"I see a Bright Future for Netherlands Cricket" : Mudassar Bukhari [Exclusive Interview]


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Oct 2, 2004
PakPassion is delighted to present a full length interview with Netherlands all-rounder Mudassar Bukhari.

Originally from the city of Gujrat in Pakistan, Bukhari made his international debut for the Netherlands in the summer of 2007, and has played over 40 international matches, and was one of the star performers for the Netherlands at the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup.

In this exclusive interview with PakPassion.net, Bukhari talks about his introduction to international cricket, the state of cricket in the Netherlands and also shares his most cherished and memorable moments.

PakPassion.net: Many thanks for giving us your time Mudassar.

Mudassar Bukhari: Thank you.

PakPassion.net: First question, are there many academies in Holland?

Mudassar Bukhari: No we don’t have academies. We have club cricket and some very highly qualified coaches in the setup.

PakPassion.net: Do the players mostly play part-time?

Mudassar Bukhari:
Yes the majority of us are semi-professionals. Most of the players work part-time although there are a one or two who are contracted so they play full-time.

PakPassion.net: How did you decide you wanted to play for Holland?

Mudassar Bukhari: When I was around 14 years old I came to Holland. I was studying here and started playing a bit of cricket with friends. There was a family friend who played cricket in a club and I started playing with him. Slowly I started getting into it. There is a tournament they have played here for Pakistanis, and it is a game between the best selected Pakistani origin players playing against the Holland national side. In that game, I performed really well. I scored a century as well as got 3-4 wickets. After that, the national side’s coach told me to come to their training session and started asking me ‘who I was’ and ‘where I was from’. From then I got my opportunity in the national side.

PakPassion.net: Who has been your most prized wicket in international cricket?

Mudassar Bukhari: I would have to say clean bowling Tamim Iqbal in the World Cup for a duck. I have played against him a couple of times and both times I have got his wicket. The first time was when we played them in Scotland. The other wicket I remember fondly is getting Keiron Pollard out in the World Cup.

PakPassion.net: You have also got Taufeeq Umar and Mohammad Hafeez’s wickets.

Mudassar Bukhari: Yes I have got wickets of both Taufeeq Umar and Mohammad Hafeez in the past when we played with the Pakistan A team. It was a strong team which included Umar Gul and Bazid Khan.

PakPassion.net: How was it to play against Pakistan?

Mudassar Bukhari: There was a sense of passion. I just wanted to play and perform well as I was just establishing myself in the team. Obviously I was awed by these players as I had seen them on TV, so it was an enjoyable and memorable experience.

PakPassion.net: Which would you consider your most memorable cricketing moment?

Mudassar Bukhari: I think that playing in the World Cup has to be a great moment for any cricketer. The fact that I've had the opportunity to play in four World Cup matches has been a great honor for me and have also perform in them.

If we're taking about one specific moment then the match that comes to mind is a World Cup qualifying match against Ireland. That was a match that we absolutely had to win to make it to the World Cup. That match was a great all-around match for me. I picked up three wickets and we were able to restrict them to modest total. When it was our turn to bat, the captain surprised me by sending me in as an opener. I played the best innings of my career and scored 71 runs with an opening partnership of 153 while chasing 203 runs, leading the team to a great win. I was named the Man of the Match as well. So, that was definitely a great moment for me.

PakPassion.net: You have done well with the bat as well as being a very good bowler. Would you consider yourself to be an all rounder?

Mudassar Bukhari: Definitely. If you take a look at my stats you'll see that I have done well in both aspects of the game.

PakPassion.net: Have you had a chance to play any county cricket yet?

Mudassar Bukhari: No, I haven't played any county cricket yet but I'm looking for the right opportunity. Right now, I'm playing club cricket in Holland.

PakPassion.net: Which bowler has troubled you the most in your career?

Mudassar Bukhari: There are a lot of good bowlers in cricket. Playing against Kemar Roach in the World Cup was quite difficult. There are a lot of good bowlers but I don't consider them to be extremely difficult to face.

PakPassion.net: Which batsman has given you the most trouble?

Mudassar Bukhari: Playing against Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag in the World Cup was extremely tough. You have to think hard before and after each delivery while facing them.

PakPassion.net: Tell us a bit about the players from the subcontinent who are making their way in to the Netherlands team.

Mudassar Bukhari: There are a lot of talented players at the under-14 level. They have been doing well and can make it to higher levels. But there aren't enough players at the under-19 or under-23 level. We've been playing a lot of matches recently so I really don't know much about future players. We recently played CB 40 matches against the English county teams. One of the teams we played against was Kent and they had Azhar Mahmood and Wahab Riaz in their squad. I had a great match against them, scoring 78 runs and picking up the wicket of Azhar Mahmood. Playing against Wahab Riaz was very difficult.

PakPassion.net: What was it about Wahab's bowling that troubled you? Pace or movement?

Mudassar Bukhari: It was a combination of the two. He was bowling in the Power Play overs and was getting exceptional swing at a very good pace. That proved to be a great challenge.

