The Talent Spotter : Ali Waqas

Saj

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Full name : Ali Waqas

Born : December 26, 1989, Sargodha, Punjab

Current age : 22 years 357 days

Major teams : Faisalabad Wolves, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited

Batting style : Left-hand bat

Bowling style : Right-arm off break


Getting into Cricket

I've always enjoyed watching cricket right from an early age. In Pakistan cricket is a passion so there is no way to avoid the game.

At first I was playing cricket on a casual basis with friends on the streets of my home city of Sargodha. It was my cousin who played local club cricket suggested to me that rather than just playing on the streets with friends, I should take my cricket more seriously and join a cricket club.

I took on board my cousin's advice and started playing club cricket in order to organise my game a whole lot better than it was and to have some structure to my cricket.


Regional Under 19s

All my Under 19 and regional cricket has been for the Faisalabad region. I had quite a lot of success in club cricket in Sargodha and it was suggested to me to try my luck at the Under 19 trials in Faisalabad.

The coaches present at the trials were Tanvir Shaukhat and Wasim Haider the 1992 world cup winner. As you can imagine there were a lot of cricketers there and as luck would have it, I was spotted whilst batting and the coaches were very helpful right from the start.

Right from those trials my coaches at Faisalabad have been very supportive. As soon as they saw me batting they said that I had a lot of ability and that I should think positive, play positively and aim for the top. I've always appreciated the work and effort they put into my batting.


Pakistan Under 19s

Even though I had not yet played for Faisalabad region under 19s I was selected for Pakistan's under 19s in 2007. Trials were held for the Pakistan under 19s and six players from each region were asked to attend.

Iqbal Qasim who is now the chief selector was in charge of selecting the Pakistan under 19 squad at the time was selecting the squad for a home series against India. I was selected as part of the squad against India but never played a match against opponents that included Piyush Chawla, Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma.


SNGPL

I was spotted by the SNGPL coaches when I was invited to play a one day match for them. Some of their players were out of form and they asked a few boys from the Faisalabad region to play for them. Misbah ul Haq was the captain and I did reasonably well in that match.

It was a slice of luck and a break that literally came by chance and I was lucky enough to perform well in front of Misbah ul Haq and the other SNGPL players and coaching staff.

I had planned to continue playing for Faisalabad region for at least the rest of the season but after playing the match for SNGPL, Mohammad Hafeez approached my club cricket coach Aftab Ahmed and suggested that I should play for SNGPL in first class cricket as soon as possible.

After such an exciting opportunity came my way, I decided that after the end of 2008 I would join SNGPL, after completing the season with the Faisalabad region.


First Season Struggles

In my first season of domestic cricket for SNGPL I really struggled. Perhaps it was down to the fact that I had not played a lot of cricket before SNGPL signed me and things had moved so quickly in my career. I realised that I had a lot of work to do. I had been successful in regional cricket and club cricket and junior cricket but this was something new for me. I wasn't used to struggling with my form and confidence. But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it made me work even harder and look to improve my game as a whole.


Batting Style

I tend to focus on playing in the V. It was taught to me at an early age that the straighter you play, the better chance you have of succeeding.

My philosophy is that by playing straight it means that you have less chance of being dismissed. It's a simple yet effective method and one that works for me.


Batting Position

I started as an opening batsman, but I'm now batting at the number three or four position these days. I'm flexible when it comes to my batting position and it's down to whatever the team requires.


Season by Season Improvements

After my first season struggles, I have improved each season. This season is my fourth season in first class cricket and it has been my best season. I feel that I am a more mature cricketer nowadays having the experience of several seasons of first class cricket behind me.


President's Trophy 2012

This season I was third highest runscorer in the President's Trophy with more than 600 runs and that was really pleasing as all the top players were taking part in that tournament and that has been a huge boost to my confidence.

The performance in the President's Trophy is something that I can take forward with me, build upon for the future and use to my advantage.

I went into the season with a positive mindset. My coaches have told me not to think about failure and that was great advice. So I just went into the President's Trophy with a positive attitude and not thinking at all about failure and it worked.

