Ijaz Ahmed Biography
Ijaz Ahmed is a former Pakistani right hand batsman and left arm medium fast bowler. He had been a prominent member of the national team in the 90s.
He is considered as one of the most powerful hitter and the finest fielder produced by Pakistan.
In 1983, the year when Pakistan’s Asian neighbours, India, became reign supreme in the World Cup, the cricketing fever was at its pinnacle in the continent, and Ijaz was no different.
He made his First class debut in the same year and learnt his cricketing technical know-how when he was merely 15.
He had played 169 First class matches in which he amassed 9889 runs and claimed 34 wickets. In his List-A career, Ijaz scored 10037 runs and took 31 wickets in 371 matches.
Ijaz made his ODI debut against West Indies at Jinnah Stadium, Sialkot in 1986. Batting at No 7, the young lad scored valuable 19 off 23 balls.
The following year, due to his incessant efforts in ODIs, Ijaz made his Test debut against arch rivals, India, but he failed to shine, scoring only three in his only Test match of the series.
Rise to glory
In September 1988, against Australia, he scored his maiden century in Tests. Australian bowlers had no answer to his powerful square cuts.
A month later, Ijaz scored his first century in ODI against Bangladesh. His unbeaten 124 led the team to victory.
He was also the part of playing XI of victorious Pakistan in World Cup of 1992.
At Lahore, in 1997, Ijaz smashed the Indian bowling attack by making a quick century off just 68 balls including 9 sixes, remaining not out for 139 - his highest score in the ODI.
In the following year, he showcased another impressive inning, 132 against Zimbabwe in the 3rd and decisive ODI of home series.
His unconquered 90 in Pepsi Cup 1999, played against the host, India, was one of the highlights of his career.
His best Test innings - 211 runs, came against Sri Lanka at Dhaka in the final of the Asian Test Championship in 1999.
His marathon innings which lasted for 519 minutes and 372 balls, put Pakistan in a winning position.
Ijaz struggled for consistency, as exemplified by 33 single digit scores and 54 scores of less than 20 of his 92 innings.
Ijaz was dropped from the ODI and Test teams on account of his poor form in the new millennium.
Ijaz Ahmad was arrested on 25th March 2009, on the grounds that he has submitted a bogus bank cheque of 10 million rupees. He was later acquitted from all the charges.
Ijaz played his last ODI in 2000 and last Test in 2001. his last assignment with the Pakistan Test team was against New Zealand.
He scored 11, 5 and 17 in the two Test matches and was dropped thereafter.
Ijaz announced his formal retirement from international cricket in 2003. He continued playing First-Class cricket till 2007.
In his career, he played a total of 60 Test matches and 250 ODI, amassing 3315 and 6564 runs respectively at a decent average of 37.67 and 32.33.
As a coach
On October 20, 2009, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced Ijaz as the coach of the Under-19 team.
Under his tutelage, the team reached the final of the Under-19 World Cup in 2010 where they lost to Australia in New Zealand.
After Pakistan's defeat against New Zealand at UAE in 2009's ODI series, changes were made in the team and Ijaz was made combined coach with Waqar Younis.
Ijaz Ahmed is also giving his services as the batting coach and consultant for the Lahore Qalandars in the PSL.