"It's a dream come true" : Awais Zia

Saj

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The Pakistan squads announced for the four upcoming one day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals against England had a familiar ring to them. The vast majority of the successful Test squad were included together with the expected familiar group of short format specialists.

Batting all rounder Hammad Azam was recalled in place of the injured Abdul Razzaq and Shoaib Malik received a belated call up after the personal intervention of captain Misbah ul Haq, whilst Adnan Akmal is preferred over Sarfraz Ahmed behind the stumps.

The one new name however in the Twenty20 squad is 25 year old left handed batsmen Awais Zia who created quite an impression when he represented the Rawalpindi Rams in the Domestic Twenty20 tournament last year, helping them to the final, where they lost to Sialkot.

An innovative batsman who has a wide array of shots, Awais’ style of batting is ideally suited to the Twenty over format and he has a certain degree of unpredictability that can unsettle the opposition bowlers.

Speaking with PakPassion.net Awais spoke of his delight at being given the opportunity to represent his country and how much he was looking forward to meeting up with the rest of the Pakistan squad in the UAE.

“I’m absolutely delighted and I couldn’t believe it when I heard the news. I’m just raring to go now and to get to the UAE as soon as possible. I don’t leave until the 17th or 18th of February so it’s going to be a long few days until I leave and the excitement will really build up prior to my departure. I feel blessed to be given this opportunity and I will give my all when I get a chance.”

Zia’s cricketing journey began playing in the streets of his village (Bhown), before he made it to the local area team. The next step on his cricketing journey was playing for his school cricket team before playing club cricket in Chakwal. The coaches at his club in Chakwal were impressed and suggested to him that he attend the local cricketing trials where various coaches would be in attendance. He went along to the trials with some friends to see what the trials entailed, rather than with high hopes or a cricketing career in mind.

At the trials he was spotted by some Jhelum coaches and was asked to play for them. He accepted their offer without much hesitation and started playing for Jhelum district and then Grade 2 cricket, before finally getting a chance in first class cricket for Rawalpindi in 2007.

Zia added that his selection for Pakistan had proved to be very popular in the neighbouring towns and villages from his Chakwal home, but had proved to be a busy time for his family.

“My family were saying that since my name was announced in the Twenty20 squad the phone at home has not stopped and the house has been full with well wishers. It seems that all my friends and family and even some strangers from neighbouring towns and villages have come to visit our house to wish me well. It’s so nice of everyone to wish me well and if all the prayers are anything to go by then I should do well.”

“My aim is to make everyone proud and to do my best. It’s a dream come true for me as cricketers from all over the world dream of playing for their country and for me to be chosen in the squad is just fantastic. I really do feel honoured.”

“It's been a tough journey and there's been a lot of hard work and effort to reach this far. It's not been easy and there have been more downs than ups, but by the grace of the Almighty things are much better now. If you want to achieve something then you have to take the bad days with the good days. There were days however when I thought of giving up on cricket but then I thought why give up on my dream and give up what I really wanted to do.”

Whilst he has been called up only for the twenty over squad, there are many observers who feel that Zia can stake a claim in the one day side but he felt that it was all about just focussing on a good debut at this stage and added “Let’s take things one step at a time. Let’s try and perform well if given the chance in twenty over cricket and then take it from there. If the selectors feel that I deserve a chance in other formats then I am ready for that challenge too. The Asia Cup is a target so let’s see how things develop.”

The One Day international commence on Monday 13th February with the three Twenty20 internationals beginning on 23rd February in Dubai.
 
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“My family were saying that since my name was announced in the Twenty20 squad the phone at home has not stopped and the house has been full with well wishers. It seems that all my friends and family and even some strangers from neighbouring towns and villages have come to visit our house to wish me well. It’s so nice of everyone to wish me well and if all the prayers are anything to go by then I should do well.”

“My aim is to make everyone proud and to do my best. It’s a dream come true for me as cricketers from all over the world dream of playing for their country and for me to be chosen in the squad is just fantastic. I really do feel honoured.”
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I hope he doesn't let everyone down like the other fool from the village :amir.

Good Luck to General Awais Zia!
 
I like zia's goals... One step at a time......

Well deserved selection! Hope he performs good in the t20 games and keeps a spot in the team till the world t20.....

Even if (god forbid) zia fail's to deliver good, he should be proud of the fact that he was selected and given a chance against the World t20 champions :)
 
Great decision to pick Zia. Hope he delivers and makes himself permanent in LOI's, so that :farhat the legend can go home and spend some good time with his family.
 
Dear Awais Zia, Good luck!

And special thanks to Saj bhai for interviewing new talent... I have never seen his batting before, i am looking his videos on YouTube, if anybody has a video link of his batting, please post it here.

Thanks
 
Good luck to Awais..... hope he cements his place in the squad ...... and gets rid of Farhat!
 
