The rising star, Abdullah Shafique
The centurion from the Galle Test, Abdullah Shafique, is from Sialkot, a place well recognised for manufacturing and exporting sporting products. His father, Shafiq Ahmed, played in 26 first-class cricket games as a former first-class player. At the Amir Waseem Cricket Academy in Sialkot, the opening batter played club cricket before moving up to the highest tier of domestic cricket by representing Sialkot Region at the U16 and U19 levels.
He was chosen for two ACC U19 Asia Cups in 2016 and 2017. And also Pakistan U19 tour of Sri Lanka in October 2015. The batter did not perform well in the U19 tournaments, managing only 63 runs from seven games.
A new wave
2019’s implementation of the new domestic framework resulted in a new opportunity for Abdullah. The right-handed batter was chosen for Central Punjab Second XI on the recommendation of a three-member independent panel. The panel was made up of former Test cricketers Misbah-ul-Haq, Nadeem Khan, and Rashid Latif.
They were tasked with reviewing and finalising the six cricket association sides after initially being passed over for selection in the first XI and Second XI sides.
In the three-day Second XI competition in the 2019–20 season, Abdullah took advantage of the chance and amassed two centuries and a half-century to record 545 runs in six games at an average of 68.13.
When Abdullah Shafique started playing cricket?
His impressive performance won him a berth in Central Punjab’s illustrious First XI, and Abdullah made sure he stole the show by scoring 133 off 209 balls in his first-class debut in December 2019. At the Multan Cricket Stadium on September 30, 2020, Abdullah made his first T20 appearance and hit 11 fours and four sixes on his way to a sensational 102 not out off 58 balls against Southern Punjab.
The PSL journey
Abdullah was the first player selected by Multan Sultans in the 2018 HBL PSL Players Draft, however he did not play in any games that year. Abdullah ultimately played in the PSL for the first time in 2022 with the Lahore Qalandars, scoring 251 runs in 11 games.
Success and more success
In a T20I series against Zimbabwe in November 2020, the 22-year-old made his debut for his country. However, he rose to fame in the Test format. Since making his Test debut against Bangladesh in 2021, Abdullah has not looked back. With 720 runs after six Tests, he has surpassed the legendary Javed Miandad in terms of runs scored by a Pakistani hitter. He has played in six Test matches. And his performance is commendable!
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