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  1. #1
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    Talent Spotter : Ashiq Ali

    A comprehensive profile of an upcoming, young off-spinner from Karachi who impressed one and all with his displays for UBL in the recently concluded Departmental One-Day Cup.


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    Full name: Ashiq Ali

    Date of Birth: May 1, 1995, Karachi, Sindh

    Major teams: Habib Bank Limited, United Bank Limited

    Batting style: Right-hand bat

    Bowling style: Right-arm off-break


    Interest in Cricket

    We are a cricket playing family and my elder brother, Asif Ali, used to play club cricket regularly so my interest in the game was sparked by watching him play. There was a local academy in my area at the Steel Town Gymkhana and my elder brother would practice and play cricket there, so I would also go with him when I was about ten years old and that really helped me appreciate the game and also build interest in cricket.


    Playing Under 19 Cricket for Thatta

    My bowling was really liked by others and I rose up through the local Under-15 and Under-17 system but it was a little difficult for me to get a place in the Karachi Under-19s as I used to live a little further away from Karachi. So, I had no option other than to play for Thatta in 2011, which is one of the interior Sindh teams. I didn’t do too well in the first year, taking just 14 wickets in the Inter-District Under 19 Tournament but I excelled in the second year (2012) where I took 37 wickets in just 5 games. I then moved to National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Under-19s and played for 2 years in their team but did not do too well and then came back to play for Thatta once again. This time around, I did even better, taking 39 and 41 wickets respectively in 2-day and 3-day Inter-District Under 19 and Senior competitions in the 2013/14 season.


    Disappointment in debut first-class season for Habib Bank Limited (HBL)

    Due to some exceptional performances for Thatta in the 3-day Inter-District Senior Tournament in 2014 where I took 40 wickets in 5 matches and scored close to 300 runs, I was picked up by HBL to play first-class cricket in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Silver League in November 2014. I did not play many games in this tournament and did not get many opportunities to bowl which is why I ended up with just five wickets in two matches. Unfortunately, it was difficult for me to establish a place in the HBL first-class team as there were some excellent players in the side already. I had no option but to move to Grade 2 cricket in the 2016/17 season where I played for Candyland. Here, I was able to make a name for myself as I took 33 wickets and was the second-highest wicket-taker in the Patron's Trophy (Grade II) 2016/17 tournament.


    Success in the National One-Day Cup for Departments

    Nadeem Khan, the manager of the UBL team picked me to play for the team in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in 2017. However, the team was doing so well and all bowlers like Sohail Khan, Ehsan Adil and Mir Hamza were in such good form that I just did not get a chance to play in any game. Although it was a little disappointing for me, yet I am glad that UBL did really well and just missed the final slot by a tight margin. The One-Day Cup for Departments which followed this tournament was a different story though. In this tournament, I played 8 games for UBL and took a fantastic haul of 14 wickets at an economy rate of 4.53 and on top of that, my contributions helped in our team winning the tournament which made me really proud of my achievement.


    Younis Khan as role model

    It will surprise many that I as a bowler have a batsman as someone I admire, but Younis Khan is my role model. The manner in which he has carried himself in the past is a lesson for all of us youngsters. To this day, he takes care of his fitness and when he is on the field of play, he is totally focused on the task of playing cricket. Whenever I have met him he has told me about the effort involved in getting to the stature that he has today and that is a fine example for me to follow too. By following his lead, I feel that I am also doing well so he is definitely a source of inspiration for me.


    Experience of playing alongside top cricketers in domestic cricket

    I have been very fortunate to play alongside some excellent players, some of whom have also represented Pakistan such as Hasan Raza, Imran Farhat, Humayun Farhat and Abdur Rehman who is a spinner himself and has given me a lot of support. Since I was the youngest in the Habib Bank team when I made my first-class debut, I received a lot of guidance from the senior players which has really helped me in my career so far.


    The wonderful atmosphere at UBL

    When later on I moved to UBL, I experienced something even better as the environment was such that I never felt like a new player amongst a well-settled outfit. I think a lot has to do with Nadeem Khan who is our manager and treats each person like they are stars and the team depends on them which gives a lot of confidence to the players. There is no difference in the way I am treated with respect there as compared to the likes of more experienced players such as Shan Masood or Umar Akmal. To top that, playing under the captaincy of Younis Khan was literally like a dream come true for a young player like me.


    Aspirations for the future

    I would have liked to have played in the One-Day Cup for Regions but sadly that did not happen. I am looking forward to being selected for participation in the Pakistan Cup (50 overs) competition later on and also to making a comeback in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy later this year. I was also hoping to be named for the Multan Sultan’s squad in PSL 3 but that was not to be either.

    Whilst I am quiet happy to play in all formats of the game, I do believe that my bowling action is suited for the One-Day and 4-Day formats of the game as I have the ability to flight the ball and don’t try and bowl in a manner which is more suited for Twenty20 games.

    Of course, there is sometimes need to bowl like that but my heart is not in that type of bowling. I would rather bowl like Nathan Lyon or Ravi Ashwin and those are the types of bowlers I look up to for inspiration in my bowling. Hopefully my performances will catch the eyes of selectors and I will one day play for Pakistan which is my aim.
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 29th January 2018 at 12:17.


