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KheloPakistan.com: You have a great domestic record, with a handful of Five fors recently, which one is your favorite?
Rahat Ali: Few weeks ago I claimed 5 wicket haul in just around 4-5 overs in a Pentangular cup game against Federal area XI, they had star batsmen like Umer Amin, Hammad Azam and Awais Zia; I guess that spell has got to be my favorite.
KheloPakistan.com: In modern day cricket, a bowler must have variety. A yorker, slower ball, bouncer and swinging the ball both ways, any that you lack in?
Rahat Ali: I have got good Yorker as well as the slower ball, but we don’t usually bowl bouncers here on the flat tracks. Although I have got good pace and can also bowl accurate shorter ones, hopefully I will make use of that skill once I get an opportunity to represent Pakistan on some lively tracks.
KheloPakistan.com: Pakistan have many left armers, Wahab, Junaid and Sadaf to name a few; do you think you can break into the Pakistan reckoning?
Rahat Ali: Yes why not? I believe I am good as any you have named, they all are good bowlers within their own right. From the others around, my teammate Rizwan Haider also bowls left arm medium, he is more of an all-rounder though; good clean hitter and controlled bowling are his forte.
]]> KheloPakistan.com> How the idea of touring Pakistan came about and what was the reaction? KheloPakistan.com> How was the tour funded? Flight, accommodation and general expenses are not easy, especially for students. So how did the boys cope?
Kemal Alam> Each year we tour around England playing the top schools and universities to raise funds for the Afghan Appeal Fund, a British Charity that raises money for education in Afghanistan. General Sir David Richards is the Patron whilst his wife Lady Richards is the President. I wanted to bring this team to Pakistan to show Pakistan's contribution to Afghan cricket, and raise money for the charity and also show Pakistan is safe for international cricket.
Kemal Alam> We had sponsors, Cogent Insurance, Durham University and the Forum for International Relations, and most importantly the Pakistan Cricket Board hosted us which meant all our accommodation,food and transport was sorted. It was a great gesture on the PCB's part specially their international office and Usman Wahla.
KheloPakistan.com> How the idea of touring Pakistan came about and what was the reaction?
KheloPakistan.com> How was the tour funded? Flight, accommodation and general expenses are not easy, especially for students. So how did the boys cope?
Earlier in the morning, Mushfiqur Rahim decided to bowl first after winning the all-important toss. Mahela and Dilshan walked out to open the innings, on the other hands Mashrafe and Nazamul began the proceeding with the ball.
Didn’t take too long before Sri Lanka’s big three were back in the dressing room already. Lankan batting pillars (Mahela, Sangakkara, Dilshan) batted really casually and got out to some pretty ordinary deliveries.
Three quick wickets earlier on in the innings dented Sri Lankan hopes to get off to a flying start. As expected, a relatively inexperienced middle order couldn’t have propelled right away. Both Thrimanne and Kapugedra took their time to steady the things. After putting on a 88 runs stand of 136 balls, the pair uncoupled when Thrimanne was finally dismissed in an unfortunate fashion.]]>
KheloPakistan: Before we begin, please tell us about yourself and how you got into cricket?
Sadaf Hussain: I come from a village near Chakwal, Punjab. As most of the kids around, I started playing tape ball cricket when I was 8 years old. I continued playing tape ball cricket in Chakwal for next few years. Then I alongside the family moved to Rawalpindi, that is where I joined a proper cricket club and started playing hard ball cricket. I excelled at club level and hence was selected to represent Pakistan U-19 team. Played in regional U-19 teams for 2 years, then I 2010, I was lucky enough to get a first class game. But played only 3 games in my first season, next year I performed well and played throughout the season, till then I have been a prominent part of various first class teams.
KP: Was your family co-operative? Did they promote your passion, your talent or like most Pakistani parents they wanted you to focus on your studies alone?
SH: Thankfully my parents have always encouraged my talent; in fact my father is the one who pushed me into playing hard ball cricket at club level. Dad used to tell me that hard ball cricket is the real cricket.
Last Sunday, KheloPakistan had the privilege of interviewing a very fine Pakistani cricket analyst and writer. Mr. Kamran Abbasi is a British Pakistani, a Doctor by profession. He writes at cricinfo and specifically covers Pakistan cricket. You can find his articles on the state of Pakistan cricket, at his blog (Pak Spin).
KheloPakistan.com) When did you start following Cricket?
Kamran Abbasi) As far back as I can remember. I have a vivid memory of the 1975 World Cup and Pakistan coming agonisingly close to knocking out West Indies. I was in England by then and following cricket was about the only positive association we had with Pakistan. We still had hope in those times, about the future of Pakistan as a country and as a cricket team.
KP) As a youngster, who was your inspiration?
Kamran Abbasi) Imran Khan.
KP) Did you play competitive cricket yourself? If yes, then at what level?
Kamran Abbasi) I played league cricket in Yorkshire and London, and trialled for Yorkshire at various age groups up to Under 19s. I always felt hard done by at trials, but perhaps that's just me? I was born in Lahore anyway so it was a pointless exercise with Yorkshire's homegrown rule at the time. I captained my school first XI and medical school teams. My school team were Yorkshire champions, no mean feat for a state school. We lost narrowly in the nationals to Manchester Grammar School, who had several future Lancashire players in my year including Michael Atherton. Our medical school team were university champions, beating a team that included two opening bowlers for Yorkshire Second XI that had hammered everybody else they played. I won us the final scoring 72 off 26 balls and losing three balls. I was pleased with that! I improved rapidly in my late teens but as I got going, medical school and on call commitments made cricket impossible.
Pakistan’s highest runs scorer this year, Mohammad Hafeez has been a revelation ever since his comeback. He exhibited fair bit of form in last 2 ODIs but failed to convert them into biggies. He’ll be desperate to go out in the middle, latch onto his form and transform that good form onto the scoring sheet. Talking about his bowling: Bangladesh have got 6 left-handers in their bating line-up, ‘nuff said.
Second ODI between Pakistan and Bangladesh to be played tomorrow at the same venue as first two LOIs; that is the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium Dhaka. Pakistan came on top in both previous games, though not as convincingly as they would have wanted them to be.
Pakistan will be looking forward to put up an improved batting show in tomorrow’s game. On the other hand Bangladesh would want to keep it neat and simple, stick to their basics and keep Pakistani bowlers out.
Shahid Afridi is in top form ever since his comeback. We all know how dangerous this charismatic Pathan can be. He can influence a match victory single handedly, as he did in the last ODI. Bangladesh will try their best to keep this man out of the game in all three departments of the play. But that is going to be a real tough task for them.
Shakib ul Hassan:
For Bangladesh Shakib has been a left-handed version of Shahid Afridi thus far. A quality batsman, clever bowler and a very fine fielder. Shakib has proved his worth with ball in both LOIs, but at the same time, he has failed to deliver with the bat. Currently Bangladesh are in a dire need of any batting Messiah to stand up and perform on the given day. They’ll be hoping for Shakib to fire with the bat as well.]]>