"The seasons where I should have performed, I didnít perform" : Azeem Ghumman


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  1. #1
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    "The seasons where I should have performed, I didnít perform" : Azeem Ghumman

    Azeem Ghumman had already made 19 first-class appearances before the Under-19 World Cup in 2010 when he was asked to take on the role of captain for the prestigious event. This achievement was altogether more remarkable when one considered the fact that this was a star-studded Pakistan unit which included the likes of Babar Azam and Ahmed Shehzad. Ghumman did not disappoint in that tournament as he played his part for Pakistan, taking his side to the final where they eventually lost to Australia.


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    However, to the surprise of many, a player who seemed to be marked for a bright future due to his exploits at such a young age found himself unable to find a place in the national squad and has ever since plied his trade at the domestic level which is a fact that Ghumman has somewhat grudgingly come to accept as he remarked in an exclusive interview wth PakPassion.net, ďWhatever my career has entailed, I am proud of what I have achieved so far. There are always things you look back on with some regret and likewise things you look back on with pride, but overall, I am quite happy with how things have gone so far.Ē

    Being appointed as Pakistan Under-19 captain for a prestigious tournament as the ICC Under-19 World Cup, would have been the perfect stepping-stone for further glories but it was not to be for Ghumman, but given the current selection policies which have seen domestic performers being rewarded regardless of age, he is hopeful that he too will get a chance.

    ďHaving captained Pakistan Under-19s and played for Pakistan A, I am disappointed that I didnít make it to the next level, but that can be attributed to my own mistakes and some bad luck. Itís all about situations and one only has to look at Nauman Ali making his international debut at the age of 34 so there is always hope. One good season and you are back in the reckoning for international cricket.Ē

    Ghumman, who lead Pakistan A on their tour of Sri Lanka in 2010, has played 99 First-class games and scored 5199 runs, has a clear idea about why the chance to represent his country has remained elusive since his First-class debut in 2007.

    ďThe seasons where I should have performed, I didnít perform and those were the time when a place or two was up for grabs in the Pakistan Test side. That was around 2012/13 and I couldnít deliver. But what also matters is where you are playing. I was playing for SNGPL and back then most of our matches were in Islamabad and Rawalpindi and a lot of the matches were finished within a couple of days on bowler-friendly tracks. As a batsman it was tough when teams are being bowled out for 150 on such tracks. At best you could score 40 or 50 such were the surfaces. Who knows, maybe if I wasnít at SNGPL and instead playing for Hyderabad or another team on batting-friendly surfaces, I may have been given a chance at the international level.Ē

    The reforms to the domestic system introduced by the PCB in the 2019/20 season which include a reduction in the number of teams seem to have been met with plaudits from most domestic players and as Ghumman explains can only improve the quality of cricket in the country.

    ďIíve been playing for Balochistan for the last couple of years and itís clearly noticeable that domestic cricket standards have increased as you have the best 66 players playing at any one time in First-class cricket. The competition is tough no doubt about it with each team having strong line-ups. Everyone is fighting for his own place, knowing that there is a queue of players waiting to grab your spot in the team. In addition, the change of ball to Kookaburra has been a welcome change as some bowlers were getting lots of wickets with the Dukes ball and then struggling at the international level with the Kookaburra ball.Ē

    For Ghumman, just scoring runs is not the sole objective of his efforts and attention to fitness is an important aspect of his overall game.

    ďI feel that I am very mature regarding my cricket and have a good understanding of the game overall and my fitness has never been better. There is a lot of emphasis on fitness these days in Pakistan cricket and itís something I have always taken very seriously.Ē

    Whilst provinces such as Sindh have in recent times produced some top-quality cricketers such as Zahid Mahmood and Shahnawaz Dhani, Balochistan seems to be lagging behind but as Ghumman explained, it is just a matter of time before the local talent will also come to the fore.

    ďIíve captained Balochistan second XI and also played for the first team. I feel there is a lot of talent in Balochistan but there is a lack of experience amongst the local players yet. It will take time for the local talent to develop but they can utilise the experience of the non-Balochistan players and learn from them and they will improve in future.Ē

    Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Tabish Khan are some good examples of senior domestic cricketers whose selection for the national side has proven that the new selection policies of rewarding domestic performers are being implemented which Ghumman feels are great signs for the future of the game in the country.

    ďI believe that the current selectors and especially Mohammad Wasim deserve credit as they are giving chances to the guys who are doing well in domestic cricket. Previously the best performers in domestic cricket werenít always given a chance, but that has changed now and that is for the betterment of Pakistan cricket.Ē

    At 30 years of age, Azeem Ghumman knows that time is still on side and he is doing his best by performing well in domestic cricket and in league cricket in England to ensure that he gives himself a fair chance to make a bid for an international call-up, ďI have always had the dream of playing for my country and that dream is still alive and that is the whole point of playing cricket. I had a decent season last time around and I feel that a strong season this time will put me in with a shout for an international spot. The doors of international selection are open to all but you just have to perform, and I feel that age is not a barrier.Ē


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  2. #2
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    DOnt agree with some of his views regarding the pitches.