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  2. #2
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    Sep 2015
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    i watched him on tv he was very good with his off spin with great flight and control.he needs to be

    in plans for pak A tour atleast

  3. #3
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    Unless he becomes a Saeed Ajmal level off spinner, it will be very difficult for him to break through into this team as a bowler alone.

    Even our number 10 Amir has a couple of ODI fifties and Amir will probably move down to 11 when Shaheen Shah Afridi becomes part of this team.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2011
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    Can anyone post a video of his action?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PakSarZameen View Post
    Unless he becomes a Saeed Ajmal level off spinner, it will be very difficult for him to break through into this team as a bowler alone.

    Even our number 10 Amir has a couple of ODI fifties and Amir will probably move down to 11 when Shaheen Shah Afridi becomes part of this team.
    That's foolish English thoughts - batting capability of spinners. First of all, Offie should be 3rd pick in an XI, after a leggi & SLAO. But, in some particular cases, an offie might be an asset simply as No. 11 and decent in his trait. These cases are like -

    1. It the wicket is too spin friendly to play 3 spinners (or 2.5)
    2. If there are too many lefti in batting order (% of lefti people are too low, therefore if there is 4 left handers in XI or 3 in top 7, one can take it more than average)
    3. If there are few left arm pacers in team (s), playing on a dry surface.

    In any case, every Test squad in Asia should have 3 spinners and one offie in 16.

    1 & 3 are almost always the case for PAK, against SRL or WI, 1, 2, & 3 are common - an offie was must for the SRL series, at least for the squad, preferably in playing XI, which would have saved 0-2. That series, SRL won for Herath and Perera's spin; but more importantly Karuna's batting - a lefti top order.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    That's foolish English thoughts - batting capability of spinners. First of all, Offie should be 3rd pick in an XI, after a leggi & SLAO. But, in some particular cases, an offie might be an asset simply as No. 11 and decent in his trait. These cases are like -

    1. It the wicket is too spin friendly to play 3 spinners (or 2.5)
    2. If there are too many lefti in batting order (% of lefti people are too low, therefore if there is 4 left handers in XI or 3 in top 7, one can take it more than average)
    3. If there are few left arm pacers in team (s), playing on a dry surface.

    In any case, every Test squad in Asia should have 3 spinners and one offie in 16.

    1 & 3 are almost always the case for PAK, against SRL or WI, 1, 2, & 3 are common - an offie was must for the SRL series, at least for the squad, preferably in playing XI, which would have saved 0-2. That series, SRL won for Herath and Perera's spin; but more importantly Karuna's batting - a lefti top order.
    TRue we definitely could do with a good spinner in Tests


    Umar Akmal, Sohaib Maqsood [Mindless Sloggers]

  7. #7
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    Excellent prospect and one that has gone under the radar.


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  8. #8
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    Apr 2013
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    Name:  291772f8-9453-4845-9452-85dde2a67621.jpg
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  9. #9
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    Oct 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    Can anyone post a video of his action?

  10. #10
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    action looks good which is repeatable and the guy give it flight which is great.have seen hi live and was impressive.

  11. #11
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    Apr 2017
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    Action looks a bit like Dilruwan Perera

  12. #12
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    Good luck to the lad.

    Slightly unorthodox action, but the basics look right.



  13. #13
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    Apr 2013
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    ***TMC GROUND, KARACHI

    Karachi Region Blues (First Innings) 400-9 in 83 overs (Ramiz Aziz 108, 128 balls, 10x4s, 2x6s, Jaahid Ali 68, 96 balls, 12x4s, Fahadis Bukhari 55, 65 balls, 9x4s, Hasan Mohsin 43, 57 balls, 3x4s, Saud Shakeel 33, 57 b balls, 5x4s, Saifullah Bangash 32, 18 balls, 3x4s, Sanaullah 3-38, Hidayat Ullah 3-104)

    D.M. Jamali Region (First Innings) 86-10 in 31.3 overs: (Najeeb Ullah 37, 61 balls, 6x4s, Osama Basharat 4-12, Ashiq Ali 4-33)

    After fellow-on (2nd Innings) 149-10 in 46.2 overs: (Asif Ali 55, Sanaullah 32, 49 balls, 1x6, Najeeb Ullah 21, 31 balls, 4x4s, Ashiq Ali 4-41, Osama Basharat 3-62, Fahadis Bukhari 2-7, Jaahid Ali 2-19)


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  14. #14
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    Why hasn't he been called up to the NCA Emerging Player camp?

    On merit, he deserves it.

    Pakistan also needs an off-spinner.

    Defies logic...

  15. #15
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    Pakistan needs an off-spinner, especially in the longer format.

    As he mentions he didn't get a chance to play in this season's QeA because of the pitches but he excelled in the Departmental One Day Cup.

    On top of that, his stats in the QeA Grade II Tournament played in March/April 2018 makes it all the more remarkable he has not been called up to the NCA:

    Matches: 5
    Overs: 115
    Maidens: 15
    Wickets: 25
    Average: 15.24
    S/R: 27.72
    Economy: 3.3
    Best: 6-68
    4 W: 2
    5 W: 2

    What are they waiting for?!


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