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Posted by anccricket on October 24, 2008 at 2:07 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Wahab Riaz


Born June 28, 1985, Lahore, Punjab


Major teams Pakistan, Hyderabad (Pakistan), Hyderabad Hawks, Lahore, Lahore Lions, Lahore Ravi, National Bank of Pakistan, Pakistan A, Punjab (Pakistan)


Also known as Vicky


Playing role Bowler


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Left-arm fast-medium

Wahab Riaz

Wahab Riaz's left-arm fast medium has benefited from Pakistan's chronic poor luck with fast bowlers. With Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif missing more than they play and Umar Gul injury-prone, Riaz came into national reckoning earlier than he might have reasonably expected. His early start was promising though it came in ODIs against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh early in 2008. His first real test came against India in Bangladesh, where after 9.2 expensive overs, he was taken out of the attack for bowling two beamers. But as Pakistan misses its leading bowlers Riaz's brisk pace remains in national contention.


Posted by anccricket on October 24, 2008 at 2:05 AM Comments comments (0)


Full name Taufeeq Umar


Born June 20, 1981, Lahore, Punjab


Major teams Pakistan, Habib Bank Limited, ICL Pakistan XI, Lahore, Lahore Badshahs, Mumbai Champs, Pakistan Reserves


Batting style Left-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm offbreak


Relation Uncle - Pervez Akhtar

Taufeeq Umar

A left-hand opener from Lahore, Taufeeq Umar first made his mark in the Lombard World Under-15 Challenge in England in 1996. He made 87 against England in the semi-final, and in the final, which Pakistan lost to India, he opened with Hasan Raza, who was to play Test cricket shortly afterwards. A front-foot player who drives well, Taufeeq is nonetheless a good cutter. He can also bowl some handy offspin. Taufeeq could not have asked for an easier initiation into international cricket - he played his first Test against Bangladesh, and duly notched up a hundred to become the eighth player to score a century on Test debut for Pakistan. But far more impressive were his subsequent performances - an 88 against a top-class Australian attack was followed by a flawless 135 against South Africa at Cape Town. On those bouncy pitches, Taufeeq had ample time to play the seamers. He did not get much opportunity in the World Cup, but showed himself to be an absolute asset in Pakistan's home series against South Africa, scoring a hundred and three fifties in four innings.


Yet, as a result of Pakistan's lack of patience with their openers, he was axed a few Tests later after a string of moderate performances. Since then he has been in and out - more out - of the team. When he has been given a chance since, he has looked understandably nervous but given that no opener in Pakistan has been allowed to settle into the side, the door remains ajar.


Posted by anccricket on October 24, 2008 at 2:04 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Sahibzada Mohammad Shahid Khan Afridi


Born March 1, 1980, Khyber Agency


Major teams Pakistan, Asia XI, Deccan Chargers, Fly Emirates XI, Griqualand West, Habib Bank Limited, ICC World XI, Karachi, Leicestershire, South Australia


Playing role Allrounder


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Legbreak googly


Relation Brother - Tariq Afridi, Brother - Ashfaq Afridi

Sahibzada Mohammad Shahid Khan Afridi

Of Shahid Afridi it can safely be said that cricket never has and never will see another like him. To say he is an allrounder is to say Albert Einstein was a scientist; it tells a criminally bare story.For a start, the slant of his all-round skills only became clear ten years into his career; he is a leg-spinning allrounder. Variety is his calling and as well as a traditional leg-break, he has two googlies, a conventional offie and a lethal faster one, though this is increasingly rare. All come with the threat of considerable, late drift. He fairly hustles through overs, which in limited-over formats is a weapon in itself and the package is dangerous.


But forever associated with him will be his madcap batting, the prospect of which is a crowd-puller the world over. He is a compulsive basher, literally unable to control his urges to slog every ball that comes his way, and not much of it is classical. Often spectacular results are at hand; he owns, for example, two of the fastest ODI hundreds, including the fastest one ever in his first innings ever at the age of 16. His career strike rates are nearly unmatched. But mostly, anywhere in the order, consistency has been missing.


