SHARJAH: With his three wickets on his Pakistan Super League debut for Islamabad United against a formidable Peshawar Zalmi, rookie fast bowler Mohammad Musa Khan has heralded his arrival and could be the next big thing in Pakistan cricket.

“I am on cloud nine, when I got to know that it’s my debut match on Friday, I had wished that I do my best and to have come out with three wickets gives me a fantastic feeling,” Musa said.

The 18-year-old from Islamabad dismissed Kamran Akmal for his first wicket before accounting for England’s regular Dawid Malan and finally double World Twenty20 winning West Indies captain Darren Sammy.

“I can’t describe my feelings,” said the unassuming lad from Islamabad. “I was encouraged by my captain [Mohammad Sami], coaching staff and all the players, so those were great moments.

“Before the PSL, I knew that this is the platform to break into international cricket and I will do my best to come into the reckoning for the Pakistan cricket team,” vowed Musa, who was picked in Islamabad United late last year.

The HBL PSL has that quality of throwing talent. Already there are names which can be quoted as the emerging stars from Hasan Ali to Shadab Khan, from Shaheen Shah Afridi to Faheem Ashraf and from Fakhar Zaman to Hassaan Khan.

Musa had already played for Pakistan in the ICC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand last year. He grabbed seven wickets in five matches, notable among them was his four for 67 against India in the semi-final, which led to praises from India coach and one of the greatest batsmen Rahul Dravid.

Musa made his first-class debut for Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited last year. Under an astute captain in Misbah-ul-Haq, Musa grabbed four wickets in the match (3-39 and 1-74) against a formidable Wapda side.

His first wicket was former Pakistan captain Salman Butt.

“Misbah bhai encouraged me a lot and then Waqar Younis [director at Islamabad United] liked me and told me that I will be in Islamabad United team for the PSL 4 and that pumped me up,” recalls Musa.

Musa is from a middle-class family, who has seen their first kid aiming it big in cricket. “They just watch cricket and pray for me to become a big star for Pakistan.”

Musa has taken baby steps but his talent promises greater heights, pending hard and consistent work.

Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2019

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