"I don't have difficulty in facing any bowler in domestic cricket" : Fahad Iqbal

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In our latest edition of the Talent Spotter, we bring you an in depth interview with Fahad Iqbal.

Fahad who recently featured in the QEA trophy final for PIA, has the unique honour of being related to the all time Pakistani great - Javed Miandad.

In this interview he tells us about his initiation into the world of cricket, the role of his uncle in his development as well as his aspirations.

We thank Fahad for his time as well the team of Sehsan and Violet May for conducting and writing this up.


PakPassion.net: How did your cricket career get started?

Fahad Iqbal: Well, I used to watch my uncle (Javed Miandad) play a lot. Then I also used to accompany Faisal (Iqbal) bhai to the ground and so developed an interest. Once, I found out that trials were taking place for Pakistan Under 15 at the National Stadium in Karachi. I got selected there and then Faisal Bhai started to support me. In 2000 I played in Asia cup Malaysia and then the World Cup in England in 2000 – that’s how my career really started.


PakPassion.net: When did you make your FC debut?

Fahad Iqbal: I did my debut in FC in 2003 for Pakistan Customs which had Jalaludin as coach. He also happened to be the coach for Karachi Under 19. He used to run the Customs and I topped there in Pakistan. So in that season, I played in the First-class team and on debut, I got run out after making around 73 or 75 runs. And then after that, I think in the year 2005 or 2006, I debuted from Karachi for the First-class team and I scored a 100 runs.


PakPassion.net: So when you started playing cricket, then you of course used to look at Javed Miandad. Apart from him though, which other favourite cricketers did you have at that time [when you were new to cricket]?

Fahad Iqbal: At that time, I used to watch Steve Waugh the most with eagerness. I used to admire his batting quite a lot and along with him, Damien Martyn. I used to follow the Australian side a lot.


PakPassion.net: What is your favourite shot?

Fahad Iqbal: My own favourite shot? I like the straight drive.


PakPassion.net: If one looks at your performance, then the previous seasons weren’t that good as compared to the current season. What changes did you make to achieve this?

Fahad Iqbal: When I started with PIA First-class cricket, Masha’Allah I finished one season with an average of 55 and the other season, I finished that with an average of 65. In the last two seasons, I wasn’t able to perform that well so I focused a lot on that. I worked on the way I was getting out after looking at the videos. Then after working on these things, I tried to make a comeback in this season and along with putting in all the effort from my end, Allah also helped me along the way and so, I was also able to perform.


PakPassion.net: You played quite an important innings for PIA in the finals. How do you feel after winning the match?

Fahad Iqbal: After winning, I feel really good and I feel happy because last year, I couldn’t help the team win in the finals. I had tried my best the last time but this year, we had in mind that Insha’Allah if we get to the finals, then we would win the finals by trying our best.

Throughout the entire season for instance, I tried to help the team by taking them out of situations where the score was 50-4 or 50-5. And then with Allah’s help, I also performed similarly in the final.


PakPassion.net: When you started playing cricket and you used to go to the grounds with Faisal, at which moment did you realize that you wanted to play International cricket?

Fahad Iqbal: When I heard Faisal bhai’s name for the first time [when his name came to the fore in 2000 against New Zealand], he was getting quite a lot of fame and a lot of people were watching him, following him, and coming to greet him [to wish him Mubarak].

So during this time, I also wanted to play cricket; like it has a lot of fame, you get good protocol as well and you get respect. When I watched all this happen to Faisal bhai, then after that I obtained this desire [to play internationally] as well.


PakPassion.net: You also went on the A tour. I think when the team went to Australia, you were still with the team at that time. How was your experience in playing on Australian pitches and playing against a strong Australian A team?

Fahad Iqbal: When we went to Australia, I was in form as I had scored around 650 runs in domestic cricket with an average of 65. In the last match that I played, I had scored a double ton against ZTBL so I was quite confident. When we came to Australia, there, Hafeez bhai told me that you will play in all the matches and the team will rely on you, so you should prepare yourself mentally to be at the #5 or #6 position.

Then when we got there, I did some practice and what was happening there was that the ball wasn’t swinging a lot but instead, it was coming at some height. The two or three things that my uncle had told me for guidance was that in Australia, there or two three things that occur such as: the ball doesn’t swing a lot, the ball comes at a height and as Faisal bhai had some experience, he told me these things as well.

So it became a bit easier for me there and I didn’t have too many problems. I think in the first Test, I scored around 48 runs and in the second Test, I was able to get a half century and then in the One Day match, I scored a half century so the tour went quite well.

After this, I went to play against Sri Lanka A and this was quite an established team that was playing against us. Malinga and others, all of them were playing. So that tour also went well. I didn’t play in the first Test but in the second Test, I scored a 50 and then in the One Day match, I scored around 48 runs then I got out. But these two were good experiences for me in one way, as I was playing in the international arena against the Australian bowling attack and then the Sri Lankan bowling attack.

Therefore, the games played were comparable to the international level. Look, I think you probably know as well that from the Australian side, Shaun Tait and others, all of them were playing. And then when we were playing against Sri Lanka, Malinga was playing, Maharoof was playing, Welagedara and others, they were all playing as well.


PakPassion.net: I saw your performance in both tours and you scored 40s and 50s regularly, but you weren’t able to play a long innings. What do you think was the reason for this?