Despite a healthy Test career, he gave up on the format in 2006, pre-empting men such as Andrew Flintoff, to maximise fully a limited-overs career. He came back, in inimitable fashion, for one Test only, as captain no less in 2010. A loss and two slogs meant he re-retired immediately after. Twenty20 is something he could've been made for and he is among the most lethal players of the format, having been player of the tournament for the inaugural edition of the World Twenty20 in 2007 and led Pakistan to the title two years later with matchwinning all-round hands in the semi and final.


Maturity has often threatened to gatecrash his career and leadership was a just reward, though it was taken away from him in 2011 after an immature spat; another retirement was announced but none of it will change much a truly unique career.


Posted by anccricket on October 24, 2008 at 2:02 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Misbah-ul-Haq Khan Niazi


Born May 28, 1974, Mianwali, Punjab


Major teams Pakistan, Khan Research Labs, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sargodha


Playing role Middle-order batsman


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Legbreak

Misbah-ul-Haq Khan Niazi

An orthodox batsman with reasonable technique, Misbah-ul-Haq caught the eye with his unflappable temperament in the tri-nation one-day tournament in Nairobi in 2002, scoring two fifties in three innings, including one in the final against Australia. But before Pakistan could hail him as a possible middle-order mainstay, Misbah's form slumped - he didn't manage a single 20-plus score in three Tests against Australia and was duly dumped. Pakistan's abysmal World Cup campaign - and the wholesale changes to the team in its aftermath - gave Misbah another chance to redeem himself, but he did little of note in the limited opportunities he got.


Even though Misbah had not represented Pakistan for about three years, a run-filled domestic season, followed by club cricket in England, and Inzamam's retirement from ODIs prompted the board to award Misbah a central contract in July 2007. A month later, he was surprisingly picked, ahead of Mohammad Yousuf, for the 15-man squad for the Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa. He repaid the selectors' faith by finishing the tournament as Pakistan's best player and nearly taking them to victory in the final. He was duly named in the team for the Test and ODI series that followed against South Africa.

After an unremarkable series against South Africa, Misbah was by far Pakistan's best batsman through the Tests against India, amassing 464 runs in three matches, including two centuries. He was ice-cool in crisis, rescuing Pakistan on several occasions with spirited rearguard efforts. His remarkable rise continued as a mere six months after being picked for the ICC World Twenty20, he was made vice-captain and handed a top-category contract in January 2008. His form deserted him again in 2009, and he dropped from all three squads for the series against New Zealand - but made yet another return to the side in October 2010, this time as captain for the Tests against South Africa .


Posted by anccricket on October 24, 2008 at 2:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Azhar Ali


Born February 19, 1985, Lahore, Punjab


Major teams Pakistan, Khan Research Laboratories, Lahore, Lahore Eagles, Lahore Lions, Pakistan A


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Legbreak

Azhar Ali

An opening batsman by trade, Azhar has worked his way steadily up Pakistan's domestic scene since 2006. That was the season he began opening regularly for Khan Research Laboratories, a move that fetched him two hundreds and two fifties in five matches, and he hasn't looked back. In four seasons since, he's been averaging 40-plus with 11 hundreds, commendable figures in a country where opening is a modern-day curse.


All of his runs have been made with a compact technique, designed to get behind the line of each ball. Observers say he gets into a tangle against the shorter ball often but his patience is key. On an A tour to Australia in 2009, he twice made five-hour 70s against an attack that included Doug Bollinger, Clint McKay and Jason Krejza. That series propelled him into senior team focus and a solid, if not spectacular 2009-10 season, coupled with a move to look beyond Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf, brought about a richly-deserved Test debut - in the middle order - at Lord's against Australia.


