"Ultimately I want to play for Pakistan in all three formats" : Raza Hasan

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21 year old Sialkot born left arm spinner Raza Hasan was earmarked as a bowler with a bright future right from the beginning of his career. A bowler with a variety of tricks, Raza has however only managed to make seven appearances for Pakistan despite impressive performances particularly for his domestic sides Rawalpindi Rams and of late the Sialkot Stallions.

Having impressed at the World T20 in Sri Lanka in 2012, Hasan has had a year to forget after suffering a spine injury at the end of last year which limited his domestic appearances as well as ensuring that he didn't appear in the green of Pakistan at all this year.

Now rejuvenated and having recovered from the disc injury, Hasan spoke with PakPassion.net about his career so far, the frustration of suffering a serious injury, suggestions that he can only be successful in the twenty over format and his ambitions to play for Pakistan in all formats in future.


PakPassion.Net: It’s been four years since your first class debut, how do you feel those four years have gone?

Raza Hasan: First and foremost those four years have gone very quickly, it only seems like yesterday when I was making my first class debut and dreaming of a successful career. There have obviously been some ups and downs but overall I think things have generally gone well. Whenever I have had the chance to play for my country I feel I have performed adequately and not let anyone down.

Injuries have hampered me particularly the back injury that I suffered around a year ago, but injuries are part and parcel of professional sport so I have to just accept that there may be times when I am unable to take the field due to injury.


PakPassion.Net: Surely you must have thought though that you’d have made more than seven international appearances by now?

Raza Hasan: I honestly did not set myself any goals or targets regarding international appearances. Initially I just wanted to regularly play first class cricket and establish myself in domestic cricket then take it from there. If an international call up came, then brilliant, if it didn’t then so be it.

But having played for Pakistan seven times now, yes there is an element of wishing I had played more than I have, but I prefer to look ahead rather than looking back and worrying about only seven international appearances. At the end of the day many cricketers don’t get the chance to play for their country, at least I can say at such a young age I have already featured on seven occasions.


PakPassion.Net: Last October you took 2 for 14 from four overs against Australia, many thought that would be the start of a long and fruitful international career for you, but that hasn’t materialised, why do you think that is?

Raza Hasan: Yes that was a very enjoyable match, I bowled well and Pakistan won. I took the important wickets of Watson and Maxwell and we comfortably won by 32 runs. Things went well for me that day in Colombo at the World T20 and I had a feeling that could have been the time when I establish myself in international cricket in the twenty over format.

Why that hasn’t happened is largely down to a slight loss of form and a spine injury that really set my career back at such a crucial juncture. It’s impossible to know what’s going to occur in the future and one shouldn't make any assumptions, but I’ve definitely had my share of bad luck particularly with injuries.


PakPassion.Net: Have you fully recovered from the back injury or is it one that will continue to trouble you from time to time?

Raza Hasan: I’ve fully recovered from the back injury. The recovery period was difficult as I had to be patient and it was frustrating as I just wanted to get out there and bowl in the nets and play, but the medics advised me that I needed to recover fully and strengthen the problem area before even attempting to bowl. I’m not the best at when it comes to being patient with injuries and biding my time with the rehabilitation process, but I had to be very careful with this injury as it was a serious one.


PakPassion.Net: There were rumours that your career was at stake due to the back injury, is that accurate and also there were some reports that the injury was down to a lack of training and gym work on your part?

Raza Hasan: People have the tendency to exaggerate and there was no question at all of my career ever being at stake! I injured a disc in my spine in a domestic Twenty20 game last December and eventually I underwent surgery, performed by a neurosurgeon. It was an injury that could happen to any cricketer and the stories that it was down to my lack of training were inaccurate. Perhaps I could have informed the medical team that I wasn’t feeling 100% fit earlier than I did, but at that time I thought it was just a niggle rather than anything serious.


PakPassion.Net: You are being labelled by some as a T20 specialist, is that an accurate assessment?

Raza Hasan: No I don’t think that is an accurate assessment. In domestic cricket my record is consistent in all formats and whenever I’ve had the chance to play four day or one day cricket I have performed well. Just because I have only played international cricket in the twenty over format doesn’t mean that I am a specialist in that format. It’s all about opportunities and making the most of those opportunities irrespective of the format.

The reason why some think of me as a Twenty20 specialist is probably because my best performances have been in this format, but I think it's wrong to just label me as a bowler who can take wickets just in twenty over cricket.


PakPassion.Net:You’ve dropped down the pecking order in terms of left arm spinners in Pakistan with Abdur Rehman and Zulfiqar Babar the first picks. Does that concern you?

