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PakPassion.net present an exclusive interview with one of Pakistan's extraordinary bowling talents, Prince Abbas.

By Suliman Baig and Arsheel Khan (12 December 2011)

PakPassion.net present an exclusive interview with one of Pakistan's extraordinary bowling talents, Prince Abbas.

In the current QEA Trophy, the 22 year old Abbas has 44 wickets at a steady economy rate of 3.31 which marks him one to watch in terms of a promising talent and one with a good likelihood of representing Pakistan in the future.

In the interview below, Prince Abbas tells us about his development as a cricketer and his aspirations.

PakPassion.net: How did you get in to cricket?

Prince Abbas: My elder brothers were already playing cricket. My family had wanted me to become a doctor but that dream went out the window once they saw the results of my first year exams. They realized that I wasn't cut out to be a doctor so they thought they would get me involved in the family business. One day there were U19 trials being held at a local ground and my elder brother asked me to go with him and try out for the team. I got selected and did pretty well for the team. I remember picking 7 wickets while conceding only 23 runs against Gujrat. From there I went to try out for the Sialkot regional team. Azhar Khan was the U-19 selector for that region and he selected me to be a part of the team. I had a successful year with the team, picking up 22 wickets in the 4 matches that I played. The next year I played for the U-19 academy team and the Sialkot team as well. My performance was very good at those levels. In that year, I also played Grade 2 cricket with Tahir Mughal. In 2008, when I was playing Grade 2 cricket, I played 4 matches and took 27 wickets, becoming the 2nd highest wicket taker.


PakPassion.net: Have you played U-19 cricket internationally for Pakistan? 

Prince Abbas: No, I've never had that opportunity. I was close to selection when the U-19 squad was announced for the series against India, who were captained by Piyush Chawla at the time. I never made it to the team but was named as a reserve. 


PakPassion.net: When did you make you First Class debut?

Prince Abbas: I made my First Class debut in 2009. In 27 FC matches, I have taken 107 wickets.


PakPassion.net: Your bowling average is at 28.20 right now. Don't you think that's a bit on the high side for FC cricket?

Prince Abbas: No. It happens. It's something that can change over time. 


PakPassion.net: Tell us a bit about your bowling. What arm do you bowl with and what's your average bowling speed? 

Prince Abbas: I'm a right-arm, fast-medium bowler. I've been clocked at 137 kph by the coaches and that's my usual bowling speed. But I've been told that I have bowled faster when I'm in full rhythm. The coaches have said that I can top 140kph+ at certain times.


PakPassion.net: What is your stock delivery? Tell us a bit about your bowing action

Prince Abbas: My stock delivery is the out-swinger and I bowl with a side-arm action 


PakPassion.net: You've played FC cricket for 2 years now. What improvements have you noticed in your bowling since your debut? 

Prince Abbas: To tell you honestly, I've made a lot of improvements this year as compared to the previous couple of years. My fitness level is great and I've gotten strong mentally as well. Our captain Mansoor Amjad and Asif Majid have supported me a lot and I’m grateful to them for the reason why I'm playing first class cricket.


PakPassion.net: Which batsman has been the most difficult to get out?

Prince Abbas: This year, I would have to say that Asad Shafiq has been a difficult batsman to bowl to even though I only bowled one over to him. I bowled to him in 2009 and I got him out, but this year he has been the toughest to bowl to. The rest haven't been so difficult. Whenever the captain has given me the ball, I've delivered by the grace of Allah. 


PakPassion.net: What has been your most memorable performance to date? 

Prince Abbas: There are two matches that come to mind. The first one is the match against Faisalabad in which I picked up my first five wicket haul. I picked up 6 wickets while conceding 23 runs. The second match was in 2010 against Multan in Okara in which I took a hat-trick.


PakPassion.net: Which is your favourite ground in Pakistan?

Prince Abbas: I haven't played in Multan but that's my favourite ground.


PakPassion.net: What are your plans for the future?

Prince Abbas: I just need to keep performing well at the domestic level and hopefully I will get a chance to play for Pakistan. I want to do something extraordinary which people will remember me by. 


PakPassion.net: Have you had the chance to face any batsmen from Pakistan's national team?

Prince Abbas: I've played against a lot of them. I've bowled to Imran Farhat, Taufeeq Umar, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Ahmed Shehzad, Khurram Manzoor, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Sami, Sohail Khan and Tanvir Ahmed.


PakPassion.net: What other interests do you have besides cricket?

Prince Abbas: I try to get involved in the family business from time to time but you know how the life of a cricketer is. You go from home to the ground, then go to the gym, and then spend some time with friends in the evenings. 


PakPassion.net: Have you had the opportunity to visit the NCA?

Prince Abbas: I've been to the NCA a couple of times for practice, once before a final against SUI Northern and the other time for two days prior to a one-day match I had in Muridke.

PakPassion.net: Many thanks for your time.

Prince Abbas: Thank you.