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  1. #1
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    [VIDEOS] Talent Spotter: Abdullah Shafique

    A profile of young batsman from Sialkot, Abdullah Shafique, who has recently caused a stir with some big scores in domestic cricket.




    Full name: Abdullah Shafique

    Born: November 20, 1999, Sialkot

    Major teams: Multan Sultans, Pakistan Under-19s, and Central Punjab

    Batting style: Right-hand bat

    Bowling style: Right-arm off-break


    Interest in cricket

    Just like any other kid in Pakistan, cricket was always around me and so my interest in the game was a natural one. In my area, I would see people in my neighbourhood playing the game and I would join in and eventually my love for the game grew. My interest was also fuelled because of seeing top stars live on television. Playing for my nation, eventually, was something I had always dreamt about. The love for Pakistan was very much a factor, and I wanted to bring happiness to my people by representing the country.


    Learning cricket by playing tape-ball cricket

    Of course, like others, I started playing cricket with a tape ball. I think it is a benefit to your game playing tape ball early on, because the pace of the ball is so fast, which gets your hand eye co-ordination improved up to a good standard, and when you face a hard ball, the pace of the ball is something you don’t worry about. You have some negatives also which are, sometimes it isn’t good for developing horizontal bat strokes, which are required in top level cricket. But overall, I love tape ball cricket, and it is always fun to play with friends and family.


    Support for my playing ambitions from the family

    I have been lucky that my family have been very supportive of me playing cricket. They realised I have a dream, and they have supported me in fulfilling it. But they say I can play cricket on only one condition, that is that I must continue my studies whilst playing which is what I have done and have passed intermediate level of studies.


    Exposure to hard-ball cricket

    My first exposure to hard-ball cricket was when I was 10 years old. The year was 2009 and this was around the time when Pakistan won the World T20 Cup in England. I have learnt so much from Amir Waseem at his cricket academy. His passing away in 2018 was an extremely sad moment for me as I owed so much of my cricket to him.


    Playing Under-19 cricket at the District Level

    Based on my club performances, I was selected for the Sialkot Under-19s District side where I played in the 2-day Inter District Under -19 Tournament 2015. I played 9 innings in total, scoring 594 runs at an average of 84 with 2 centuries to my name and a highest score of 216*. A few months later, in the Inter Region Under-19 One Day Tournament 2015/16, I averaged 80, scoring 320 runs in 5 innings with a highest score of 181 which included 2 centuries. Saif Badar and I opened the innings on many occasions in these tournaments.


    Participation in the Asian Cricket Council Under-19s Asia Cup in 2017

    Based on my performances at the Under 19 level in 2015/2016, I was selected to play for the Pakistan Under 19 side for this tournament. It was a great experience playing in a side which had the likes of Muhammad Musa, Hassan Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Rohail Nazir. However, the real charm was to have had the opportunity to play against the likes of top players such as Mujeeb-ur-Rehman and to score 60 against Afghanistan. Overall, my performance wasn’t that great in this tournament, but it was the first time I was playing on a top stage and the experience I gained from it was invaluable.


    Playing in the Quaid-e-Azam 2nd XI tournament

    To be honest, it was a dream come true for me to be selected for the Central Punjab team. Whilst I didn’t play the first few games of the tournament and was also not part of the Twenty20 squad, but I am proud to say that I did well when I was given the chance to participate. In my debut game versus Sindh, I scored 36 and 69. In my next game I scored 205* and in the fifth game I followed that up with 124 against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.


    Scoring a century on First-Class debut

    Scoring a century on debut is something I have always dreamt about and this has been so far the highlight of my career. It was a great experience being in partnership with Ahmed Shehzad bhai who helped me so much through that innings. I have always set myself high goals such as wanting to score a century on debuts in First-Class, List-A, ODI and Tests. It seems that one part of my wish has come true, I just hope that I can fulfil my other aims as well in the future.


    The Multan Sultans PSL experience

    I was happy to be part of Multan Sultans in 2018 after being picked for the emerging category of players. Although I never played a game in the PSL, but it was great to be in a dressing room with greats like Shoaib Malik, Wasim Akram and Kumar Sangakkara.


    Disappointments in my career

    My biggest disappointment was to miss out on the 2018 ICC Under 19 World Cup, but then everything happens for a reason and I have no regrets.


    Role models

    I am an opener by my training and have generally opened all my career but in my debut first-class game I played at the number 3 position. Growing up I always loved Ricky Ponting as I really loved his pull-shot. Right now, I am a big Virat Kohli fan. What amazes me about Kohli is his hunger for runs, the way he works on his fitness, the way he thinks about the game. I always see videos of Kohli in the gym, and it pushes me so much to work harder as I too love the gym, and train extremely hard. I want to have international level fitness whilst I am at domestic level, so when I get to that stage, I can only improve. From Pakistan, I admire Shoaib Malik, as he has done so much for young cricketers like me in Sialkot. Of course, which Pakistani doesn’t admire Babar Azam?