Our team had a number of international players, Misbah ul Haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Umar Akmal, Azhar Ali, Taufeeq Umar so I wasn't even sure whether I was going to make the starting line up. But then as my chance came I settled in and performed well, working with the international batsmen in our squad.

At times I was lucky enough to be the batsman who made runs when our star performers failed. The standard of bowlers in the tournament was very high. All of the current international bowlers were playing, as well as former international players so doing well in this tournament has been a massive boost.

The ball was really seaming around throughout this tournament and the conditions really favoured the quick bowlers, but I've been very pleased with my performance this season.


Role Models

There are only two role models for me and those are two wonderful individuals Mohammad Hafeez and Misbah ul Haq. I cannot praise them enough for the help and guidance they have given me both on and off the cricket field.

They are both fantastic cricketers, but not only that, they are great human beings too.


Away from Cricket

Iin between playing first class cricket and practising, I have completed a Masters in Political Science. I always wanted to study, yet wanted to play cricket at the highest level too, so I did the Masters on a part time basis as and when time permitted.

It's something that I am very proud of and who knows maybe after my cricket career is over I can utilise.


Future Aspirations

My thinking has always been to play cricket well. Do not go through the motions. It is a privilege to play cricket at the highest level in your country, make the most of it.

Cricket is my career not a job that I want to do just for a few years. I want to do my utmost in domestic cricket and then God willing I want to play for Pakistan for many years. That is my ambition.
 
Any footage? I'm quite excited by our future batting prospects, a lot of competion building up with the likes of Azhar Ali, Harris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal and this guy! What's his batting like?is he naturally gifted with all the shots in the book or is he more of a gritty player? Does he also have the temperement to bat long or is he more suited to the shorter fomats?
 
From what I saw of him in the recent domestic t20 looks a real prospect. Tall probably 6'1"/6'2", left hander, plays in the V, good timer and does pack a punch.
On a separate note he turns 23 on Boxing Day (26/12) this year and has already completed his Masters!! Guys tell who live or know the educational system in Pakistan is it possible to do your Masters before your 23rd birthday? Anyone know if he completed this year or?
 
From what I saw of him in the recent domestic t20 looks a real prospect. Tall probably 6'1"/6'2", left hander, plays in the V, good timer and does pack a punch.
On a separate note he turns 23 on Boxing Day (26/12) this year and has already completed his Masters!! Guys tell who live or know the educational system in Pakistan is it possible to do your Masters before your 23rd birthday? Anyone know if he completed this year or?



You do your matriculation (10th grade) at 16 years of age...some can start early or get double promotions in a class or two and finish by 14-15 years of age.

Two more years for Intermediate degree and another two for Bachelor's degree. Even for a kid who finishes high school (Matriculation) at 16, can easily finish Master's degree by his 22nd year. Very much doable for a 23 year old

I am very impressed by what I have read about him except Mr. Hafeez being one of his idols
 
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He performed well for SNGPL in the recently concluded President's Trophy, but to be honest, there's no place for him in Pakistan's test side at the moment. Even after Misbah and Younus retire, we have the likes of Haris Sohail, Umar Amin, and Umar Akmal on the waiting list. Could be a long time until Waqas gets a call-up.
 
Watched a bit of his batting in the FBT20 and looked very correct and compact.

He speaks very well of course and has a real drive and desire to succeed.

Difficult of course to know how his future will develop but Iqbal Qasim is aware of him and third highest run scorer in the Presidents Trophy cannot be sniffed at.
 
I created a thread on him during the FBT20. Really impressed with his technique, plays straight and some of his sixes were amazing, seems like a strong lad. Looking forward to see his progress.
And thanks for the interview Saj bhai.
 
Best of luck to Ali in the upcoming QEA Trophy and beyond.
 
Really pleased for him today. A fine innings in the Prsidents Trophy final.
 
We need A tours to develop young players like Ali Waqas,Naveed Yasin, Umar Waheed,Umar Amin and Sami Aslam.
 
We need A tours to develop young players like Ali Waqas,Naveed Yasin, Umar Waheed,Umar Amin and Sami Aslam.

Never a truer word said on PakPassion.

