Byline: Mohammad Yaqoob
LAHORE -- Becoming the first ever batsman to score a century, both on One-day International and Test debuts, was not enough for Pakistan opener Abid Ali to be recognised by the team's head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq in his year-ender statement issued by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday.
Abid, after toiling hard and performing consistently in the domestic cricket circuit for the past seven years, finally made it to the national side this year, kicking off his international career with a century against Australia in the United Arab Emirates in March.
The right-hander, who idolises Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar, opened his Test career with a hundred as well, which came against Sri Lanka in the first Test at Rawalpindi early last month. Abid went on to score another century in the second Test in Karachi.
With the PCB not yet having awarded Abid for his unique achievement, Misbah too missed out on mentioning his name while he talked about happenings in Pakistan cricket in 2019.
Misbah, however, expressed concern over the injury and form issues of opener Fakhar Zaman, pacer Hasan Ali and leg-spinner Shadab Khan, the trio which played a key role in Pakistan's ICC Champions Trophy triumph in 2019.
According to Misbah, who was a part of the PCB's cricket committee during the 2019 ICC World Cup, said the absence of Fakhar, Hasan and Shadab was one of the major reasons of Pakistan's failure to qualify for the semi-finals of the mega event.
Misbah also hailed the emergence of middle-order batsman Babar Azam as a mega star across all formats, as he retained No.1 position in the world T20 ranking and he is also ranked in top ten batsmen of the ODI format.
The emergence of fast bowlers Nasim Shah and Shaheen Shah Afridi was also an encouraging prospect for Misbah, who, earlier into his tenure as the head coach and chief selector had admitted that Pakistan was struggling to find good pacers.
Nasim, after a tough debut against Australia in November's first Test in Brisbane, was rested in the second, but bagged five wickets in a match-winning bowling performance in the second...