So this is what being stuck in limbo feels like

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by Mercenary, Jan 18, 2010.

So this is what being stuck in limbo feels like

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by Mercenary, Jan 18, 2010.

by Abdul Habib
Jan 18, 2010 at 10:58 PM
  1. Mercenary

    Mercenary The Lone Wolf

    Dec 17, 2009

    The last time I spoke to Irfan he was sitting back home in Multan instead of working with the coaches at the NCA. This was because all the emerging players were sent home from the NCA.

    This time when Irfan answered my call, very little had changed. He hadn't been called back to the NCA nor did he know of any other emerging players who had. Irfan told me that three players had been earmarked by Aamir Sohail to return to the NCA. One was Irfan, another was Ali Raza the fast bowler nicknamed Brett Lee (because his action reminds people of Brett Lee, not his speed). The third player was the spinner Hidayatullah who has been tipped by many to have a future with the Pakistan team.

    Prior to calling Irfan, I'd spoken in length to Haroon Rashid (the new head of the Lahore NCA) about the emerging players and what the future held for Mohammad Irfan. Haroon had said that no academy in the world keeps a player for 12 months of a year and that Irfan had spent enough time at the academy. Haroon felt it was now time for Irfan to go back to his region and play in the upcoming Inter District (senior) Trophy as well as prove himself at grade II level before getting a chance in first class. Irfan himself had called up Haroon (after I gave him the number) and he received the same advice that Haroon gave me.

    Irfan has accepted that a return to the NCA within the near future is unlikely and is doing his best to continue following his fitness programme with the limited facilities available in his village. Mostly Irfan does a lot of jogging and bowling in the nets. Irfan has also taken to coaching some of the local kids whilst he waits for the cricket season to start.

    I'd heard about Irfan getting an opportunity to bowl to the Pakistan A team before they left for Sri Lanka so I asked him about it. Irfan said that Ijaz Ahmed (the Pakistan A coach) had agreed with Saboor Ahmad (the Pakistan A fitness coach) to call Irfan to the Pakistan A camp. The idea was to give the Pakistan A batsmen some practise against steep bounce for a couple of days. Irfan said that he had been under strict instructions not to hit any of the batsmen or bowl at their heads in order to avoid injuring any of them before the tour. He bowled to Khurram Manzoor, Ahmed Shahzad, Faisal Iqbal and a few others. Irfan said that he really enjoyed the experience and thanks Ijaz and Saboor for inviting him.

    But it's not all doom and gloom for our favourite 6'10 left armer. Irfan has been selected to go to Abu Dhabi and Sharjah with PNT (his Lahore club team). Whilst there he will play in a couple of Ramadhan tournaments. He leaves Pakistan on the 29th of August and has already submitted his passport to get his visa confirmed. Irfan is really excited about this opportunity and hopes that he can make a big impact for his club.

    The talk turned to first class cricket and Irfan said that he'd left the decisions up to Aqib Javed. So I called Aqib to get the latest news. Aqib said that Habib Bank were interested but if the deal fell through then KRL had shown some interest too. Aqib was adamant that Irfan should start playing first class cricket from this season and was trying hard to make sure that Irfan gets a place with a first class team that will give him chances to bowl regularly.

    Once again my sincere thanks to people like Aqib Javed, Saboor Ahmad, Aamir Sohail and Ijaz Ahmed who have realised that a 6'10 bowler doesn't come along every day and that we should be doing everything that we can to try and make him a success.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
Habib conducts player interviews and writes articles for Cricistan.
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Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by Mercenary, Jan 18, 2010.

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