Talent Spotter: Siraj uddin


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  1. #1
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    Talent Spotter: Siraj uddin

    A profile of emerging Bajaur Agency born fast-bowler who considers Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc as his role models and was picked by Peshawar Zalmi for PSL7 on account of his ability to bowl at considerable pace.




    Full Name: Siraj uddin

    Date of Birth: 02 Jan 2002, Umaray - Tehsil Mamund, Bajaur Agency

    Major teams: Bajaur Agency Under-19s, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cricket Association, Peshawar Zalmi

    Batting style: Right handed

    Bowling style: Right Arm Medium Fast

    Height: 5ft 11in


    Interest in Cricket

    I started off with cricket in my village in Bajaur Agency by playing tape-ball cricket and always used to like bowling fast. Life wasn’t that easy for me because my father, in order to try and improve our financial circumstances, left for Europe leaving my mother and my 3 siblings behind. My mother used to stitch clothes to sustain us and of course she did not want me wasting my time playing sports, instead she wanted me to study hard and find a job to support the family. Eventually my love for the game won her over but it was a tough existence for us due to many financial pressures. All through these traumatic times, I kept doing well in my studies and was one of the top ranked students at the Matriculation level from my local school. As a result of this I was given admission in the prestigious Islamia College in Peshawar where I completed F.Sc level education. Unfortunately, my mother passed away around that time due to Cancer and I had no option but to put my education on hold. Whilst both my parents have now passed away, the sacrifices they made to make sure that I made something of my life is what will remain in my memory forever.


    Starting hard-ball cricket in 2016 in my uncle’s academy

    My uncle was instrumental in my moving from tape-ball cricket to the hard-ball version as he got me into trials for the Mamund United Cricket Club where I first got a taste of hard-ball cricket and also an idea of what proper cricket was all about.


    Experience of Under 19 cricket is a major factor in my development

    I was lucky to have a chance to get my first chance to play regional Under-19 cricket for Bajaur Agency Under-19s starting from the 2017-18 season. I had many personal issues to deal including critical illness of both my parents and a part-time job as a petrol pump attendant to support my younger siblings – all of which effected my performances and the number of games I could play. My best performances came in the 2019/20 season where in the Regional Inter District U-19 One Day Tournament I took 9 wickets in 4 games. I also played one 3-Day game in the Cricket Associations Championship 2021/22 for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but this was because I had to spend time at the Biomechanics Lab at LUMS for investigations into my bowling action and by the time this process came to an end, there was just one game left for this tournament.


    Clearing any doubts about my bowling action

    Ever since I started to play cricket, I had been listening to doubts being expressed about my bowling action which to the naked eye did seem suspect and it appeared that there was a jerk which made it illegal to observers. This was formally noticed by a coach and former Pakistan bowler Mohsin Kamal in a camp in 2019 that the PCB organized at the NCA for fast-bowlers from Remote Areas who bowled between the 135 and 140Kph mark. He saw my action whilst I was bowling in the camp and asked if I had a jerk in my action, but I told him that I had hyper-extension in my elbow area and at that time no further action was taken. Later on in 2021, whilst appearing for a camp for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cricket Associations, our coach Abdur Rehman also felt that my action had issues and he made a detailed video of this and sent it to the ICC accredited Biomechanics Lab at LUMS in Lahore for their analysis. I was then asked to come for testing at the laboratory where they attached sensors at different parts of my arm and body and formally confirmed in a report that, as per ICC requirements, “The Player’s Elbow Extension for their good length deliveries bowled over the wicket did not exceed 15 degrees as defined in the Illegal Bowling Regulations.”


    Fastest bowling speed of 90.5mph

    Ahead of the PSL 7 draft, I took part in trials for different franchises and whilst I eventually got picked by Peshawar Zalmi for the upcoming season, I was clocked at 90.5mph by the Lahore Qalandars speed-gun.


    A left-arm role model for a right-arm bowler

    One cricketer who I have admired from the day I started to play proper cricket is Mitchell Starc. One can say that this is a strange choice given the fact that he is a left-arm fast-bowler and I am exact opposite but I really love the way Starc bowls with aggression against some of the top batters in the world and takes their wickets with so much ease. In terms of right-arm bowlers, Pat Cummins and Umar Gul are my favourites. I haven’t met Gul Bhai yet but God Willing will meet him one day and seek his advice about bowling as well.