Raza Hasan: I don’t see Abdur Rehman and Zulfiqar Babar as competition or a threat to me. I don’t see myself as competing against anyone, what matters to me, are my own performances and what I do on the field and impressing the selectors. Rehman and Babar are both excellent spinners in their own right and whenever I see them we always discuss tactics and technical aspects of cricket which benefit us all.

There’s obviously a professional rivalry which is only natural but both are senior cricketers and have been playing cricket for many years and as a young spinner I can only learn from them. I think sometimes people forget that I have only been playing first class cricket for a few years and expectations can sometimes be a bit too high from some.


PakPassion.Net: As a former Under 19 cricketer yourself, the current crop of Under 19s are performing really well. What advice would you offer them to make the smooth transition from Under 19 cricket to domestic cricket and ultimately to international cricket?

Raza Hasan: Yes the current crop of Under 19s seem to be a very talented bunch who have performed very well of late. Some of them are even performing very well in domestic cricket despite their inexperience. Sami Aslam the under 19 captain is a team mate of mine at National Bank and he looks to have all the skills to be an international cricketer in future.

My advice to all of the Under 19s as a former Under 19 cricketer myself would be to not underestimate the huge gap between Under 19 cricket then domestic cricket and subsequently international cricket. The gap is a huge one and requires a lot of dedication and hard work. Just because you are successful in Under 19 cricket does not necessarily mean that you will be a force in international cricket and that is an important message that all of our Under 19 cricketers need to understand.


PakPassion.Net: You’ve not featured in NBP’s last two four day matches, why is that?

Raza Hasan: Squad rotation and the pitches are the only reasons. Teams in domestic cricket, particularly the departments have big squads and the rotation of players is something that you just have to accept. Also the final eleven is picked after looking at the surface and many of the pitches these days especially at this time of the year favour the pace bowlers so it’s not always easy for the spinners to make the starting eleven.


PakPassion.Net: Looking ahead, realistically what are your short term and long term plans?

Raza Hasan: Short term, I want to re-establish myself in the National Bank starting eleven and to enjoy a fruitful and successful domestic season in all formats. I want to lose that tag of being a twenty over specialist and to prove to everyone that I have the ability and skills to perform in all of the formats.

2013 was a frustrating year at times for me and it's not a year that I will look back on as one that I will remember with fond memories. However it's all part of the learning process and even though I didn't play any international cricket in 2013, I still feel that I have improved as a cricketer during this year.

Longer term, the aim is to get my place back in the Pakistan line up, if that means starting off in the twenty over format, then so be it. Ultimately I want to play for Pakistan in all three formats. I know that is a tough ask, particularly when I am up against some high quality spinners in Pakistan but I am young and know that time is on my side and that if given a suitable chance then I can perform in every format for Pakistan.

Raza_Hasan.jpeg
 
Great interview. Thanks Saj bhai. Wish him the best of luck and hope to see him in green soon, In sha Allah.
 
Curious about that cool-looking scar on his forehead. Harry Potter?
 
It is an absolute joke that selectors have not given him a run in the team, he as our best bowler in that T20 world cup in Sri Lanka
 
a lot of high quality left-arm spinners going around these days, wish him the best and hope he can reclaim his spot in the side soon.
 
He's not been flavour of the month with the PCB lately which is unfortunate and a bit unfair.

He's no longer a contracted player and hasn't been selected for any squads. It's mainly due to his injury and when he started playing again. PCB felt he was unfit, yet he thought he was ok to play.
 
How did he get a back injury being a spinner in the first place?
 
How did he get a back injury being a spinner in the first place?

anyone can get a back injury. I know a guy who is 6'4", strong like a bull and got it... it hurts bad and you need to work hard to overcome.
 
Nice interview. All the best and he needs to work hard for that precious spinner spot
 
what happened to this guy disgusting how he has been on the sidelines after an amazing world cup , He is the best spin bowler in the country after the magician ajmal
 
Got a 6 wicket haul today in List-A game. Also Sadaf Hussain got a 5 wicket haul. And Ehsan Adil a 4 wicket haul.
 
I am surprised the interviewer did not ask about his batting ability !!! i was looking for a question on his batting and how serious he takes his batting.
 
I am surprised the interviewer did not ask about his batting ability !!! i was looking for a question on his batting and how serious he takes his batting.

He's known for his bowling.

He's someone who knows he needs to work on his batting which has improved in recent times.
 
He's known for his bowling.

He's someone who knows he needs to work on his batting which has improved in recent times.

Yes.

