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After Imran Tahir and Fawad Ahmed, yet another cricketer of Pakistani origin has come into the spotlight while playing for a foreign club due to his outstanding performance. Muhammad Azharullah, a fast bowler for English county Northamptonshire, has been the most successful bowler in this year’s England Twenty20 domestic circuit.

Hailing from Burewala district in Punjab, Azharullah has shot to fame picking up the highest number of wickets (24) in England’s ongoing T20 season, taking his side to the semi-finals of the tournament.

The 29-year-old Azhar has in the past represented WAPDA, Multan Tigers as well as Quetta Bears in the Pakistan domestic first-class circuit, playing 53 matches, after which he moved to England to play league cricket for a brief period. During his stay in England, however, he fell in love with a scorer at his cricket club in the Bradford Cricket League and decided to stay there. He finally moved to England a year after his marriage which took place in 2009.

He became eligible to play county cricket this year after acquiring British citizenship, three years after he had moved there. Northamptonshire offered Azharullah a one year contract this season. The right arm fast bowler told BBC, "It was an educated risk for Northants. They saw my pace and my career statistics, which are on flat wickets in Pakistan." The risk paid off for his team as they are now in contention to win a tournament they were earlier considered underdogs for.

In this season alone, he has picked up 24 wickets thanks to his booming inswingers. His team will face Essex in the semi finals this Saturday and it is to be seen if and when he will claim a spot in the England international T20 squad. "It's always been my dream to play international cricket," he told BBC in an interview.

Fellow Pakistani Yasir Arafat is just behind Azharullah with 20 wickets this season, putting him at number two in the wickets tally.

Comments (9) Closed

Muhammad Rehan Ghazi Aug 16, 2013 07:10pm

I am really delighted for Muhammad Azharullah. He seems to be a highly talented and level-headed guy. Best of luck mate.

Bilal Aug 16, 2013 08:18pm

I don't agree with people and 'experts' who claim that Pakistan has stopped producing fast bowlers or that Pakistan doesn't produce the same quantity and quality of fast bowlers as in the past.

The talent is still there. We just need to look for these gems.

Junaid Aug 16, 2013 08:23pm

Shame on Pakistani selectors, who did not pay attention to his talent. It also confirms the inability of the selectors to recognize the talent. They don't know who can be groomed and who has the potential. Basically they are all lazy and incapable, drawing salaries for nothing.

Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Aug 16, 2013 08:25pm

Welcome to the club.

It is a fact that due to God gifted cricketing talents embedded in all Pakistanis right from the grassroot level to the top class cricket circles, there are plenty of cricketers of Pakistani origin winning laurels for their teams all over the world and Azharullah is no exception to it.

It's only up to the powerful electronic and print media to identify, pick and introduce these 'green-shirts' cricketers to the global cricket fraternity no matter which part of the world they are playing and which team they are representing. Rest as they say will be history as seen and confirmed in few cases that came to the fore like that of Fawad Ahmad, Imran Tahir, Usman Khawaja and many others.

Anwar Sheikh , Aug 17, 2013 12:06am

Great. Congratulations. Wish you more bright future in international cricket and you be known in the fast bowler's world category as 'Burewala Express'.

syed Aug 17, 2013 01:40am

o please, he will never make Pakistan's eleven, just a good domestic player

Naeem Sharif Aug 18, 2013 08:26am

Azharullah is from the same village city of the great Waqar Younis and Mohammad Irfan ... Good Luck Azharullah !!!

Shah Ata Aug 18, 2013 08:53pm

My best wishes for a talented Pakistani-British cricketer Muhammad Azharullah. Be honest, straight-forward and transparent in your life. I am sure that you will rise like a bright star in due course.

salahuddin Aug 18, 2013 11:13pm

Dear Ahle Watan, Talent ki qadar karain.