Pakistani Legend Abdul Qadir’s Son Aspires to Play for Australia

According to Usman, he has offers from 3-4 franchisees to play in the Big Bash League next season.

5 min read
File pictures of Abdul Qadir (left) and Usman Qadir.

Pakistan’s legendary spinner Abdul Qadir’s son Usman Qadir aspires to play in the next World T20 in 2020. Now, there is nothing astonishing about that right? In a cricket crazy nation like Pakistan, every youth harbours a dream like that. And if you are a former cricketer’s son or daughter, the likelihood of such an aspiration increases ten-fold.

But in case of Usman there is an anomaly. The 24-year-old is looking forward to represent Australia, instead of Pakistan, in the premier event.

Earlier this month, Usman had posted a picture on his Instagram account wearing a replica of the Australia jersey, along with a caption, “Goal 2020, green and gold I’m coming for you Inshhallah”.

According to Usman, the Pakistan Cricket Board had allegedly tried to sabotage his cricketing career on a number of occasion. Thus, he chose Australia as his refuge and plays his cricket these days ‘Down Under’.

Usman, like his father, Abdul Qadir is also a leg spinner. Unfortunately, this generation of cricket followers hardly know much about Pakistan’s mystery spinner. In the late seventies, when Imran Khan and Sarfraz Nawaz were ruling the roost for Pakistan with the new art of reverse swinging the ball, a leg spinner from Lahore, with a cloud of mystery around him made his debut for Pakistan.

Senior Qadir, with his wonderfully stylish routine, followed by equally stylish bowling action conjured superlative bowling spells for the ‘Men in Green’. His knack of bowling six completely different deliveries in an over made him extra special. Variety being his key, the spinner had two different googlies, apart from flippers, leg-breaks and top spins that were almost dormant at the time in the game. Thanks to Qadir, wrist-spin stayed in fashion in the late 1970s and 80s.

The English batsmen were his favourite victims who failed to play him all throughout his career. His six-wicket haul at Lord’s in 1982, guided Pakistan to register a historic win against England. In 1987, against the same opposition at home he took 30 wickets in three Tests, which included the best bowling in an innings by a Pakistani, 9 for 56 in Lahore. 

It was Qadir’s exploits, that made the Pakistani team a formidable unit against the dominant West Indies team during that era. Pakistan didn’t lose a single series against them in the mid-eighties.

Qadir had set a record for being the first bowler to claim 100 Test wickets in a Pakistani season. He was the first Pakistan bowler to take 200 wickets in Test cricket. He ended his cricketing career with a haul of 236 wickets in 67 Tests, which included 15 five-wicket hauls.

After retiring from cricket in 1993, Qadir made sure he passed on his cricketing skills to the next lot of cricketers. Qadir played a key role in the rise of Mushtaq Ahmed and for Danish Kaneria.

Like Usman, Qadir’s other sons have also followed him into the game, with different degrees of success.

As reported in The Indian Express, Usman is presently in Sydney playing for Hawkesbury Cricket Club in the New South Wales Premier Cricket Grade A league. His performance there – 30 wickets at 24.70 in 9 matches with 3 five-wicket hauls – has been lauded by many former cricketers and coaches there like Geoff Lawson and Justin Langer.

Langer, in fact, has asked him to spend a few days training with the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League (BBL). And Usman reveals that the former Australian opener has even offered him with an opportunity to play for the Scorchers in next edition of BBL and even a chance with the Western Australia state side in the Sheffield Shield.

Usman is presently in Sydney playing for Hawkesbury Cricket Club in the New South Wales Premier Cricket Grade A league.
Usman is presently in Sydney playing for Hawkesbury Cricket Club in the New South Wales Premier Cricket Grade A league.
(Photo Courtesy: Instagram/@usmanqadir2020)

“I have 3-4 offers from clubs to play in the BBL next season. I need to sort out my visa if I want to play in the Sheffield Shield for WA. And if I make the most of my opportunities there, I am confident that the Australian board will take notice and I’ve been told I will be in line for permanent residency via the Distinguished Talent Visa category by 2020, when they host the World T20,” Usman told The Indian Express from Sydney.

“If you play cricket anywhere in the world and perform, people notice you. If you do well in Pakistan, they pull the rug from under your feet,” is how he summed up his Pakistan experience to The Indian Express.

He claims to have been picked in the senior squad for a tour of the West Indies back in 2013 – around the time South Australia had offered him a contract – and being replaced on the day the team was departing.

“Once they picked me, the Australians withdrew their offer. It was a ploy to hold me back,” Usman told The Indian Express.

This is not the first time this week that such an allegation has been made against the selection procedure of the Pakistan Cricket Board. This week only former Pakistan international cricketer Aamer Hanif blamed the coaches and the cricket administrators for his son’s suicide after being snubbed by selectors for a local Under-19 cricket team.

If Usman goes on to represent the Aussies, he would certainly not be the first person from his nation. Imran Tahir, after playing his domestic cricket in Pakistan, went onto play for South Africa and has done well both for himself as well the team.

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