He does have a first-class 50 against England to his name which is a terrific achievement.
 
hes young and hes getting better. taking age into consideration with ajmal and rehman/baber, im sure he will get a call up soon. i like his attitude, he wants to get selected on merit, he wants to establish himself at domestic first. smart.

one for the future i hope
 
He is a great talent but needs to work on his batting. It's tough to break it into any top ODI side as just a left arm spinner, unless he wants to be another Rehman down the road and just play dead rubbers.
 
Raza may still be left lingering in domestic cricket for the foresseable future, espoecially with Rehman and Babar around and in favour with the selectors.

Too good a talent to be ignored is Raza.
 
He scored a 50 in the recently concluded match. He needs to improve his batting and play more innings like that to reduce the gap between him and gohar
 
Where is this guy? WHERE IS THIS GUY?! Bring him to me now. Now. NOW :ajmal
 
Huge opportunity for Raza with Saeed Ajmal absent.

For so long he's been regarded as a limited overs bowler, but he could now find himself in favour for the 5 day format too.
 
When I saw the lad in the U19 WC in NZ I was excited about him as the Indians are about Yadav but for what ever reason he seems to have the lost the ability to spin the ball like he did when he was younger. I hope this is a temporary blip in form and not the permanent state from now on. I hope we don't waste our once in a generation talent.
 
I expect fitness issues to crop up at some stage on this tour.
 
Playing for NBP in QEA

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">On his return to cricket after a 2 year ban, Raza Hasan has taken 4-112 for National Bank of Pakistan against Faisalabad <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cricket?src=hash">#Cricket</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/QeATrophy?src=hash">#QeATrophy</a></p>— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) <a href="https://twitter.com/Saj_PakPassion/status/913098619359817728">September 27, 2017</a></blockquote>
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I remember the maiden he bowled to Gambhit in T20WC. Wasted himself, such a shame
 
and the Watson wicket..
Imad Wasim is the no 1 t20 bowler in world while Raza who is much superior to him wasted himelf. A shame really.

If reports are anything to go by, Imad is busying himself with his own extra-curricular activities. :))
 
Came back with a nice performance 8-76 in 2nd innings to bowl his side to a win maybe the break helped him.
 
[MENTION=79064]MMHS[/MENTION]<,guy is back with a bang..nawaz must be feeling insecured now in t20 and asghar as well...
 
Good stuff. Quality bowler, hope he manages to break in to the national side soon.
 
[MENTION=79064]MMHS[/MENTION]<,guy is back with a bang..nawaz must be feeling insecured now in t20 and asghar as well...

He is still the best SLAO spinner in PAK, could have been in world by now & I am not exaggerating. He is the first left-arm spinner with a legitimate Doosra that I saw, which actually is far more deadly than armer, because it comes floating (not with arm, so difficult to identify). And, he is far better batsman than No. 10.

I was really surprised to know about his bad habits - that's probably for bad company; but more surprised to know that he is a Hafeez E Al Quran ....... that's probably for imposing religion, instead of teaching the spirit of it first.
 
He is still the best SLAO spinner in PAK, could have been in world by now & I am not exaggerating. He is the first left-arm spinner with a legitimate Doosra that I saw, which actually is far more deadly than armer, because it comes floating (not with arm, so difficult to identify). And, he is far better batsman than No. 10.

I was really surprised to know about his bad habits - that's probably for bad company; but more surprised to know that he is a Hafeez E Al Quran ....... that's probably for imposing religion, instead of teaching the spirit of it first.

He is the nicest guy one can meet. But yes he was into drugs and had bad company.
Also a very capable bat, team player and a fighter.
 
For, this one player I'll have to put the blame on Misbah. I believe, he was a regular member of PAK team by OCT 2012 (T20 WC) and one of the best bowlers around. I understand emergence of Rehman didn't help him, but after Rehman - why Zulfi Babar, why wasn't Hasan?
 
A leg spinner and a left armer is a decent combination in UAE if they bowl well in tandem.
 
Raza Hasan with 52 in the second innings today, albeit in a losing cause. Looks like he is getting runs along with wickets after almost 3 years out. Must have been working hard in his time away from the game.

Looks like Imad Wasim's place may not be guaranteed in the future if Raza keeps these performances up
 
Raza Hasan with 52 in the second innings today, albeit in a losing cause. Looks like he is getting runs along with wickets after almost 3 years out. Must have been working hard in his time away from the game.

Looks like Imad Wasim's place may not be guaranteed in the future if Raza keeps these performances up

and 4 wickets in the first innings as well boy is back with a bang...on the ther hand imad has been ordinary in FC so far..
 