Posted by anccricket on October 24, 2008 at 1:57 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Adnan Akmal


Born March 13, 1985, Lahore, Punjab


Major teams Pakistan, Agriculture Development Bank of Pakistan, Lahore Lions, Multan, North of Pakistan, Pakistan Cricket Board Blues, Pakistan Under-17s, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited


Batting style Right-hand bat


Fielding position Wicketkeeper


Relation Brother - Kamran Akmal, Brother - Umar Akmal

Adnan Akmal

One of three brothers to play - and keep wickets - for Pakistan, Adnan is the best pure wicketkeeper of the trio; he replaced elder brother Kamran in the Test side when making his debut in October 2010 and he did nothing thereafter to dispel that assessment.


Had it not been for a selection miscommunication back in 2004, Adnan may have played for Pakistan much earlier and longer. Both Kamran and Adnan were called up by accident for a national camp before a tri-series tournament and after much confusion over who was wanted, Kamran was kept. The late Bob Woolmer, Pakistan's coach at the time, felt Adnan to be the best wicketkeeper in the country.


Consistent domestic success, however, and the continuing errors of Kamran kept him in the frame. Ultimately it took the flight of Zulqarnain Haider for him to earn a Test debut but polished performances over four Tests justified the pick. In his last Test he took eight catches, before he was surprisingly dropped from the Test side, without explanation in 2011.


Posted by anccricket on October 24, 2008 at 1:54 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Sohail Tanvir


Born December 12, 1984, Rawalpindi, Punjab


Major teams Pakistan, Federal Areas, Federal Areas Leopards, Khan Research Laboratories, Rajasthan Royals, Rawalpindi, Rawalpindi Rams, South Australia, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited


Playing role Bowler


Batting style Left-hand bat


Bowling style Left-arm medium-fast, Slow left-arm orthodox

Sohail Tanvir

The Rawalpindi born allrounder made his first-class debut against Peshawar in October 2004 but failed to impress with bat or ball. However, in his second match, against Multan, Sohail Tanvir scored an unbeaten 97 while taking three wickets but has played only 17 first-class matches since (a total of 19 in three seasons).


Tanvir has established himself as a batting allrounder and his unbeaten 124 (his second first-class century) in the Pentangular Cup 2007 match against Sind further established that point. He also represented Pakistan Academy on their tour of Bangladesh and his fine all-round performance on that tour and against Australia A in the ODI series at home prompted the selectors to name him as Shoaib Akhtar's replacement in the inaugural ICC World Twenty20. The decision came as a surprise, however, as Tanvir was yet to take a wicket in the ten Twenty20 matches he had played.


His wrong-footed action, however, caused batsmen a lot of problems and emerged as the surprise package in the ICC World Twenty20. Although not picked for the Test team, Tanvir was back in Pakistan colours in the ODI series against South Africa. He went on to record a stunning 6 for 14 for Rajasthan in the IPL - the best figures in a Twenty20.He also bowls occasional left arm orthodox spin, as demonstrated in his second career Test, against India at Kolkata.


Posted by anccricket on October 24, 2008 at 1:52 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Umar Gul


Born April 14, 1984, Peshawar, North-Western Frontier Province


Major teams Pakistan, Gloucestershire, Habib Bank Limited, Kolkata Knight Riders, North West Frontier Province, North West Frontier Province Panthers, Pakistan A, Pakistan International Airlines, Peshawar, Peshawar Panthers, Western Australia


Playing role Bowler


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium

Umar Gul

The least-hyped but most successful and assured Pakistan pace product of the last few years, Umar Gul is the latest in Pakistan's assembly-line of pace-bowling talent. He had played just nine first-class matches when called up for national duty in the wake of Pakistan's poor 2003 World Cup. On the flat tracks of Sharjah, Gul performed admirably, maintaining excellent discipline and getting appreciable outswing with the new ball.