PakPassion.net: Did you have any thoughts of playing for Pakistan before you played for the Netherlands?

Mudassar Bukhari: I was 14 years old when I came to the Netherlands. In Pakistan, we used to play tape ball cricket. Here, I was busy with my studies and then I started working. Cricket was nothing more than a hobby for me. I enjoyed playing with friends and was pretty good. I got an opportunity to attend some training camps and that opened the door for me. In 2005, I got a chance to play against the A teams from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and a few other countries. That was my first opportunity to play organized cricket with a hard ball on a proper field.

PakPassion.net: Going back to the match you played against India. Did any of the Indian players say anything to you or sledge to get to you?

Mudassar Bukhari: The senior players did not do anything. But the likes of Gambhir and Kohli had some words. We had a few conversations. While bowling, I had a few words for Yusuf Pathan. But that's all part of the game. Nothing serious. You just have to focus on the task ahead of you.

PakPassion.net: You were spotted having a lengthy conversation with Imran Tahir when you played against South Africa. Tell us a bit about what was said.

Mudassar Bukhari: We had a very good conversation. He told me how he had finally made it after playing for so many years for so many teams. I also told him about myself and how I had been doing. It was a good conversation not too much on cricket but personal stuff.

PakPassion.net: Where do you see Holland’s cricket team in the next 5 to 10 years?

Mudassar Bukhari: I really can't say where we will be in 10 years but I can say that we have some very talented players coming through. I see a lot of improvement in the coming years. We are playing more cricket now and have a big tournament coming up in the West Indies in January, the name of which escape me now. They will be some good first class teams playing there. I see a bright future for Netherlands cricket.

PakPassion.net: Playing in such tournaments must be great for improving as a team.

Mudassar Bukhari: Definitely. We have a slot of cricket coming up. Right after the West Indies, we will be heading to Dubai to take part in qualifying matches for the upcoming T20 World Cup.

PakPassion.net: What is one aspect of your game that you would like to improve upon the most?

Mudassar Bukhari: I've been working really hard on my batting now. You'll see me batting higher up in the order in the upcoming matches. As a cricketer, you are always looking to improve your game. All aspects of the game have to be improved to become a good player. I don't think you can be perfect at any aspect you so you have to keep training. Whenever, I meet someone senior, I always ask for advice.

PakPassion.net: What is the average speed at which you bowl? Do you think you can increase it?

Mudassar Bukhari: I was able to bowl at 135 kph during the World Cup. My strength as a bowler is my control and the ability to swing the ball. I can swing the ball both ways. I work hard on getting my yorkers right because that is very important when bowling in the power play overs. That's what I mainly concentrate on when I'm practicing. Speed can be increased with proper fitness and training but I focus more on control.

PakPassion.net: Who is your favorite cricketer in the Pakistani team?

Mudassar Bukhari: Shahid Afridi is my favorite because I also tend to be very aggressive while batting. I love hitting sixes. Another thing that I admire about Afridi is that he looks like a fighter – he seems to be always trying hard for the team. He's always giving his hundred percent when playing for Pakistan. I love that about him because I'm the same way. You have to give it your all in such do-or-die situations. You must never feel that “Oh I wish I had tried harder and we could have won the game!”

PakPassion.net: Have you had a chance to bowl against Shahid Afridi?

Mudassar Bukhari: No. We were in a different group in the World Cup so we didn't get to play against Pakistan – we have played against Sri Lanka but not Pakistan.

PakPassion.net: Have you had the chance to meet Shahid Afridi?

Mudassar Bukhari: Yes during the World Cup. I've met a lot of Pakistani players. I also played against the likes of Mohammad Hafeez, Taufeeq Umar, and Umar Gul in 2005 when they were in the A team.

PakPassion.net: Do you play any sports other than cricket?

Mudassar Bukhari: I play snooker, squash, and badminton when I'm with friends.

PakPassion.net: How about football?

Mudassar Bukhari: No. I don't play football because my ankles aren't the strong.

PakPassion.net: Did you watch the World Cup final between Spain and Holland?

Mudassar Bukhari: I'm not a fan of football but I did watch it. Holland played well but Spain were excellent in the final. They deserved to win.


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Many thanks to Muddassar and our best wishes to him on his future.

Also thanks to Sehsan for conducting the interview and to Inswinger/Genghis dreamteam for writing this up .
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Quite an entertaining player is Mudassar, an allrounder cut from Pakistani cloth: bowls a heavy quick ball and hits it hard. Nice interview, he comes across as a wholehearted player and I wish him the best InshaAllah
Good stuff. Lucky lad to play in the world cup. Best of luck to him for the future.
I see no quality in his bowling. There was a dutch bowler better then him.
Holland had no future in cricket.
Holland, Canada should be out of the next wc.

Looks like a few of my questions are included :) Will read the interview, insha Allah.

Keep up the good work PP crew, really enjoying these interviews! :)
Just got a chance to read this interview today.

A really good read.