    A dream come true with selection for Peshawar Zalmi for PSL 7

    To be honest I wasn’t too optimistic when this season started about how far I will progress and that was partially due to the time I spent at the biomechanics laboratory. But I was fortunate that one of the trainers with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa squad who had seen me bowl recommended me for trials with Peshawar Zalmi and asked me to send my videos to them. Once I went for trials, Mohammad Akram at Zalmi liked what he saw of my bowling and former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif also felt that an express quick bowler like me would fit in their plans. When the PSL 7 draft took place and my name was announced on TV in the Emerging Category, I was overjoyed and could not stop screaming for a good few minutes. It was an incredible feeling as I hadn’t slept well for a few nights, thinking about the possibility of being picked by a franchise especially when I looked back at the hard times I had to go through to get to this stage. But I am very happy now. Having to play in the PSL means a lot to me and I am really looking forward to it.


    The aim is to represent Pakistan in all formats

    Being part of a PSL squad is obviously a great honour but what I really wish to do is to represent Pakistan in all formats and am willing to work hard to achieve this goal.
    Last edited by MenInG; 31st December 2021 at 15:27.


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  2. #2
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    Video of his bowling exploits:



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  3. #3
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    Petrol pump attendant to playing PSL is a great story. Talent does find its way.

    PSL has been a blessing for many fast bowlers

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by shah_1 View Post
    Petrol pump attendant to playing PSL is a great story. Talent does find its way.

    PSL has been a blessing for many fast bowlers
    Amongst the people we have interviewed, he has had the toughest circumstances to deal with.


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    Amongst the people we have interviewed, he has had the toughest circumstances to deal with.
    It’s incredible, having lost both his parents at such a young age and then having to support his siblings. It’s makes you realise how difficult some people have it. InshAllah I hope he has a smashing PSL and goes on to do really well.

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  7. #6
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    Good to see PSL is giving chance to such talent. Hope he'll get success in his journey.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingOfPakBreakfast View Post
    It’s incredible, having lost both his parents at such a young age and then having to support his siblings. It’s makes you realise how difficult some people have it. InshAllah I hope he has a smashing PSL and goes on to do really well.
    Also note that Siraj was a top student in school until such times as he had to give up education to earn a living.

    This is exactly what the PCB should look at. If there is even a spark of interest in education in a player, then PCB should go the extra mile and see that they can pursue some sort of part time education on the side. This is what builds the future of these cricketers.


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  9. #8
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    Hearing his story just makes you hope he’s successful at the higher level.

    Keep working hard & make a name for yourself. I sincerely hope he’s able to make his family proud.

  10. #9
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    Sad story, tough life.

    Hope better days are ahead for him.

    Best of luck to the lad for the future.

    If he's been clocked at 90mph without much coaching, that is exceptional.



  11. #10
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    I found this particularly admirable that even with all the hardship he faced , he manged to do well in studies and went to a good college. Wish him well in his career. Hope he will thrive in his cricket career and will go back to studies to complete at least graduation. Its sad to see that most of our cricketers in last 3 decades or so have been school drop outs.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    Also note that Siraj was a top student in school until such times as he had to give up education to earn a living.

    This is exactly what the PCB should look at. If there is even a spark of interest in education in a player, then PCB should go the extra mile and see that they can pursue some sort of part time education on the side. This is what builds the future of these cricketers.
    I think PCB have started to consider this via their new junior contracts programme:

    Ramiz Raja has announced the introduction of Pathway Junior Contracts and Pathway Cricket Foundation as the cricket board look to invest in youth and pathways cricket.

    Through strategic partnerships, the PCB will award 100 contracts to the most outstanding and bright cricketers under the ages of 11, 14, 16 and 19. Under this programme, the talented young cricketers will receive a stipend of PKR 30,000 per month and also earn 100 per cent scholarship, which will provide them access to cost-free education at a leading local educational institution that, in turn, will help them become wholesome individuals.


    PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja: “In order to create a long-term sustainable process, it is essential that we continue to tap into, stimulate and motivate the youth’s passion and talent for cricket, whilst focusing on a bottom-up approach towards participation and making attempts to bridge the wide divide between pathways and Pakistan cricket journey.

    “We feel that our Junior Contracts and Cricket Foundation initiatives will now play a decisive role in ensuring that raw talent from even the remotest and less privileged of areas in Pakistan reaches its full potential."

  13. #12
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    Hope he does progress further.

    One thing is for certain, comments about his action will continue to come so hopefully he is prepared mentally to take on that challenge as well.


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  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    Hope he does progress further.

    One thing is for certain, comments about his action will continue to come so hopefully he is prepared mentally to take on that challenge as well.
    If any ICC certified lab has approved his bowling action then questions about his action should be irrelevant.

    If LUMS had followed proper testing procedure and his action came out as appropriate then no one has any right to question.

    PCB should make sure no one points any finger on their credibility, if any cricket pundit does questions Siraj's bowling action even after knowing that LUMS had certified it, PCB should file a defamation case.