    If you are not able to bat on bowling friendly pitches, than offcourse you will perform bad at international level, irrespect of the pitch as the opposition is playing its best team.

    No doubt Azeem Ghuman had a chance to play for Pakistan, infact he had a better chance than all as he was in SNGPL. Any payer who was added in SNGPL and performed there got easy selection as the national captain was part of that team that recruited the best for his domestic.

    All he had to do was perform and get a call up. He had it on a plate, all he needed to do was perform.

    Also his views shows the attitude that score 100 on a flat track and get a Pakistan call up. They dont really care of improving themselves and become capable to perform against strong opponents

  3. #3
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    At Under 19 level this lad was highly rated, but another who just couldn't make that step up to the highest level.

    I fear his time is up regarding international selection.


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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    At Under 19 level this lad was highly rated, but another who just couldn't make that step up to the highest level.

    I fear his time is up regarding international selection.
    If I remember correctly, he had some disciplinary problems and some controversary with Umar Akmal as well.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BunnyRabbit View Post
    If I remember correctly, he had some disciplinary problems and some controversary with Umar Akmal as well.
    Yes indeed. Allegedly some sort of party back in 2015.

    HYDERABAD: "There were two girls in the company of Umar Akmal and his companions when the police raided a house upon information of suspicious activities in Hyderabad", Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Irfan Baloch revealed on Friday.

    He said that Umar Akmal, Azeem Ghumman and Irfan Malik who were in the company of two girls were taken to the police station. However, the SSP said the police witnessed no immoral activity when it entered the house.


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  6. #6
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    Azeem Ghumman seems like those evergreen cricketers - except that he is pretty young!


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Major View Post
    DOnt agree with some of his views regarding the pitches.

    If you are not able to bat on bowling friendly pitches, than offcourse you will perform bad at international level, irrespect of the pitch as the opposition is playing its best team.

    No doubt Azeem Ghuman had a chance to play for Pakistan, infact he had a better chance than all as he was in SNGPL. Any payer who was added in SNGPL and performed there got easy selection as the national captain was part of that team that recruited the best for his domestic.

    All he had to do was perform and get a call up. He had it on a plate, all he needed to do was perform.

    Also his views shows the attitude that score 100 on a flat track and get a Pakistan call up. They dont really care of improving themselves and become capable to perform against strong opponents
    Disagree. Both batting and bowling paradises are bad for the development of batsmen. You obviously want batsmen to be challenged - but the damp, green, underprepared pitches PCB were rolling out until a couple of years ago turned FC cricket into a joke.

    The batsmen never got any experience of building long innings, while those surfaces made 110kph seamers like Hammad Azam into world-beaters if they simply pitched the ball on a length.

    It's not a coincidence the great Test nations throughout history such as West Indies in the 1980s or Australia in the 1990s/00s had domestic competitions that ensured young batsmen were exposed to a variety of surfaces in FC cricket. Barbados and Jamaica offered good bounce, Guyana was a batting paradise while Trinidad would offer slow, turning, almost subcontinental pitches. Meanwhile in Australia you could expect good pace and bounce in Brisbane and Perth; Melbourne to be a flat, true wicket; Sydney offering spin.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    Disagree. Both batting and bowling paradises are bad for the development of batsmen. You obviously want batsmen to be challenged - but the damp, green, underprepared pitches PCB were rolling out until a couple of years ago turned FC cricket into a joke.

    The batsmen never got any experience of building long innings, while those surfaces made 110kph seamers like Hammad Azam into world-beaters if they simply pitched the ball on a length.

    It's not a coincidence the great Test nations throughout history such as West Indies in the 1980s or Australia in the 1990s/00s had domestic competitions that ensured young batsmen were exposed to a variety of surfaces in FC cricket. Barbados and Jamaica offered good bounce, Guyana was a batting paradise while Trinidad would offer slow, turning, almost subcontinental pitches. Meanwhile in Australia you could expect good pace and bounce in Brisbane and Perth; Melbourne to be a flat, true wicket; Sydney offering spin.
    i stand corrected.

    Do you think Azeem Ghuman had the talent that had he been offered the pitches he wanted he could had attained those big scores?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Major View Post
    i stand corrected.

    Do you think Azeem Ghuman had the talent that had he been offered the pitches he wanted he could had attained those big scores?
    I haven't seen enough of him to make a judgment, but he didn't do that well in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy this season on good pitches.

  10. #10
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    Azeem Ghumman 50 (74) for Bankfoot CC vs East Bierley CC

    out hit wicket today.

  11. #11
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    QeA22 :

    Balochistan were 324 for five in 89 overs against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the Abbottabad Cricket Stadium as Azeem Ghumman top-scored with 78 off 144.


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