PakPassion spoke to in-form left-handed Karachi opener Fakhar Zaman, who has made his first-class debut this season
by Nasser Khan (11th April 2013)
Fakhar Zaman is a 23 year-old left-handed opening batsman who has made his first-class debut this season. Representing the Karachi Blue,s he has been in good form since making his debut, averaging 53, including one century and six fifties from seven first-class matches.
Speaking with PakPassion.net, Zaman spoke of how he got into cricket, the importance of the Pakistani Navy in providing him with the opportunity to play professional cricket, and his hopes for the future.
Born: April 10, 1990, Mardan, North-West Frontier Province
Current age: 23 years
Major teams: Karachi Blues, Karachi Zebras, Pakistan Navy
Batting style: Left-hand bat
Bowling style: Slow left-arm orthodox
Getting into Cricket
I was born in Mardan District and played local tennis ball cricket and then hard-ball cricket at school. When I became a little older, I joined the Pakistan Navy at sixteen years of age in Karachi. It was here that I started taking cricket more seriously with a view to playing professionally.
My first proper introduction to a more professional approach to my cricket was through both the coach of the Pakistan Navy cricket team and coach Nadim Khan. He saw me play and told me I should join the team. He got me a discharge from the main Navy and re-enrolled me as a Navy cricketer.
It was that point - breaking into the Navy Cricket team - which gave me the platform from which I could develop as a cricketer.
From the Navy team, I went on to play district Karachi Under-19 cricket. I had some good performances there and was subsequently selected for the Regional Under-19s. I broke into the Karachi Regional team after I was asked to participate in some practice matches in the five matches and managed to score 70s and 80s.
I also played some matches for Mardan in 2010 in the Inter-District Senior Tournament. It was nice to play for the area in which I was born and to contribute to them by scoring runs.
First First-Class season for Karachi Blues
I never thought that there could ever be the opportunities offered like those I found in Karachi. The coaches, the support staff, captain Khurram Manzoor, who was captain when Faisal Iqbal was selected for the Pakistan national side’s tour of South Africa. I have loved being involved with the Karachi side and as a young player, have found there to be a lot of support.
I have been in very good form with the bat this season. I prepared very hard before the start of the season with my coach Nadim Khan. He would conduct three-day sessions with me with the bowling machine and that high level of detailed preparation and hard work is the primary driver behind my success this season.
On his batting style
I am an attacking batsman, which you will note from my scores which are usually at a good strike rate. I enjoy playing my shots and picking the right balls from which to score runs. Shot selection is very important for attacking batsmen and I work hard on this, particularly as I open the innings and have to face the new ball. This is the position I have played most of my career and where I have been playing for Karachi in the games I’ve played this season.
My favourite player is Adam Gilchrist. The timing and placement of his shots, his attacking intent and ability to counter-attack under pressure was outstanding. He also enjoyed facing pace bowlers, as do I. I don’t have any interest in wicket-keeping though!
I’m also a fan of AB de Villiers. He always looks to keep the scoreboard moving and times the ball wonderfully.
Multan. I made my first-class debut there, scoring 79 and 83 in the match. Scoring over 150 runs in my first game gave me a lot of confidence and belief that I can succeed.
I’m also a part-time spinner and it is a part of my game I will continue to develop. I haven’t bowled many overs in the seven first-class matches I have played this season.
Toughest bowler faced
Junaid Khan is the most difficult bowler I’ve faced. He is accurate and can move the ball. As an opening batsman, he has provided my sternest Test against the new ball and in all the other spells he has bowled to me.
My aims are to continue to work on my batting, to improve and experience success in domestic cricket, and of course play international cricket opening the batting for Pakistan. Playing for the national side is the dream of every player who plays cricket in Pakistan and InshAllah I will achieve this.