He isn't express but bowls a very quick heavy ball and his exceptional control and ability to extract seam movement marks him out. Further, his height enables him to extract bounce on most surfaces and from his natural back of a length, it is a useful trait. His first big moment in his career came in the Lahore Test against India in 2003-04. Unfazed by a daunting batting line-up, Gul tore through the Indian top order, moving the ball both ways off the seam at a sharp pace. His 5 for 31 in the first innings gave Pakistan the early initiative which they drove home to win the Test.


Unfortunately, that was his last cricket of any kind for over a year as he discovered three stress fractures in his back immediately after the Test. The injury would have ended many an international career, but Gul returned, fitter and sharper than before in late 2005. He returned in a Pakistan shirt against India in the ODI series at home in February 2006 and in Sri Lanka showed further signs of rehabilitation by lasting both Tests but it was really the second half of 2006, where he fully came of age. Leading the attack against England and then the West Indies as Pakistan's main bowlers suffered injuries, Gul stood tall, finishing Pakistan's best bowler.


Since then, as Mohammad Asif and Shoaib Akhtar have floundered, Gul has become Pakistan's spearhead and one of the best fast bowlers in the world. He is smart enough and good enough to succeed in all three formats and 2009 proved it: he put together a patch of wicket-taking in ODIs, on dead pitches in Tests (including a career-best six-wicket haul against Sri Lanka) and established himself as the world's best Twenty20 bowler, coming on after the initial overs and firing in yorkers on demand.


He had hinted at that by being leading wicket-taker in the 2007 World Twenty20; over the next two years he impressed wherever he went, in the IPL for the Kolkatta Knight Riders and in Australia's domestic Twenty20 tournament. Confirmation came on the grandest stage: having poleaxed Australia in a T20I in Dubai with 4-8, he was the best bowler and leading wicket-taker as Pakistan won the second World Twenty20 in England. The highlight was 5-6 against New Zealand, the highest quality exhibition of yorker bowling. He is not a one-format pony, however, and will remain a crucial cog in Pakistan's attack across all formats.


Posted by anccricket on October 24, 2008 at 1:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Tanvir Ahmed


Born December 20, 1978, Kuwait City, Kuwait


Major teams Pakistan, Allied Bank, Baluchistan, Baluchistan Bears, Karachi, Karachi Blues, Public Works Department


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium

Tanvir Ahmed

A right-arm fast bowler, Kuwait-born Tanvir Ahmed shot to the limelight in domestic circles when he became the leading wicket-taker in 2009-10 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy with 85 wickets at an impressive average of 17.12. His contribution was more than valuable as it helped Karachi Blues lift the trophy for the eighth time. Since his debut in 1998-99, Tanvir has represented several Karachi teams and has also played for Sind and Baluchistan.


Posted by anccricket on October 24, 2008 at 1:49 AM Comments comments (0)

Full name Saeed Ajmal


Born October 14, 1977, Faisalabad, Punjab


Major teams Pakistan, Faisalabad, Islamabad Cricket Association, Khan Research Labs, Water and Power Development Authority


Playing role Bowler


Batting style Right-hand bat


Bowling style Right-arm offbreak

Saeed Ajmal

Saeed Ajmal, an offspinner, received a call-up to the Pakistan squad for the Asia Cup at the age of 30 after an impressive domestic season with Khan Research Labs in 2007-08, during which he took 38 wickets in 12 first-class matches at an average of 29 apiece, and 12 wickets in nine list A games. He made an immediate impression with his subtle variations, unafraid to use the doosra. But his career took off with a series of ODI performances that bewildered Australia in Dubai and Abu Dhabi; he gave away few runs and his doosra was nigh-on unreadable. The ICC called him for his action, though it was cleared soon after. The pressure didn't get to him and immediately after, he played a crucial role in Pakistan's drive to the 2009 World Twenty20 title, regularly bottling up the middle overs with Shahid Afridi. He ended the joint second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament, with an exemplary economy rate as batsmen around the world struggled to pick a big turning doosra or even cope with his changes in flight, pace and angle. Consistent performances in the ODI version have quickly earned him a reputation for choking the runs in the middle overs with clever variations.