Despite being named in Pakistan’s One-Day International (ODI) squad, left-arm seamer Rahat Ali is sad that his childhood hero Shoaib Akhtar will not be playing alongside him on the international level.
Although the pair has bowled together for KRL, the 23-year-old said that it would have been an achievement to be Akhtar’s bowling partner in an international match.
“I’ve always dreamt of playing for Pakistan, lived every moment on the ground thinking about doing well when I started to play cricket seriously aged 16,” Ali told The Express Tribune.
“But it would’ve been even more special had Akhtar not retired.”The muscled seamer may not have the best action and run-up, but his ability to move the ball both ways makes him an exciting prospect.
“It’s not my speed but my movement that is my strength. I’ve worked especially hard bringing the ball back in to the right-handers and I’m sure this will help a lot.”
Karachi Whites’ Tabish Khan was the season’s leading wicket-taker with 86 wickets while SNGPL’s Bilawal Bhatti took 84. However, Ali’s 62 wickets were good enough to make an impression on the selectors but he has realised that things might not be easy against international opposition.
“There are some issues with nerves which I need to control while not getting carried away because that’s what international cricket is all about.
“I’ve also worked hard on my fitness, developed strength in my legs to bowl longer spells and to smooth up my run-up. Hopefully, things will fall into the place.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2012.