Best of luck to him, he is an exciting prospect.
 
Best of luck I am really excited about his selection I hope he performs and make space for himself in other formats too best of luck.
 
I saw him in the T20 comp and he looked a good prospect. Clean hitter of the ball and hope he gets a chance in the T20s.
 
best of luck to Awais, if he bats and gets going the way he does in FBT20 then England are in for a very nasty surprise.

Boom Boom Awais! :zia
 
Just hope he plays in atleast one game and WE all allow him a mistake or 2.
 
Best of luck to Awais.. I hope he comes out good and don't go the way Imran Nazir & Ahmed Shehzad went
 
Make the most of it Zia.. He'll surely play in the T20's..
 
Dear Zia , i want to see you opening Innings for Pakistan in every T20i & ODI game , the way you start your innings & your aggression is just awesome , Best of Luck boy....
 
wish him luck but I doubt he will amount to much his batting basics are quite poor, tbf can give the ball a decent whack.
 
He should be better than Farhat at least! I want him to hit 3 half centuries so selectors pick him instead of Farhat in ODIs as well!
 
Always exciting to see young players coming in the side. Hope he does well. We have a T20 WC coming soon.
 
Best of luck to Awais, hope he does Chakwal and Pakistan proud.

Thanks for the interview btw.
 
this guy is aggressive. thats the kind of opener we need. if we cant have imran nazir i think Zia will do well. i really hope he gets to play though. i dont want this to be another hammad azam hype. inshAllah he sees this an opportunity to stick his foot in the door. make his way to the ODI side too! Go Zia, Make us Proud!
 
I wish him all the best. Hope he does well.

He should make the most of the opportunity that he has been given.
 
awais is a type of player that needs backing from his captain to play his natural game.

I some how doubt he is going to find that from mr tuk tuk.

all younger players tried in west indies series have been sidelined.

so much for future planning.
 
They should ask him to join the squad immediately and give him a chance in the final ODI instead of Farhat.
 
awais is a type of player that needs backing from his captain to play his natural game.

I some how doubt he is going to find that from mr tuk tuk.

all younger players tried in west indies series have been sidelined.

so much for future planning.

My worry is that he'll be brought into the side, asked to stop playing his shots, turned into a tuk tuk player and then he'll be dropped to bat at No 6/7 to be a slogger.

Need to let him play his natural game and give him a consistent run of matches.

Has a FC average of 38 which is decent. From what I've heard he is the kind of hard-hitting batsman we need at the top of the order to get us off to a flyer.
 
it's vital that he performs, farhat has absolutely no pressure on him and needs to be pushed to improve his game
 
That's what we needed, a player who can change the momentum and isn't afraid to take the game to the opposition.
 
Good shout in the OP

An innovative batsman who has a wide array of shots, Awais’ style of batting is ideally suited to the Twenty over format and he has a certain degree of unpredictability that can unsettle the opposition bowlers.
Speaking with PakPassion.net Awais spoke of his delight at being given the opportunity to represent his country and how much he was looking forward to meeting up with the rest of the Pakistan squad in the UAE.

“I’m absolutely delighted and I couldn’t believe it when I heard the news. I’m just raring to go now and to get to the UAE as soon as possible. I don’t leave until the 17th or 18th of February so it’s going to be a long few days until I leave and the excitement will really build up prior to my departure. I feel blessed to be given this opportunity and I will give my all when I get a chance.”
 
Who is your inspiration in cricket?
Shahid Afridi is my idol. I want to be like him. He is a dangerous and brave batsman who always inspires me. I admire his courage to hit the ball without being overwhelmed by the bowler he is facing. This is how a batsman should be. I have a similar instinct and the guts to hit the ball out of the ground, no matter who the bowler in front of me is. I think I need to work on my temperament by playing more first-class cricket to get myself refined for top cricket.

:)) Nuff said.
 
Who is your inspiration in cricket?
Shahid Afridi is my idol. I want to be like him. He is a dangerous and brave batsman who always inspires me. I admire his courage to hit the ball without being overwhelmed by the bowler he is facing. This is how a batsman should be. I have a similar instinct and the guts to hit the ball out of the ground, no matter who the bowler in front of me is. I think I need to work on my temperament by playing more first-class cricket to get myself refined for top cricket.

Nuff said.

You could become like Sehwag dont be like Afridi. Think before hitting.
 
Have never really been a fan of him but currently watching him play and he seems to have improved a lot. Playing some absolute delightful strokes. His shot selection has been really impressive. It is however against a poor attack and the test will come against the better ones, but so far so good for him.

Currently on 75*. Looks set for a t20 hundred.
 
would put him in same boat as shazaib and sharjeel, just a domestic cowlasher with very little technic and someone who wont ever sucseed at international level.
 
would put him in same boat as shazaib and sharjeel, just a domestic cowlasher with very little technic and someone who wont ever sucseed at international level.