Not only the above, but the likes of Babar Azam, Zia ul Haq, Mohammad Rizwan, Shoaib Minhas etc
 
We as fans can see that but the people charged with developing our cricket have absolutely no interest in developing the national team into a world beater. Its not rocket science to see that talent is being wasted, which with more care could catapult us into the worlds best team.
 
Ali Waqas: The anchor-in-waiting?

Surprisingly haven't seen a thread for this fellow. Looks extremely talented to me, looks like a level headed guy, he knows how to pace an innings, he knows how to accelerate, looks like an equally good player of pace and spin and has managed to sustain a decent technique. I truly think Pakistan (atleast in ODI's) could use somebody like him in the middle order particularly given Younis Khan's torturous knack of getting 29 of 59 and throwing it away repeatedly. There's alot of talk about Haris Sohail and Umar Amin and even Sohaib Maqsood now, not as much about this guy, which is sad given even Umar Akmal and Asad Shafiq can't seem to find a place in the starting XI.

Anybody else see a future in this guy?
 
Sorry, only players older than 30 years allowed in Pakistan starting XI.

That's the new selection criteria under Misbah unfortunately. This all comes down to player power. It is good when you have someone like Imran Khan and Wasim Akram at the helm, but when you have Misbah then this happens. His buddies who are close to his age are brought on and everyone else ousted.

It wouldn't surprise me if Umar Akmal is dropped all together along with Harris sohail without even giving them a chance.
 
A least get umar akmal and haris sohail into the side first, that seems impossible as it is
 
Harris sohail should be given few chances first.. How many potential vacancies are there in the team (ODIs).. Misbah, younis and afridi can play 2 more years at the most although it would be great if they retire right now. Which means 3 players can get a chance. Umar akmal can be one of them. Asad shafiq, harris sohail are front runners for the other 2.. then there are a whole lot of other guys who are waiting and ali waqas is one of them.
 
If younus khan was as good as a team man everyone says he is he would no he is hurtin the team immensely with his presence and would retire from Odis
 
Ali Waqas has been playing with Misbah for Faisalabad for a while, seems like one of his buddies, surely that's gotta count?
 
Watching him bat right now and he has looked very very good. His timing has been impeccable through out the innings and he looks like he has the ability to hit at a run a ball consistently. Hope he keeps on improving.
 
he's a good, technically correct batsman & has been doing well at the top of the order, could be an option for Test matches in the future.
 
he's a good, technically correct batsman & has been doing well at the top of the order, could be an option for Test matches in the future.

What is top order according to you? He has been playing at number 4 and sometimes at number 3 in FC cricket.
 
Batting positions 1 to 3.

He batted at #5 in FC this season. He batted at #3 twice in his 21 innings and failed miserably there. I do not know how people can assume that he will do well at the top order in test cricket when he's playing in the middle order in domestic. I suggest them to have a check on facts and figures first.
 
Nice to know about his successful surgery but as far as his batting credentials are concerned, I dont rate him that high.
 
Nice to know about his successful surgery but as far as his batting credentials are concerned, I dont rate him that high.

Technically very inept.

1. Serious Lbw candidate

2. Cannot play through the offside with that angled bat coming through gully.

Hope he recovers fully. Aameen.
 
He's finally back in action after a kidney transplant!

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Allhamdulilah Feels better to be back into my passion ..thanks Allah &#55357;&#56898;&#55357;&#56898; <a href="https://t.co/aUFXlbxQmE">pic.twitter.com/aUFXlbxQmE</a></p>— Ali Waqas (@AliWaqas235) <a href="https://twitter.com/AliWaqas235/status/918437484765343744?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 12, 2017</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
 
Day 1, Round 3, QeA20:

Ali Waqas, who was promoted to Balochistan’s First XI team, top-scored with 75. The 30-year-old faced 188 balls, nine of which were dispatched to boundary. This was his 24th half-century.


<div style="width: 100%; height: 0px; position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.250%;"><iframe src="https://streamable.com/e/g3zdz6" frameborder="0" width="100%" height="100%" allowfullscreen style="width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;"></iframe></div>
 
Ali Waqas 52 for Balochistan vs Northern on Day 1 of Round 4 of QeA20
 
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