ICL: Indian Cricket League


Kamran Hussain walks into national one-day squad

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Kamran Hussain is the only ‘surprise’ choice in the 15-member squad announced for Pakistan’s first two cricket One-day Internationals against Zimbabwe, that are being played here at the National Stadium on Monday and at the Niaz Stadium Hyderabad on January 24.

The national selectors also announced two other uncapped players — left-handed opening batsman Nasir Jamshed and left-arm pace bowler Samiullah Niazi — while ignoring the upcoming fast-medium Sohail Khan for the moment. But Kamran was neither in the frame before the selection panel picked up him nor the media had any inkling of that he would walk into the side.

The Bahawalpur-born Kamran is not a rookie by any standards. He turned 30 in May last year and has been playing first-class cricket for a dozen years — since 1995-96. He can comfortably be termed as an all-rounder; he bats right-handed but bowls left-arm medium-pacers.

Kamran’s selection has not come about without a good reason. He was one of Habib Bank Limited’s outstanding cricketers this season and had a major role to play in taking them into the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Championship final, before Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) beat them to the title.

In 11 matches in the tournament, he captured 35 wickets at just 18.51 runs apiece. As a batsman, he finished only second behind the prolific Hasan Raza (785) in making 589 runs at an average of 37.86 that included four half-centuries.

Kamran excelled with both bat and ball in the final against SNGPL, here at the National Stadium earlier this month. He took eight wickets in the match, with figures of 4-99 and 4-41. As batsman, he contributed 38 runs in the first innings. Promoted to open the batting in the second innings, he hammered 89 off a mere 99 deliveries with 15 boundaries.

It is surely the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final that’s going to take Kamran into the Pakistan team’s dressing room. He actually didn’t impress much in the four-day match for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Patron’s XI against the touring Zimbabweans here at the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) Stadium that ended on Thursday.

Kamran scored only two runs in the only outing his team had, as they won by an innings margin. He took one wicket on the opening day but went wicketless in the second innings. In his first-class career, Kamran has scored 3,654 runs (ave 23.42) in 104 appearances with two centuries and 18 fifties. He has held 44 catches and bagged 304 wickets at 25.31 runs each with a best of 7-44.

He has a useful record in limited overs cricket, having attained a strike-rate of 85.24 with his 1,392 runs (ave 24.85) in 71 matches that include his highest of 94 not out. In addition, he has picked up 75 wickets at 29.96 apiece with a best of 5-51 and an economy rate of 4.52.

Kamran has now joined a pace bowling line-up including Rao Iftikhar, Sohail Tanvir, Samiullah Niazi and Yasir Arafat for the first two ODIs against Zimbabwe. He may or may not be able to get a cap, but he could still be in contention for the three remaining matches of the five-ODI series.

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Saturday, January 19th, 2008 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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