World Cup 2007; Pakistan lose to Ireland and get knocked out of the tournament. What followed was most of the squad was dropped but soon enough given a re-call. One person had been made a permanent scapegoat and that was Azhar Mahmood.
Azhar, now 37 is performing admirably in domestic cricket Worldwide. The ability of bowling upfront and then at the death was always there but the rejuvenation of promoting himself, along with the support of his Kent skipper Robert Key, from a solid lower-middle order bat to number 3 has been a masterstroke.
Azhar has recently played all forms of the game for Kent as a English qualified player. His also performed excellently for the Auckland Aces and Dhaka Gladiators in T20 cricket Worldwide. He is now making a name for himself in India, in the IPL, for Kings XI Punjab.
Azhar's absence from the Pakistan side has been now 5 years. During this time there have been several occasions when Pakistan required his nouse and experience, but with Abdul Razzaq about there was little chance of a comeback. Lately things have changed, with the ban of Pakistan's first choice opening bowlers and the lack of real depth Pakistan need a bowler who can bowl upfront to give the side a impetus to launch a platform.