Wish Mudassar all the best for the future.
Worth a bump, particularly with Muddassar and the Netherlands doing so well lately.
well, the sad thing is that I dont see netherlands becoming a powerhouse of cricket because it doesnt have fans, as simple as that. Sports is for entertainment of fans at the end of the day
well, the sad thing is that I dont see netherlands becoming a powerhouse of cricket because it doesnt have fans, as simple as that. Sports is for entertainment of fans at the end of the day

Any country that cannot have its original population play a sport, the sport cannot thrive. That's why i think countries like Afghanistan, Ireland, Zimbabwe, and Kenya should rather be invested in instead of all these other countries like canada
As far as most associates are concerned I cant really term it as a Canadian national team or USA nor Hong Koong national team if all I see is brown desis forming the team
4 wins in 5 matches to start off the cb40. hoping to see netherlands win the cb40 :D

netherlands do have 4-5 dutch players (born+brought up in netherlands) in their squad. they need to increase that number if they want to become a cricketing powerhouse and get test status in future
Wonderful display by Netherland today - Bukhari did well as well - 3 wickets
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He rates the wicket of Tamim Iqbal over Mohammad Hafeez and who would blame him ?
"I see a Bright Future for Netherlands Cricket":Mudassar Bukhari[Exclusive In...

He rates the wicket of Tamim Iqbal over Mohammad Hafeez and who would blame him ?

Back then Tamim was the next potential breakout star but he has regressed a lot since then

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Netherlands medium-pacer Mudassar Bukhari has announced his retirement from four-day cricket and 50-over cricket on Tuesday. Although, Bukhari said that he will continue playing in T20 Internationals for Netherlands. With 57 wickets in 47 matches between 2007 to 2014, Bukhari has the most number of wickets in ODIs for Netherlands. His team lost its ODI status, after being knocked out in the 2014 World Cup Qualifier. But his best performance in 50-over cricket came in more recently when he was playing against UAE during a WCL Championship match. He took 6 for 24 in Netherlands’ win in that List A fixture. And overall, Bhukari has 148 wickets in 116 List A matches at an average of 26.79. He made his ODI debut against Canada in July 2007 at Toronto. He has played in 12 First-class matches and has picked 34 wickets in them, with a best of 6 for 43.

With the emergence of Paul van Meekeren and Vivian Kingma, along with Ahsan Malik whose action was cleared by the ICC, the competition for a place in the Dutch side’s bowling department increased, and so Bukhari was dropped for Netherlands’ game in the WCL Championship match against Nepal.

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Netherlands fast bowler Vivian Kingma has been suspended for four ODIs/T20Is for breaching Level 3 of the ICC Code of Conduct during the third match of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League series against Afghanistan in Doha on Tuesday.

Kingma was found to have breached article 2.14 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to “changing the condition of the ball in breach of clause 41.3 of the ICC Standard Test Match, ODI and T20I Playing Conditions.”

Apart from the four suspension points that resulted in the sanction, five demerit points have also been added to the disciplinary record of Kingma, for whom it was the first offence in a 24-month period.

The incident occurred in the 31st over of Afghanistan’s innings, when the fast bowler changed the condition of the ball by scratching it with his nails.

Kingma admitted the offence and accepted the sanction proposed by Wendell La Brooy of the Emirates ICC International Panel of Match Referees and ratified by the ICC Cricket Operations department as per the COVID-19 interim playing regulations. There was no need for a formal hearing.

On-field umpires Ahmed Shah Pakteen and Ahmed Shah Durrani, third umpire Bismillah Jan Shinwari and fourth umpire Izatullah Safi leveled the charge.

Level 3 breaches carry a penalty of between four and 12 suspension points and five or six demerit points.

As each suspension point equates to a ban from one ODI or T20I, whatever comes first for the player or player support personnel, Kingma will miss the next four matches that his team plays in either format.
Time for Ruud Gullit and Van Basten to start their Cricket careers:kakmal
If the Netherlands win against England today and qualify for the Champions Trophy, do they deserve Test status?
If the Netherlands win against England today and qualify for the Champions Trophy, do they deserve Test status?
No, for that the local infrastructure needs to be top notch, and this 'cricket expats' (cricket rejectees) needs to be reduced.
No, for that the local infrastructure needs to be top notch, and this 'cricket expats' (cricket rejectees) needs to be reduced.
In this case, Afghanistan also don't have proper Local Infrastructure
As per news report:

Pakistan's planned T20I tour to the Netherlands, scheduled for May of next year, has been postponed owing to scheduling problems. The KNCB received a request from the PCB to postpone the series to alleviate the pressure of an increasingly crowded calendar, and the two boards are understood to be exploring options to reschedule the series.

Pakistan had originally indicated an intention to return to the Netherlands following their CWC Super League series in Rotterdam in 2022, and a 3-match T20I series was pencilled in for early May, ahead of Pakistan's planned tour to Ireland and England. Pakistan's home series against New Zealand in April left only a narrow window for the Dutch leg of Pakistan's European tour however, and as a consequence the PCB sought to reschedule the series.

"We're obviously disappointed but of course we understand the situation, and remain optimistic a new window will be found to play the series either at home or away" KNCB High Performance Manager Roland Lefebrve