Top 6 List of Pakistani Shia Cricketers You Didn’t Know About
Many people around the world have different beliefs, especially those concerning religion. And in the same religion, some strongly hold onto beliefs that differ from each other. The perfect example is the Shia branch of the Islamic religion. Shia refers to a group of individuals who strongly believe Ali, the fourth caliph, to be Muhammad’s one and only heir.
About 10-15% of Pakistan’s population is made up of Shias. This makes it the second biggest Shia community in the world, with Iran leading on the list. A few decades ago, Sunni revolutionaries kept targeting the Shia group, siting hate propaganda and violence. However, Shias are involved, to a greater extent, in all sections of professional, political, and social life without facing discrimination.
In this article, we mainly focus on the Shia cricketers of Pakistan. It is said that these cricketers are the most powerful in comparison with other countries. As a matter of fact, the cricket team in Pakistan holds the first position for Muslim cricket involved in all cricket formats. These cricketers here go by their Shia names boldly and confidently. That said, we are going to take you through some of the Shia cricketers of Pakistan to keep you enlightened in the cricket world.
Pakistani’s Shia Cricketers
1. Hassan Ali
Hasan Ali, born on the 2nd of July, 1994, is a cricketer from Pakistan exhibiting impeccable skills in the field. He was born in Mandi Bahauddin, in Punjab, and has grown to become a contemporary fast bowler from the region. He depends on variations instead of raw pace, which is a skill rarely seen coming from a Pakistani.
The 27-year-old Hasan plays for Sialkot and he made his first-class entrance in 2013, playing against Lahore Ravi. His career as a cricketer bloomed, with 17 wickets in just 7 games, making him a heavy hitter in the cricket world. This opened up great opportunities as he was welcomed to partake in the national team. In the 2017 Champions Trophy, Hasan Ali held the Man of the Tournament award which marked Pakistan’s remarkable rejoinder after being beaten in their league game.
Hasan Ali has really made Pakistan proud over the years in his cricket career, making the country the leader in producing first-rate fast bowlers. The cricketing experts highly praise him for his infective vitality and enduring fighting spirit. His name, Hasan shows that he belongs to the Shia community of Pakistan.
2. Mohsin Hassan Khan
Born on the 15th of March 1955, Mohsin Hasan Khan is a well-known former cricketer and coach in Pakistan. He was known for his excellent batting style and also being all-rounded. The 66-year old took part in 48 Tests and 75 ODIs between 1977 and 1986. During this time, he was the main opening batsman and he excelled in that position, becoming the best ever compared to others in the country. He even scored 149 in Adelaide Australia and 153 in Melbourne during the 1983-1984 Tests in Australian pitches.
In his earlier cricket career, Mohsin Khan was the first player in Pakistan to reach a double-hundred in Lord’s Test. However, this was short-lived as he went on to marry an Indian actress, which prompted him to move to Bombay, retiring as a cricketer and becoming an actor. Later in March 2010, Khan was appointed the chief selector in Pakistan. He also took part in the PCB‘s progressive coaching program in Lahore at the National Cricket Academy. During this time, he was coaching batsmen. In 2011, Mohsin Khan became the acting national coach in Pakistan taking after Waqar Younis.
3. Azhar Ali- Test Captain
Azhar Ali, born on February 19th, 1985 is among the top cricketers in Pakistan who display excellent prowess in their positions. He is known for wearing the bowlers out with his batting style, making him unique in this area. The 36-year old is among the few players in Pakistan who made their Test debut before an ODI, playing against Australia in July 2010 at Lord’s.
During his second game, he played a crucial knock, making a 51 match winning at Leeds where Pakistan reached the 180- target, having 3 wickets in hand. This knock made Azhar maintain his position in the squad for the Pakistan-England Tests the next month. Although he flopped in the first two Tests, he retained his place in the continuing part of the series. He made a comeback with an unbeaten 92 in the 3rd Test at the Oval where Pakistan emerged the winner.
Azhar comes at 3rd position in his Test status in Pakistan with paler ODI performance. He was once the ODI captain after the World Cup in 2015. Since he had been in the dark for two years, his captaincy did not last as he was asked to surrender the post. He made a decision to become Pakistani’s torchbearer in cricket and has since excelled.
4. Shadab Khan- Spin Bowler
Shadab Khan was born on the 4th of October 1998 in Mianwall, Pakistan. He is a cricketer, playing in the national team of Pakistan. As young as he is, Shadab has made quite a name for himself in Pakistanis cricket history. For starters, he is an exceptional turner of the ball, having been an excellent leg-spinner in the Under-19 level. When he was 12 years old, Khan’s interest in cricket shot while he played for the school team. His love and growth immensely developed during the training at the National Cricket Academy, held in Lahore. Here, he achieved valuable wisdom from his predecessors (such as Mushtaq Ahmed and Abdul Qadir).
Shadab Khan kept rising and perfecting his skills at an increasing speed, becoming an orthodox gifted talent hailing from Pakistan. During the 2016 World Cup, he was chosen to play Under-19, and he came up top on the wicket charts during the tournament. Here, he picked 11 wickets in 6 games averaging at 19.
The 22-year old uses a unique bowling trajectory, outwitting the batters in the air. He’s won several Man of the Match awards, some of which, he displayed unmatched maturity. Khan was among the team that took the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy in England. Shadab Khan is a promising young cricketer who will take Pakistan to the next level. He is said to stand as a Shia cricketer in Pakistan.
5. Zulqarnain Haider
Born on April 23rd, 1986, Zulqarnain Haider is a former cricketer who played for the Pakistan national team. His fighting abilities in the game were unmatched. The 35-year old was once called up to stand in for Kamran Akmal as a wicket-keeper during the 2010 England tour. It was during this time when Haider made a Test entrance. However, he broke his finger which saw him participate in just one match.
Zulqarnain Haider later made his ODI debut against South Africa. It is also the South African team of which he has managed all his (four) ODI’s in his cricket career. During his fourth match against South Africa, Haider quit halfway, claiming to have received death threats. He went ahead to explain that he was asked to fail the 4th match. However, he ended up winning. Haider then went to the United Kingdom to seek asylum applications, consequently retiring from International cricket. He then pulled out his asylum application in the UK and came back to Pakistan in April 2011. He is said to belong among the Shias in Pakistan.
6. Zaheer Abbas
Syed Zaheer Abbas Kirmani was born in 1947 in Sialkot, Pakistan. He is a former professional cricketer who exhibited a unique style and appearance (especially for wearing spectacles). When asked, many cricket fans describe him as being the most refined batsman and was labelled the Asian Bradman. While many have come and gone, no one has beaten Zaheer’s fluent batting style on the pitch.
Zaheer Abbas demonstrated an excellent ability to move back and forward with precision and equal facility. The 74-year old left many mesmerized with his virtuoso and creativity displayed in the field. His first score was against England, with 274 during his second Test at Edgbaston. This inning was the beginning of a fresh universal star.
Fast forward to his retirement from the game. He wasn’t given a proper send-off as a player of his calibre would. This is because he broke the news of retirement from Test cricket but still wanted to actively remain in the one-day form of the game. To date, he is said to be part of the Shia community in Pakistan.
Shia, as part of the Muslim group, reflects different dogmas, however, sharing the same method to the rudiments of Islamic belief. As mentioned earlier, Pakistan is among the few Muslim countries of the world, embracing cricket and Shias. The Shia community in the country is as diverse as it is involved in various matters and domains including, sports and politics. Shia cricketers in Pakistan are so powerful, just as explained in the section above. The information about the above-mentioned cricketers being Shias is not yet proven. However, given their names, one can presume them to be Shias.
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