Pakistan has been blessed with cricketing talent in abundance, but has also been plagued with either that talent fizzling-out too soon or cases of premature retirement for various reasons (not in good books of selectors, match-fixing or consumption of banned drugs). ‘Stability’ has been the biggest headache for the Pakistani team for decades now.
So much is expected from the 1992 WC winners. A nation that produced Zaheer Abbas, who probably had the best batting technique then. Who can forget the last ball six by ‘the ultimate fighter’ Javed Miandad? Then the world saw the inception of reverse-swing by the deadly duo of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. This was the team that once produced a Saeed Anwar, the artist who wielded the willow. It was a Pakistani named Saqlain Mushtaq, who bowled the ‘doosra’ (the away going ball bowled by an off-spinner). Not to talk of Abdul Qadir, the leg spin magician and last but not the least the charismatic leader Imran Khan who inspired a whole generation.
Amidst all the glory, and all the natural talent, they also produced players oozing with talent and promise, who shone quickly on the international scene ---but only to fizzle out even quicker. Here are they:
At the age of 14 years and 227 days, Hasan Raza supposedly became the youngest cricketer to take the field representing his nation. He was young and the world was in total disbelief to see a ‘baby boy’ take on lethal pacemen from across the world with utmost ease. Two years after his entry into the national side he suddenly vanished, only to resurface in 2002, for a brief stint. Today, the irony is that very few even know him. A living example of how natural talent was not nurtured well.
What a talent! He was aggressive, dynamic and a perfect recipe for entertainment. He loved to go aerial and could take on the biggest names in the fraternity. Soon, form became an issue and lack of support from the coaching staff, saw his early exit. A promising career came to an early fullstop.
He broke into the international cricketing scene with a bang. Salman took over the opener’s mantle well from his predecessors Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail. The team management were looking for long-term opening solutions post the 2003 World Cup. Salman showed promising signs early on but disappeared soon. He got lured into the betting world, and we all know what happened after that.