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Faisal Iqbal

Name: Faisal Iqbal

Birth date: 1981-12-30
Hometown: Karachi, Sind
Teams: Pakistan, Karachi, Pakistan International Airlines, Pakistan National Shipping Corporation, Pakistan Reserves, Sind, Karachi Zebras, Sylhet Royals
Debut: Test: Mar 8-12, 2001 | ODI: Feb 19, 2000
Faisal Iqbal belongs to a long list of batsmen who have been tried in the middle order by Pakistan. Throughout his career, Faisal has shown good skills against spin bowling coupled with a fighting attitude. He has had some notable performances under his belt in the matches played in the sub-continent and Sharjah. However, his performance overseas has left a lot to be desired. 

A prolific performer at junior level, Iqbal made his Test debut at a tender age of twenty. He scored 42 and 52 not out on his Test debut against New Zealand at Auckland helping Pakistan record a comprehensive victory. He followed it with another half-century at Christchurch in a high-scoring draw. The next tour of England however did not go very well, partly due to his weakness against short-pitched bowling and he was subsequently dropped for a good year and a half. His comeback series happened to be against Australia at Colombo in 2002-03, where he scored an impressive knock of 83 off 85 balls in the opening Test match - against the likes of Shane Warne and Glenn Mcgrath. However, following a string of low scores in the next two Tests against Australia at Sharjah as well as two Tests against South Africa in their backyard, Iqbal saw himself out of favour with the selectors for a span of three years. 

Faisal Iqbal returned to the Pakistan team in the famous Karachi Test against India in 2006, where he top scored in the second innings helping Pakistan amass a mammoth total and score a memorable victory over the archrivals. He then scored a fifty against Sri Lanka at Colombo, before losing his batting form once again. He could not put up notable performances on the tour of England as well as the South African tour in 2007 and was consequently dropped from the national side, before registering yet another comeback later that year – this time during the home series against South Africa. He was selected in the Pakistan squad for the tour of India in late 2007, where he features in two Test matches and scored 73 runs in 3 innings, including a half-century. He was then selected for the home series against Sri Lanka in February 2009, where he scored a fifty in the only innings that he batted in. 

Despite having scored a half-century in his last Test innings, Faisal Iqbal was dropped from the Pakistan squad for the tour of Sri Lanka scheduled immediately after the ICC World Twenty20 that year. Middle order batsman Misbah-ul-Haq’s loss of form and Younis Khan’s unavailability for the New Zealand tour opened an opportunity for Faisal Iqbal to come back and cement his place in the middle order. He scored a fifty in the Napier Test and booked his place in the team for the series against Australia. He scored 97 runs in the two Tests that he played on that tour. The Sydney Test in January 2010 remains as his last international appearance for Pakistan till date. 

During a Test career that spans over more than ten years, Faisal has just played 26 Tests and 18 One-day Internationals. During the last three years, he has been fielded in just five Tests. The right-handed batsman last represented the national team in the Sydney Test in January 2010 where the tourists succumbed to a shocking defeat after an outstanding start. Faisal was awarded a C-category central contract by the Pakistan Cricket Board in May 2012 and was selected for Pakistan's Test squad for the tour of Sri Lanka later that year.


He was also selected on Pakistan's 2013 tour of South Africa, although didn't play in any of the matches.


[Last updated on: 28/12/13]