Shoaib Akhtar-inspired Ali ecstatic after Pakistan call-up

He has been the best pacer in the QeA Trophy in the last two editions

November 21, 2022
Mohammad Ali (R) lauds the aggressive style of Shoaib Akhtar (L) — AFP/PCB 

LAHORE: Rookie pacer Mohammad Ali, who was named in Pakistan squad for the upcoming three-match Test series against England, is ecstatic after being called up for the national side.

Central Punjab’s Mohammad Ali has been the best fast bowler in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in the last two editions, taking 56 wickets. His 24 wickets, including two five wicket hauls, at 25.54 in six matches are the most for any fast bowler this first-class season. His 32 wickets at 22.78 in eight matches in 2021-22 were also the most for a fast bowler.

“I can’t express my happiness in words. I’m speechless at the moment,” Ali said while speaking to Geo News in an exclusive interview.

“Hard work always pays off and that is what I have always believed in,” he added.

Ali also named three fast bowlers, New Zealand’s Shane Bond, South Africa’s Dale Steyn and Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar, as his role models in cricket.

“Shane Bond, Shoaib Akhtar and Dale Steyn are among the bowlers I admire,” he said.

“I liked Shoaib Akhtar because of his aggression, pace and attitude towards the game. All three bowlers had a similar approach towards cricket,” he added.

The England team will arrive in Pakistan on November 27 for the much-anticipated tour, with the first Test set to begin on December 1 in Rawalpindi.

This will be the first time England will play a Test in Rawalpindi, which has previously staged 12 matches with the home side winning five and losing three.

The second Test moves to Multan starting on Friday, December 9, and the final Test of the tour will take place at the National Stadium in Karachi, commencing on Saturday, December 17.

Pakistan squad

Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel, Shan Masood and Zahid Mehmood.

Sohail Imran is a senior reporter for Geo News.