is captain, no excuses.



  5. #5
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    Had we invested in him a lot earlier think he would have developed into a decent A/R by now

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    I've said the same thing to him many times.

    He was held back by one particular player who captained him in domestic cricket. But now that he is captain, no excuses.

    Why dont we just call it as it is

    Sohail Tanvir


    "Last time Uganda toured Canada, half their team ran away to start a new life" - cricfan967

  7. #7
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    He is talented but another soft customer. His body-language is poor and his demeanor is weak.

    Good luck for the future though. If he put in some notable performance with bat and ball this season, he is likely to get a chance.

  8. #8
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    He said have got longer than he did. Not saying he would have been a world beater but it would have been interesting to see how he would have done with some backing.

  9. #9
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    No thank you. He's a trundler.


    You gotta work until your idols become your rivals.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdul View Post
    No thank you. He's a trundler.
    With trundling you can also buy some batting and fielding, so he is a handy cricketer. Should never have been dropped after that Asia Cup where he actually had a decent run.


    Ki Mohammad (saw) sey wafa tu ney tou hum terey hain
    Yeh jahaan cheez kya hai Loh-o-Qalam tere hain

  11. #11
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    Why are we still hyping a guy who performed in against India in under 19 almost a decade ago??

  12. #12
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    He is not an all-rounder. If he wants to make the team it is going to have to be as a batsman.

  13. #13
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    Why is he batting at #7? Made a fifty but was stranded today, not out because he ran out of partners. Can easily bat above Nawaz and even Maqsood.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    Why is he batting at #7? Made a fifty but was stranded today, not out because he ran out of partners. Can easily bat above Nawaz and even Maqsood.
    It's up to the new skipper - Shan Masood who has now been appointed as the HBL captain.



  15. #15
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    Pakistan's next two significant assignments are 2 Tests in England in damp May conditions - when Yasir Shah won't get a bowl - followed 6 months later by 3 Tests in South Africa, in conditions identical to Australia.

    Any spin bowler selected will only get a bowl on the fifth day, and will play primarily as a specialist batsman.

    And the main pace bowlers will need part-time pace bowlers to keep them fresh.

    My suggestion would be to use Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali and Mohammad Asif as the three pace strike bowlers, batting at Number 9, 10 and 11.

    But I need at least one more part-time pace bowler and either a part-time fifth pace bowler or a part-time spinner.

    I'd be inclined to go:

    6. Sarfraz Ahmed (c/wk)
    7. Hammad Azam (part-time fourth quick)
    8. Imad Wasim or Shadab Khan (part-time spinner) or Aamer Yamin (part-time fifth quick)
    9. Mohammad Amir
    10. Hasan Ali
    11. Mohammad Asif

    Consider a damp, overcast day at Leeds in May. There's no way that Yasir Shah would even get a bowl.........

    EACH SESSION
    Asif 5 overs Amir 5 overs
    Hasan 4 overs Hammad 4 overs
    Asif 3 overs Yamin 3 overs

  16. #16
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    Good line up @Junaids Bhai.

    I will also add Fahim to the mix. Also Asif should be replaced with a young pacer

  17. #17
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    4th highest run getter in HK sixes 2017

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    and top wicket-taker for Pakistan with 3 wickets


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  18. #18
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    What a waste for him the be at Hong Kong, especially as he was having good start to the first class season


    "Last time Uganda toured Canada, half their team ran away to start a new life" - cricfan967

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAJ View Post
    With trundling you can also buy some batting and fielding, so he is a handy cricketer. Should never have been dropped after that Asia Cup where he actually had a decent run.
    I think the only opening barring injuries currently would be if he absolutely smashed it with the bat in Quaid trophy. Pakistan need a fifth bowler who can bat in the top seven in test cricket.

    So far Hafeez is the best option, but the professor probably doesn't want to bat that far down... Hopefully Shadab or Faheem develop into a top seven test bat in the future.

  20. #20
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    should have been palying FC..

  21. #21
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    Another youngster who was unfortunate to play during Misbah era

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syed1 View Post
    Another youngster who was unfortunate to play during Misbah era
    agreed,who can forget his innings in asia cup final,but but there was no talent and will be no talent uder misbah,u need experience ,

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syed1 View Post
    Another youngster who was unfortunate to play during Misbah era
    he is the perfect number 7 outside asia in tests and 5 or 6 in odi.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRsohail View Post
    he is the perfect number 7 outside asia in tests and 5 or 6 in odi.
    Him, Fahim and Yamin will be fighting for one spot


    #Mein inko rolaonga

  25. #25
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    He is a good player and should be considered in future.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syed1 View Post
    Him, Fahim and Yamin will be fighting for one spot
    Don't forget Lord Anwar Ali and Lord Bhatti. I think in LOIs Fahim Ashraf has cemented his spot and Yamin isn't far away either as he has been in the last two T20 squads but just not got a chance in the XI. I think in tests Yamin will be the first choice based on his season so far. I think Azam is a long way down the pecking order.

  27. #27
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    I am assuming faheem has left anwar ali and hammad in the dust

  28. #28
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    Think we should move on from Hammad Azam.

    We are looking for a genuine pace bowling all rounder who can win matches with bat and ball. Faheem looks promising and is being groomed for that role.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by babajee View Post
    Think we should move on from Hammad Azam.

    We are looking for a genuine pace bowling all rounder who can win matches with bat and ball. Faheem looks promising and is being groomed for that role.
    Perhaps we should consider him a batsmen with the bowling being a bonus

    I agree he isnt anything special but he is one of the few batsmen in Pakistan who can take the game away an oppisition in a couple of overs and can hit big against pace and spin.

