Domestic cricket is all about providing a platform for exciting young cricketers to showcase their talent and push for a spot in the national team. The recently concluded National T20 Cup has been a tournament that has provided fans with enthralling cricket and some wonderful young cricketers to look forward to.
Pakistan has always been known as the land of pace, but this edition of the National T20 Cup has brought forward a number of talented young batsmen. Some established cricketers have shown us the value of experience in the tournament, but the future of T20 cricket in Pakistan surely does look bright.
These are the best finds from the National T20 Cup:
Azam has been in the domestic circuit for the past few years. But, his power-hitting display might have just kickstarted his journey to the international arena. Azam scored 268 runs in the tournament at an impressive strike rate of 168.55.
His six-hitting ability really came to light as he finished the tournament with 19 sixes, the third-highest in the tournament.
Danish Aziz has been a renowned name in the domestic circuit for a few years now. His performances have been good in the past, but his lack of consistency always caused harm to his chances of making the national team.
Danish has been nothing short of magnificent in the National T20 Cup. He showcased his temperament, class and poise with two match-winning knocks for Sindh. He scored 220 runs at an average of 73.33, but his main attribute was his strike rate of 154.92.
His scores of 59* and 72* in a run chase completely changed the tide for Sindh as they managed to clinch victories from the jaws of defeat to book their place in the semi-finals
Zeeshan has been a solid opener in the domestic circuit for quite a few years and his name, however, he is yet to earn a first call-up.
Zeeshan showcased his batting prowess for Northern in the National T20 Cup. Northern’s top-scorer in the tournament, Zeeshan scored 305 runs at an average of 33.88 and a strike-rate of 136.77.
Abdullah Shafique announced himself on the big stage by scoring a century on his T20 debut. He also has a century on his First-Class debut.
Abdullah scored the first century of the tournament and followed it up with two 2 half-centuries.
He scored 358 runs at a healthy average of 44.75 and a strike rate of 133.08. He looks like a solid player and is on the cusp of an international call-up for Pakistan’s series against Zimbabwe.
Left-arm fast bowler Akif Javed was impressive before being ruled out of the tournament with an injury. He took 8 wickets in the 7 matches he played.
His bowling average of 22.62 and the economy rate of 7.43 were excellent in the context of the nature of the pitches. His pace, accuracy and skill were incredible and if he manages to stay fit, he will surely make his international debut in the near future.
Hassan burst onto the scene a few years ago for his exploits in PSL with Quetta Gladiators. But his stock fell off with subpar performances in recent years.
Hassan made a comeback and showcased his skills both as a bowler and as a batsman. He performed decently with the bat and scored 36 runs in a match-winning chase. He still needs to work a bit harder if he wants to be discussed among the best youngsters in the country.