Saturday Oct 17, 2020
Forgotten fast bowler Hasan Ali, having completed his rehab, is finally free from his long-standing back issues and eager to reclaim his space in Pakistan's cricket ecosystem but knows that he has to restart from domestic cricket.
A regular fixture of Pakistan's limited-overs pace unit until last year, Hasan picked up a back injury and then fractured his ribs. He did appear to have recovered at one stage but then the back issues returned during the Pakistan Super League 2020, where he had looked a shadow of his former self.
This had led the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to set up a special rehab programme for the 26-year-old, which he recently completed and is now raring to play the sport he loves.
"My rehab is complete and now my focus is to acquire match fitness through domestic cricket," Hasan told Geo Super in Lahore.
"I have been away from cricket for 15 months. This was a difficult time. At times I was overcome with disappointment.
"During this time some would advise me of surgery, some would tell otherwise. The surgery talk did scare me but I worked hard and now I am fit."
During his absence, the national team has seen other pacers emerge such as Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah. Instead of being jealous, Hasan says he is impressed with all three, appreciating Afridi for becoming the new pace spear-head and Naseem for "bowling really fast".
He expressed his gratitude towards bowling coach Waqar Younis and also thanked the PCB for bearing his medical expenses even when he was out of the national fold and on the sidelines.