Fahad Iqbal: Well, the thing was that they used to make me play at #6. So I wasn’t able to get the support of a set batsman playing with me. Meaning, the wicketkeeper would come in or a tail-ender would come in at the other end, so the effort was usually geared towards scoring 50 runs and making the team move forward. But at that time, what was happening was that I was getting out after forty or thereabouts. I did try to play at a higher position but unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance because the players at these positions were Masha’Allah performing well.


PakPassion.net: Like you said earlier, when you went on the tour to Australia and to Sri Lanka, all the world-class bowlers were playing in those matches. From both tours, which bowler was the toughest to face?

Fahad Iqbal: From both tours, the most difficult bowler-like we played against Shaun Tait too but Malinga was a bit difficult to face. When I faced the very first ball from him, I couldn’t get a sense of where he had delivered the ball from. I played him by judging the ball as it went off the pitch because from his arm, I couldn’t tell since as a batsman, you have this habit from the beginning to judge by looking at a bowler’s arm. However, with him you couldn’t get a sense of where the delivery was being released from. So I found facing him to be a bit difficult.


PakPassion.net: You have been playing in the domestic circuit for quite some time. In your opinion, which bowler was the toughest to face in Pakistani domestic circuit?

Fahad Iqbal: From Pakistani domestic cricket, there are players from WAPDA. Sarfraz bhai’s fast bowlers are quite experienced. It’s not that they are too difficult but yes, it is that their action is a bit difficult and you know, the times that we have played against them, there, supportive pitches [for the fast bowlers] tend to be present so this can be a bit difficult to play against at times.

The rest, I mean thanks to Allah, I don't have difficulty in facing any bowler in domestic cricket.


PakPassion.net: This year too, you played the entire season. Currently, did you see any bowlers who were quick and hitting 140 KPHs consistently in the domestic circuit?

Fahad Iqbal: Two bowlers from National Bank bowl at these speeds-Wahab Riaz bowls like this and was bowling at good pace, and Mohammad Talha was also bowling like this. I found these two to be the quickest in domestic cricket so far, because these two are the sole bowlers who we went up against from National Bank and they bowled quite well at good pace.


PakPassion.net: Where do you see yourself-I mean you scored quite a lot; more than 700 runs in domestic cricket, in Pakistan…[pauses due to interjection]

Fahad Iqbal: Yes, I scored around 800 something runs with an average of 53.


PakPassion.net: Yes, so to become a part of the Pakistani team, what other efforts do you have to put in? What improvements do you have to make?

Fahad Iqbal: Performance-wise, thanks to Allah, I am scoring well in domestic cricket. I am scoring centuries and in the TV you can see how in this season, I have helped the team by taking them out of difficult situations. As an individual player, I am hoping that for the team which will be announced for the side match against England, God willing my name will be mentioned. The attempt is that after getting a chance for the side match and performing there, then Insha’Allah you can get an opportunity in the international team.


PakPassion.net: And any hobbies outside cricket?

Fahad Iqbal: Outside cricket, I have an interest in cars, music, and playing football.


PakPassion.net: Do you get tips from Javed Miandad?

Fahad Iqbal: Yes, yes. Javed uncle backs me up and so does Faisal bhai. From these two, I get a lot of support. The ease that I get in cricket is because of these two. Javed uncle and Faisal bhai guide me a lot. So I don’t find myself being troubled too much because I have quite a lot of support from both of them.


PakPassion.net: Thank you Fahad for your time.

Fahad Iqbal: No problem.

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He may be a nice guy and everything but one thing I noticed is both these brothers are very very cocky. Is it just me? Anyways thanks PP for a great interview. He has had a terrific season.
 
Thanks for the Interview PP......Hope he turns out like his uncle and represents Pakistan for a long time.....
 
good interview but I have to be critical at the constant use of "like" "I mean"..there are some places above where these words can be edited out..it disrupts the flow of the interview in certain places!
 
He seemed impressive in the final between ZTBL and PIA but his domestic record isn't anything special so IMO he is way down the pecking order when it comes to getting into the national team
 
I am not sure guys, but is his name in the PCB XI list that will play against England in the side match?
 
the mod who write it up should have done some editing ; the interview flow is not there.
 
He may be a nice guy and everything but one thing I noticed is both these brothers are very very cocky. Is it just me? Anyways thanks PP for a great interview. He has had a terrific season.

Yes he does sound some what overconfident. But unlike baray bhaya he has performances to back it up.
 
usually enjoy reading PP interviews.

but what happend here i mean somei have been missin it like, whatnot :D
 
PakPassion.net: Do you get tips from Javed Miandad?

Fahad Iqbal: Yes, yes. Javed uncle backs me up and so does Faisal bhai. From these two, I get a lot of support. The ease that I get in cricket is because of these two. Javed uncle and Faisal bhai guide me a lot. So I don’t find myself being troubled too much because I have quite a lot of support from both of them.:facepalm:

hum to doooobay hain sanam tum kooo bhi lay doooobain gay
 
I am not sure guys, but is his name in the PCB XI list that will play against England in the side match?

No.
Fahad was the 9th highest run scorer in the QEA Trophy. Only top 4 batsmen + Nasir Jamshed (opener) got selected in the PCB XI.
 
Fahad had a very good season this year and played some important knocks under pressure. Lets see if he can continue his form in Pentagular cup and get the selectors nod for the international matches.
 
I first heard about Fahad when he went to Kenya with the Academy side a few years ago.

He's supposed to be a decent batsman by all accounts.
 
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