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March 14, 2019

Hasnain proves Waugh’s prediction correct


March 14, 2019

KARACHI: Former Australian captain Steve Waugh predicted four years ago that Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Hasnain would make it big by playing international cricket. Shaheen has shined internationally and now Hasnain is making it big.

Shaheen has played for Pakistan in Tests, ODIs and T20Is. It’s now Hasnain’s turn to make a name for himself at the top.Both fast bowlers have gained fame through HBL Pakistan Super League.

Pakistan under-15 team’s former coach Mohammad Masroor says Waugh predicted a bright future for the two when he saw them in action during a tour to Australia in 2015.

“We did well on the tour and during one of the matches at the Bradman Ground near Sydney, Steve Waugh came to watch his son Austin and when he saw Shaheen and Hasnain in action, he predicted the two boys would make an impact at the international level,” Masroor recalls.

Hasnain made an instant impact in the HBL PSL 2019 with his speed. Although he has taken just seven wickets in five matches, his ability to bowl at 150kph consistently has caught everyone’s eye.

So impressed were the selectors by Hasnain’s bowling that they picked him for the one-day series against Australia in the UAE, beginning from March 22.

“He has all the potential, and we are not going to rush somebody in; we will bring him slowly just like we did with Shaheen and will work with him to see if he is ready,” Pakistan’s head coach Mickey Arthur says.“His pace is the most impressive,” he adds.

The tall, earthy complexioned Hasnain started playing at an early age. Hyderabad region coach Iqbal Imam spotted his talent and has seen his progress over the years.

“Hasnain played Under-16 and Under-19 for Hyderabad, and right from the start, his pace has been consistent and impressive,” recalls Imam, a former first-class cricketer who played alongside Inzamam, Waqar Younis, Basit Ali and Mushtaq Ahmed for UBL.

“Hasnain has come through the age-group process of the Pakistan Cricket Board,” says Imam.

Hasnain was selected by Islamabad United last year, but an injury ruled him out of the HBL PSL 2018. He made his first-class debut for PTV against Multan in September and picked up three wickets. He went wicket-less in his second match though.

This year Quetta Gladiators picked him as their 21st player.

Teammate Shane Watson says he was instantly impressed. “He (Hasnain) is someone who is incredibly fast and skillful, and we will see a hell lot of him in the coming days. He is doing a great job for Quetta,” says Watson.

Former great Waqar Younis has been a role model for Hasnain. “I grew up with an aim to become a fast bowler and Waqar was my role model,” says Hasnain. “I am thrilled that my first PSL has brought me so much reward. It was my childhood dream to play for Pakistan and it’s near fulfillment.”

Waqar says he sees himself in Hasnain. “I had the same pace and vigour at this age. He is very talented, and has pace, bounce and the determination. I have told him not to lose his pace, which is his strong point.

“What I have noticed is that apart from Shoaib Akhtar, all other pacers lost their pace after starting at 140-150kph, so Hasnain needs to keep his pace,” says Waqar. “I hope Hasnain works hard to get his action smoother.

“He is a bit rough in his action. I had the same problem. Once that is sorted, he will not have to put in a lot of effort. I mean his run-up is a bit laborious, but once he manages it, he will be more effective.”

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