    Id say right now the only others are Talat ( my first option ) or Umar who we all know has plenty of issues to say the least

    I belive in odis our team looks a let better if Sarfraz bats at 4, and one those that I mentioned bats at 6.

    T20s are a bigger mess to solve but the inclusion of either of these players would help
    Last edited by hadi123; 31st October 2017 at 09:24.


    "Last time Uganda toured Canada, half their team ran away to start a new life" - cricfan967

  30. #30
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    75* for Hammad today in QEA.


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  31. #31
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    Hammad Azam is a player of immense potential and leadership qualities. He is a somewhat an equivalent to another gifter all-rounder Abdul Razzaq. If Hammad Azam is given a proper chance I do feel he has the ability to one day lead Pakistan XI.

    He is proving it with his performance for his team UBL, which tops Pool B, 5 wins and 1 loss attributed to the one match Hammad could'nt play as he was selected to represent Pakistan in Hong Kong Sixes and Akbar ur Rehman lead the side for that 1 match.

    He has scored 342 with average 85.5

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkwdpassion View Post
    Hammad Azam is a player of immense potential and leadership qualities. He is a somewhat an equivalent to another gifter all-rounder Abdul Razzaq. If Hammad Azam is given a proper chance I do feel he has the ability to one day lead Pakistan XI.

    He is proving it with his performance for his team UBL, which tops Pool B, 5 wins and 1 loss attributed to the one match Hammad could'nt play as he was selected to represent Pakistan in Hong Kong Sixes and Akbar ur Rehman lead the side for that 1 match.

    He has scored 342 with average 85.5
    This is hilarious.

    Abdul Razzaq is 10000000 x the player Hammad will ever be.

    Hammad has done well in this year's QeA but you are overstating his importance to UBL's success this season; for you to claim the only reason they lost that match was because he wasn't playing is a little silly.

    As I have mentioned in the other thread, he was only captain for the games Shan Masood was away on national duty.

    I have nothing against Hammad and I hope he is selected in the PSL but your post is ridiculous. Even Hammad would be embarrassed to read your tall claims.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    75* for Hammad today in QEA.
    He has to make it through bowling - at least as 3rd seemer in Asia and 4th outside; unless he is good enough batsman to bat in top 5 (which I don't think he was, is or will be).

    It's an interesting logic of mine - for spinners (all-rounder), I look for how good a batsman he is and then his bowling; otherwise a specialist spinner is better. In that regard, Haris, Malik, MoHa or Ajmal, Yasir, Raja Hasan is better choice than Imad or Nawaz or Saad Nasim. You can add Aga Salman, Kamran Ghulam in the first group while Asghar in the 2nd group. Shadab is totally different here because he is a total package (even he fields exceptionally well for a PAK fielder) - that's he is so much exciting, and that's the reason I wish he doesn't go Afridi route - that's caught in between everything.

    For fast bowlers, I am totally opposite - I'll consider on how good they are with ball and then batting comes as an added point. In short - Imarn, RJ Hadlee or Wasim is more valuable to me than Kallis or even Sobers; because fast bowling takes so much that one can't make up with bat. I'll pick Amir & Hasan and try to work them hard to improve batting - rather pick Fahim & Yamin, then try to improve their bowling, it doesn't work that way. I have argued with many posters and I'll stick to my point - Flintof was better than Stokes and as a player value Phillander is better pick in Test.

    In that regard, for last 6/7 years Hammad is a disappointment, because he never developed his bowling. I am sure, I saw couple of balls for 88+ MPH in U19 WC'10 in NZ, may be that speed gun wasn't accurate, but he was indeed 134KM (83MPH)+. He had the height as well, his bowling stats are fantastic in domestics, but for some reason never tried to become a fast medium pacer who would bowl 35 overs in a complete match and bat at 6/7 in FC level.

    He can make PAK team (in any format), if only he can be trusted for full quota of overs. In Test, he has to be good enough to be 2nd pacer in case of 3 spinner strategy in Asia (or 3rd pacer out side, for 2 spinner strategy), but time is running fast from him.

  34. #34
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    @mak36

    You have clear bias against some,

    Hammad Azam is match winner and born-leader. I've known about his game since his U 19 days when he won Pakistan the match single-handedly against India. Deserved to be given similar chancesas Akmals he would be established player and his bowling would've improved also.

    Selectors are the only embarassment in Pakistan.

  35. #35
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    He's been picked up by Peshawar for PSL 3.

    Let's see how he goes.

    Competition is tough now with Faheem Ashraf and Aamer Yamin on the scene.



  36. #36
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  37. #37
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    Hammad Azam is good enough to play as a specialist batsman. His ball striking ability is insane when he gets going. Should leave bowling altogether to get rid of this all-rounder tag. Too good a batsman to miss out on international cricket.

  38. #38
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    Still one of the best finisher in Pakistan
    A shame that his bowling is mediocre.


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

  39. #39
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    he has a spot in the team. He can add to depth of the team , and can be a good finisher.

  40. #40
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    Good hitting but the shorty phaast bowler feeding him with juicy and innocent looking balls, a lowly ranked club level bowling.

  41. #41
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  42. #42
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    He's having a great season this year.

  43. #43
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    He seems to have gotten a bit better against spin. That was always a weakness

  44. #44
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    He has once again showcased his finishing abilities in the t20 cup. As I have said before, he will only make the team if he focuses on his batting. His bowling is hurting his chances.

    He has made a couple of tactical errors as captain during NT20 Cup but unlike others he does appear to learn from mistakes and he has been good at giving newcomers a chance.

  45. #45
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    If he can become a proper batsman, I think he can target a place in the Test team and become the number 6 batsman. His bowling is pretty average but could be a handy option in places where the ball swings plus can also be used as a stock bowler to give rest to the main bowlers.

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