Raza Hasan with 52 in the second innings today, albeit in a losing cause. Looks like he is getting runs along with wickets after almost 3 years out. Must have been working hard in his time away from the game.

Looks like Imad Wasim's place may not be guaranteed in the future if Raza keeps these performances up

Imad has become complacent and is taking his place for granted. Some competition will do him good.
 
He will be in the national team in 2 yrs time. He will soon overtake Asghar in the pecking order and might displace Imad from ODIs too as his batting is mediocre at best.
 
He is still the best SLAO spinner in PAK, could have been in world by now & I am not exaggerating. He is the first left-arm spinner with a legitimate Doosra that I saw, which actually is far more deadly than armer, because it comes floating (not with arm, so difficult to identify). And, he is far better batsman than No. 10.

I was really surprised to know about his bad habits - that's probably for bad company; but more surprised to know that he is a Hafeez E Al Quran ....... that's probably for imposing religion, instead of teaching the spirit of it first.

I rate Zafar a little higher than raza. Raza's strength was the ability to turn the ball at close to 95 kph which made him lethal but such spinners are either chuckers or end up suffering back injuries like raza did. On the other hand, Zafar is a classic SLA who flights the ball and spins it hard. I think he should play regularly for Pakistan. No idea why he fell out of favour after series against England
 
I rate Zafar a little higher than raza. Raza's strength was the ability to turn the ball at close to 95 kph which made him lethal but such spinners are either chuckers or end up suffering back injuries like raza did. On the other hand, Zafar is a classic SLA who flights the ball and spins it hard. I think he should play regularly for Pakistan. No idea why he fell out of favour after series against England

On Abu Dhabi type wicket, RH will kill many modern sides, because he can turn on pace on such wicket. Gohar was another wasted talent from that cursed era, otherwise kid was indeed a great potential and he could bat.
 
Imad has become complacent and is taking his place for granted. Some competition will do him good.

Tbh don't see why both can't play. Imad plays every match, and Raza can be played in case the pitch supports spinners.

A bowling lineup looking like:

Flat/Normal wicket:
Amir
Junaid
Hasan
Imad
Shadab

Seam/Swing wicket:
Amir
Junaid
Hasan
Fahim
Imad

Spinning wicket:
Amir
Imad
Hasan
Shadab
Raza
 
Raza Hasan with 52 in the second innings today, albeit in a losing cause. Looks like he is getting runs along with wickets after almost 3 years out. Must have been working hard in his time away from the game.

Looks like Imad Wasim's place may not be guaranteed in the future if Raza keeps these performances up

If he continues performing well in FC this season,he should be considered for A tours.
 
If he continues performing well in FC this season,he should be considered for A tours.

I reckon he can get back into the Pakistan national team quickly, don't think he needs A team experience as he has already got experience playing for Pakistan
 
Amongst the leading wicket-takers in the QEA.

Talent has never been in question, attitude and discipline are however a different matter.
 
23 wickets so far including 6 today! amazing.
 
23 wickets so far including 6 today! amazing.

This is great, always knew that he was skilled. I remember he was having back issues before being banned. The ban could have been a blessing in disguise for him if he used the time out of the game wisely.

Hopefully, during this off period he worked out flaws he had if I remember correctly he had to change his action because of back injuries and that affected his bowling in a big way. If he has corrected these flaws, he will be a huge asset to the team. These pitches in domestic aren't really spin friendly so tells you a lot about the skill he possesses.
 
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">2 years out of the game. What an impressive comeback by Raza Hasan:<br>23 wickets in 3 matches at an average of 18.82<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Cricket?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Cricket</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/QeATrophy?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#QeATrophy</a></p>— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) <a href="https://twitter.com/Saj_PakPassion/status/918169433654415365?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 11, 2017</a></blockquote>
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Most important thing is these are not quick bucks - in PAK domestics, some of the matches are being played on shockers where 5/6 wickets in 12-13 overs is quite common.

But, this guy is actually getting wickets with 35-40 overs bowling on decent wickets, which is the key for developing spinners.

Outstanding prospect, should bat at 6 for domestic teams & must be 1st choice for next series, even for ODI in NZ. He is at perfect age for a 10-12 years career.
 
Seems as though he hasn't lost a step whilst he was banned. Has had some impressive figures. If he keeps up these performances it won't be long before he is recalled.

Yasir and Raza in UAE would be a handful for opposition line up. We need another spinner to support Yasir in tests and also to provide some competition for overseas tours. Raza is putting himself in contention for selection.
 
Averages 20 with the bat so far if he improves it to 25-30+ then he can be a bowling all rounder which is what's needed in UAE.
 
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