Shahzaib has a better ODI record. Why do people turn blind to it? :facepalm:.
 
would put him in same boat as shazaib and sharjeel, just a domestic cowlasher with very little technic and someone who wont ever sucseed at international level.

This.I hope he isn't recalled to the team based on this.Domestic poor attack bully.
 
Well he remains one of the better has beens but who knows down the line when he can reverse his fortunes and show up in Pak colours?
 
Looked like a proper hack last time he played so don't expect that to change but will see.
 
its a nightmare for us mate....the lad is leg side slogger, wont last.

If off-stump fishermen :farhat :malik can last decades, what's wrong with giving a few chances to leg-side sloggers?
 
I remember him. No offense but he looked terrible. He looked like he was trying too hard to be Shahid Afridi, which not saying much.
 
Why do you need to idolize a player with an average of 24 in ODIs? It's better to be yourself rather than becoming a joker
 
I agree with the comments that last time he looked like a leg-side slogger, more of a tape ball cricketer. There is one thing though. He did seem like a sweet timer of the ball and hitting over the top came naturally to him. Unlike Hafeez and co., Awais Zia did not have to change his style of play to hit over the top. Based on this, if he has improved his game since last time, then it is worth giving him a chance. Also, our domestic cricket does not have proper coaching or structure, so if a guy is talented he needs to travel with the team for a few tours to get the coaches attention and develop his game.

At times some of the naturally gifted players need to get picked and given a few chances at international level before they become successful. Look at the example of Matthew Hayde. He first made is debut in '94 then got dropped, got picked again at the end of '96-'97 and played a few Tests and got dropped again. Then finally he got picked in 2000 and the rest is history. So Awais Zia also deserves another chance. Not saying that every player is like Hayden, there are examples of players like Imran Nazir also, who got tons of chances but never established themselves, but a player should not be written off so soon.

Also, I rememebr in one of the T'20's Awais Zia was playing well and scored 25 something when he was given out LBW off Swann when the ball had pitched outside Leg Stump. So I feel he does deserve a chance. And compared to Nasir Jamshed and Sharjeel, Awais is a lot better fielder with a strong throw. Hopefully he scores some runs and avails this opportunity.
 
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remember him being good against fast bowlers but he was having difficulty picking the slower one. Guy is a clean hitter though , timing was pretty good too last time i saw him play.
 
Haha he was declared the worst batsman ever by our ICF friends


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If off-stump fishermen :farhat :malik can last decades, what's wrong with giving a few chances to leg-side sloggers?

mostly because two wrongs dont make a right..... he has a list a average of 26....the other two had better numbers at least
 
Awful cameo from him.

Seems like he hasn't changed at all, leaden footed, trying to blast everything, no strike rotation.
 
Just as bad as last time, if this is the standard of batsman we have domestically than we are in serious trouble.
 
You have lived your dream, now please go back to domestic cricket. Can't believe players like him are prefered over fawad alam.
 
But then, what's his fault - Head Coach was impressed with him recently. Should we question Head Coach's integrity or competence then?
 
But then, what's his fault - Head Coach was impressed with him recently. Should we question Head Coach's integrity or competence then?
Head coach needs his head examined. Waqar is/was an incompetent captain/coach.
 
Head coach needs his head examined. Waqar is/was an incompetent captain/coach.

But, but he is one of the all time greatest fast bowler, whereas Woolmer played only 15 Tests, Dav only 7 (that to for a Packer reject AUS) & Graham Ford/D Fletcher not even a single Test.
 
Didn't watch him in today's match.

Just checked out a video of him on Youtube

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/tMMaqcgYnGc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Oh my.

:)))

This is taking hacking to a whole new level.

Literally laughed when he played a couple of shots. Especially the one at 3:05

What was that all about?

[MENTION=136108]Donal Cozzie[/MENTION]
 
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dream come true for awais. nightmare come true for Pakistan team well wishers
 
I think to get the best out of him, we should appoint him our test captain. Responsibility will mature him in no time, and if it pays off, we'll have our next Afridi!
 
Didn't watch him in today's match.

Just checked out a video of him on Youtube

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/tMMaqcgYnGc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Oh my.

:)))

This is taking hacking to a whole new level.

Literally laughed when he played a couple of shots. Especially the one at 3:05

What was that all about?

[MENTION=136108]Donal Cozzie[/MENTION]

No words :)))

I've been playing cricket for about 3 weeks and even I find that footwork embarrassing. He just stood still and slashed at everything lol.

What are his domestic stats like??. How has he made it to this level :))
 
Afridi's chela will be discarded now. Bad news for him Pakistan wont tolerate another Afridi.
 
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