    Aspirations to represent Pakistan in Tests and in the 2023 World Cup

    My main aim is to play Test cricket for Pakistan. Whilst I do love the red-ball format, the PSL experience in 2018 has made me into a great fan of that tournament and I would love to be a part of it, especially now that it’s expected to take place in Pakistan in 2020. The PSL is nothing like a tournament that I’ve seen before, and that has totally transformed my game. I have made it one of my aims to make it into a PSL squad, and I am hopeful that I will be given the chance soon.

    My other goals are to represent Pakistan in the 2023 World Cup and to become the highest run scorer for Pakistan in all formats. But I know that having dreams is one thing but to actually achieve these goals is only by hard work. Hard work is in my nature, as even if I have scored a century in the previous game, I will still work hard in the nets and I hope to be like this throughout my career.

    Apart from cricket, my goals in life are to complete my education and be a good person. I want Pakistanis to be proud of their cricket. This game means a lot to us and that is the reason I want to make them all proud by my achievements, and to bring trophies to Pakistan.
    Last edited by MenInG; 4th December 2019 at 13:57.


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  2. #2
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    124 for the 2nd XI:



    133 for the 1st XI on FC debut:



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  3. #3
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    Seems to have all the time in the world to play shots! Needs to be identified as a top talent and persisted with.


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  4. #4
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    World class talent. Is on the level of Babar in my opinion.

    Soon, we will see him opening with Zeeshan Malik for years to come i imagine.

    I wonder if he will get a chance in the PSL?

    Lets hope he continues to develop. One great thing about him is his hunger for runs. Many PAK batsmen are satisfied with 50's and celebrate crazily, bow their head onto the ground, whereas Shafique doesn't even acknowledge it. He keeps going because he knows 100's are what win games.

    And not only 100's, he is known to score daddy hundreds.

    Fitness wise he is amazing and fielding, he is on the level of Shadab, probably already the best fielder in Pakistan.

    The saddest thing though is if he makes his international debut, it will be under Misbah. I just wish he had Mickey Arthur, the same way Babar did.

    It was Mickey Arthur who made Babar bat at 3, clueless management before had him at 4/5/6.

    So yeah, hope Abdullah is the opener we are looking for.

    Can see him debuting in the next 2 years.

  5. #5
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    Get him in already!! Iím done with watching Azhar, Imam, Asad and co.

    Seriously though, itís great to see classy bats like Omair Yousaf, Shafique and Zeeshan coming through. Such a shame weíve got Misbah as selector.
    Last edited by Boi; 4th December 2019 at 17:36.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boi View Post
    Get him in already!! Iím done with watching Azhar, Imam, Asad and co.

    Seriously though, itís great to see classy bats like Omair Yousaf, Shafique and Zeeshan coming through. Such a shame weíve got Misbah as selector.
    Yes, so many good young openers including Shafique. Donít forget Sami, Imam, Haider, and Rizwan Hussain.

    Yet somehow Abid Ali is still named in every Pakistan squad even after consistently failing against top quality bowling.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayyman View Post
    Yes, so many good young openers including Shafique. Don’t forget Sami, Imam, Haider, and Rizwan Hussain.

    Yet somehow Abid Ali is still named in every Pakistan squad even after consistently failing against top quality bowling.
    He's yet to debut in tests so stop with the hate and he's got a century already against Australia.

    Coming back to Abdullah Shafique he's definitely one for the future and i have got high hopes of him.

  8. #8
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    Needs to play A-team matches. They are the ones that really help tell the men from the boys.

    On that note what is with the lack of A-team games these days? It seems we are still to realise the importance of the A-team. A while back I had proposed that the A-team should travel together with the main team on every foreign tour and play FC matches concurrently. Selection would have been a lot easier if some of these players who are performing at the moment had played some FC games in Australia.

  9. #9
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    A tour are so important for players like him


    Waseem Khan needs to start arranging A tours(at least 3 to 4 tours per year)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullet Drive View Post
    World class talent. Is on the level of Babar in my opinion.

    Soon, we will see him opening with Zeeshan Malik for years to come i imagine.

    I wonder if he will get a chance in the PSL?

    Lets hope he continues to develop. One great thing about him is his hunger for runs. Many PAK batsmen are satisfied with 50's and celebrate crazily, bow their head onto the ground, whereas Shafique doesn't even acknowledge it. He keeps going because he knows 100's are what win games.

    And not only 100's, he is known to score daddy hundreds.

    Fitness wise he is amazing and fielding, he is on the level of Shadab, probably already the best fielder in Pakistan.

    The saddest thing though is if he makes his international debut, it will be under Misbah. I just wish he had Mickey Arthur, the same way Babar did.

