There’s no dearth of talent in Pakistan. Especially when it comes to fast bowling talents, the country produces gems after gems. From the incredible pace of Fazal Mahmood to the reverse swinging Yorkers of Sarfraz Nawaz, Pakistan saw a complete legacy of fast bowling developing over a few decades.
When we look at the current setup of Pakistan cricket, we see many young and budding fast bowlers like Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Musa and Mohammad Hasnain as well. However, all of these above-mentioned players came through a proper system of cricket and they are now representing Pakistan in one format or the other.
But today, we’re going to talk about Haris Rauf, a product of a Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise. We always talk about the Lahore Qalandars and their poor performances in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) but nobody can deny the fact that the emergence of Haris Rauf is purely because of the players’ development program (PDP) launched by the Lahore Qalandars a few years back.
Before his trials with Lahore Qalandars, Haris was only playing tape-ball cricket in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. He was sure of his talent and he decided to go for the trials of Lahore Qalandars. The head coach of Qalandars Aaqib Javed was supremely impressed with Rauf’s ability to bowl lethal Yorkers and generate some raw pace. He was picked in the trials and later he played in different tournaments organized by the Qalandars.
After that, he was one of the few players to be sent to Australia to train with the Big Bash League franchise Sydney Thunder. Rauf completed his initial training in Australia and came back to be picked by the Qalandars in the PSL 2019 draft.
Haris impressed everyone with his belligerent performances in his debut PSL season claiming 11 wickets and ending up as the 2nd highest wicket-taker for Lahore. His fiery spell against the arch-rivals Karachi Kings was the highlight of the tournament for him.
After his great outing in the PSL, Rauf was picked in multiple domestic and first-class teams where he started pursuing cricket professionally. He also picked his first five-wicket haul in a first-class game in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy 2019.
But the journey doesn’t end here, Haris Rauf was picked by the Big Bash League franchise Melbourne Stars and he announced himself in style. He took 2 wickets in the first game and followed it with a five-for in only his 2nd BBL match. Haris Rauf is doing wonders not only in domestic cricket but in the standardized T20 leagues like the Big Bash League.
Haris was called in as a replacement of his idol Dale Steyn which is a compliment itself. However, he was replaced by Steyn after the first two matches in the BBL 2019-20. If the Pakistan selectors sat together to select the squad for the upcoming T20 world cup in Australia then Haris Rauf would be on their radar for sure.