My cricketing journey began from the UBL Cricket Academy, and from a very young age I knew I could play at the highest level. Cricket was an obsession for me, and I always dreamed of turning it into my profession. Growing up, I idolized the mighty Wasim Akram and wanted to emulate him. He had it all, a charming personality, a ferocious left arm and I was awed by his willingness to bowl in every situation. A true great in every sense of the word, he was my absolute hero! I started putting in the extra hours, working my socks off in training with the hope of representing Pakistan one day. I finally got to meet Wasim bhai for the very first time in 2015 in Karachi during one of our training camps, and to say it was a dream come true would be a massive understatement! ISLAMABAD UNITED!!
I started performing well at club level cricket during the earlier part of my career, which helped me get picked for Pakistan’s U-19 team. Fortunately for me, my form never left my side and my performances continued to improve. I finally made my debut in First Class List A and domestic T20 in 2010, and God has been kind ever since. I was the second highest wicket taker in our domestic T20 competition, and the highest wicket taker for Pakistan A in 2015, which is probably the highlight of my career so far. Everyone began to take notice, and I also got called up for the national camp, which was the absolute cherry on top! It was a great year for me! All that hard work was finally paying off.
HBLPSL is a great opportunity for me personally, and for all the emerging players involved. This is cricket at the highest level, and it doesn’t get any bigger than this. When the draft was announced, I was pretty confident of being selected as my performance spoke for itself. However, I was overwhelmed when I was the first pick from the ‘Emerging Players’ category, the sheer sense of pride and joy I felt at that time can’t be expressed in words, and for that I am grateful to Islamabad United.
Islamabad United has given me the perfect platform to progress and develop as a cricketer. I would be sharing the dressing room with the likes of Shane Watson, Andre Russell, Samuel Badree, and our test team captain, Misbah- Ul- Haq. I hope to learn a lot from all these players, and getting acquainted with an international ‘mahol’ would be vital in my development. I will also get to work with Dean Jones, who I always enjoyed watching on TV, and of course, my idol Wasim Akram would be mentoring us! Such opportunities do not come every day, and I hope to grab it with both hands and make it count.
My ultimate goal is to represent the Pakistan national team, and do justice to the role. This league is a small step towards that goal. Whenever I am done with my career, I want to be remembered as one of the cricketing greats of this country. ‘Meri pehchaan Pakistan ho’, that’s the dream!