    It was Mickey Arthur who made Babar bat at 3, clueless management before had him at 4/5/6.

    So yeah, hope Abdullah is the opener we are looking for.

    Can see him debuting in the next 2 years.
    Zeeshan seems to be a talented slogger at the moment. In many ways he reminds of Imran Nazir.

  11. #11
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    I can see how Kohli has influenced his batting. You can see some of it in his strokeplay.


    May the Hawks Fly Forever. Lightning Hawks CC -- Team Thread.

  12. #12
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    Here are the things I like about this young man.

    1-Role models, Kohli and Ponting
    2-More interested in red ball cricket than tamasha cricket.
    3-A bit educated too, not another school drop out.
    4-Good technique , although he is work in progress
    5-Big dreams, nothing wrong with that.

    Good luck to him.

  13. #13
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    Stylish batting, his standing position similar to KL Rahul playing good shots.
    All the best young boy

  14. #14
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    Pakistan under 19 team in 2018 had school boys level batsmen, how come this guy missed out.

  15. #15
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    Abdullah Shafiq, Zeeshan Malik, Saud Shakeel, Rohail, Haider, Omair
    All these players are PP favorites
    Let's see what they will become.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by moghul View Post
    Pakistan under 19 team in 2018 had school boys level batsmen, how come this guy missed out.
    They still makes it to the Semi Final where they were beaten by the mighty Indians.

  17. #17
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    Other than Babar, Pakistan has never invested in batsmen properly. All they care about is having 12 year olds bowling fast and no one talks about batsmen until they are 25

  18. #18
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    We have decent crop of batsman in the 18-24 range hopefully they can be developed
    Zeeshan
    Omair
    Haider
    Saud
    Abdullah
    Imran butt
    Rohail
    Saif

    Even if two-three end up being good it will serve well for the future

  19. #19
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    Great prospect.

    Should be groomed.

  20. #20
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    Already the injustice with him has started, in only his first season

    For some reason, was randomly kept out of the Central Punjab second XI team for the first 6 games. Was benched the whole entire time. I mean, how can you not see his talent just by watching him in nets?

    Then, for no reason whatsoever, they excluded him from the ENTIRE t20 squad. He wasn't even on the bench. Instead, they selected a t20 failure in Usman Salahuddin, who eventually cost Central Punjab in the semi-final game with an extremely slow selfish innings.

    And now, after smashing the second division averaging 68 with 1 century and a double ton as an opener, his first class debut, they bat him at 3. HE obliges by scoring a hundred. Next innings, they demote him further to 4.

    Lets see how this continues.

  21. #21
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    Trust me i have a feeling he wont make it to the final 11 when the final is played as i think babz and Azar will be back and they will not drop the Akmals

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omer2002 View Post
    Trust me i have a feeling he wont make it to the final 11 when the final is played as i think babz and Azar will be back and they will not drop the Akmals
    If that happens, then you know Pakistan cricket is all about pleasing seniors.

  23. #23
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    There needs to be some accountability and oversight with the selectors at the local level for the mishandling of players like this guy as Bullet Drive has described.

    Good on him to keep proving how good a batsmen he is. Soon these morons won't have an excuse to exclude him because he's just too good and gets results.

  24. #24
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    Injustice once again.

    Azam Khan picked in emerging over Abdullah Shafiq.

  25. #25
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by SensiblePakFan View Post

    Shows a good attitude, but you can tell he is obviously really upset.

    Rightly so, Azam Khan selected over him? Unbelievable.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullet Drive View Post
    Shows a good attitude, but you can tell he is obviously really upset.

    Rightly so, Azam Khan selected over him? Unbelievable.
    Wonder if Central Punjab will play him in the final, after his innings of 133?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullet Drive View Post
    Shows a good attitude, but you can tell he is obviously really upset.

    Rightly so, Azam Khan selected over him? Unbelievable.
    The franchise will be at loss.
    They selected Azam and now they're gonna bear the consequences

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingT View Post
    The franchise will be at loss.
    They selected Azam and now they're gonna bear the consequences
    And then people complain we find no batting talent from PSL, yet they consistently don't select our best batsmen

  30. #30
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    Unusually high backlift, upright stance initially and then a slight crouch/trigger movement as the bowler enters his delivery stride, short follow through when driving, and a bit of disdain in the shots. Can clearly see the Kohli influence.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmarKhan99 View Post
    Unusually high backlift, upright stance initially and then a slight crouch/trigger movement as the bowler enters his delivery stride, short follow through when driving, and a bit of disdain in the shots. Can clearly see the Kohli influence.
    The longer he plays on our domestic wickets, the lower the backlift will go, and the bad habits to start to appear.

    I just WISH he had Mickey Arthur. Mickey helped Babar immensely.


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