    It's time for the PCB to tighten up and stop taking any ********, the more one bends, the more one is asked to bend down.

    Referring to the New Zealand scenario, PCB should have cancelled the tour in 2019/20 after the way New Zealand made a nuisance of the scenario insted they made life of their own players difficult. PCB though that following the orders of New Zealand board would convince them to tour Pakistan, but as everyone saw nothing of that sort happened.


    Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness

  15. #14
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    I am really interested in his development , first bowler I have highly impressed since Naseem Shah. The natural quirk in his arm is a recipe for that Dale Steynsque outswingers and already bowled 90mph , what else can you ask in a young uncoached bowler?

  16. #15
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    Told Umar Gul that Sirajuddin is a fan of his.

    Gul's response "tell him, he can come and meet me anytime"



  17. #16
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    Too short.

    Who’s next?

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    Too short.

    Who’s next?
    You think he is fudging his height, 5-11 is OK height for a fastman. Waqar, Amir, Rauf, all are 5-10 or 5-11 at the most.

    Naseem is bit short and Hasan Ali is shortie.

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    Told Umar Gul that Sirajuddin is a fan of his.

    Gul's response "tell him, he can come and meet me anytime"
    That's good, he cannot find a better mentor and coach . Gul , I heard is a very very nice person too.

  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by moghul View Post
    You think he is fudging his height, 5-11 is OK height for a fastman. Waqar, Amir, Rauf, all are 5-10 or 5-11 at the most.

    Naseem is bit short and Hasan Ali is shortie.
    You’ve got to be unbelievably good to make it as a fast bowler shorter than 6’2.

    Naseem Shah is twice as skilful as Shaheen Shah Afridi.

    But the 6’6 guy always outperforms the 5’8 one.

    Pakistan already has Naseem Shah and Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf. The only quick bowlers they require until 2027 are ones who are at least 6’4 tall.

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    You’ve got to be unbelievably good to make it as a fast bowler shorter than 6’2.

    Naseem Shah is twice as skilful as Shaheen Shah Afridi.

    But the 6’6 guy always outperforms the 5’8 one.

    Pakistan already has Naseem Shah and Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf. The only quick bowlers they require until 2027 are ones who are at least 6’4 tall.
    Pace is equally important. Shaheen ( and Akram ) is an exception but we don't produce 6-2, 6-3 bowler in Asia with 145 K pace . Afridi is the only successful tall fast bower in Asia . Even Bumbra, Shami and Siraj are not tall. The tall one , Sharma in benched after losing his pace . I agree anything less than 5-10, 5-11 is too short for anyone. Hasan losing his pace will fade away soon, Faheem for me is always a club level bowler, same is Musa . Naseem will be OK if he kept his pace and improved his skill level.


  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by moghul View Post
    That's good, he cannot find a better mentor and coach . Gul , I heard is a very very nice person too.
    A gentleman when he was an international player, even after his international days were over and still a gentleman post retirement.



  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    Too short.

    Who’s next?
    Malcolm Marshall says hello



  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    You’ve got to be unbelievably good to make it as a fast bowler shorter than 6’2.

    Naseem Shah is twice as skilful as Shaheen Shah Afridi.

    But the 6’6 guy always outperforms the 5’8 one.

    Pakistan already has Naseem Shah and Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf. The only quick bowlers they require until 2027 are ones who are at least 6’4 tall.



    I call B.S. on that, big time!

    As much of a fan I have been of Naseem Shah, he has never come across as skillful apart from bowling short and some pace...Afridi is all together in a different league now where only 5-10 other top fast bowlers in the world belong!

    Afridi gets more wickets due to his booming in swing, accuracy (spot opn from ball one) at sustained pace, and some variations he has developed in last 1-2 years. Naseem is at least 1-2 years behind in development as a bowler now besides always seeming to have this invisible chip on his shoulder for no apparent reason!

  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    Too short.

    Who’s next?
    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    Malcolm Marshall says hello
    That’s my whole point.

    Malcolm Marshall, Dale Steyn and Ryan Harris were unbelievably talented bowlers, yet the likes of Stuart Broad and Josh Hazlewood end up with more wickets with less talent. If you are short you have to be twice as skilful to have an impact.

    More to the point, Pakistan already has too many short quicks. What they need to win in SENA is tall quicks.

  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    That’s my whole point.

    Malcolm Marshall, Dale Steyn and Ryan Harris were unbelievably talented bowlers, yet the likes of Stuart Broad and Josh Hazlewood end up with more wickets with less talent. If you are short you have to be twice as skilful to have an impact.

    More to the point, Pakistan already has too many short quicks. What they need to win in SENA is tall quicks.
    The only reason they have end up with more wickets is due to the amount of games they have played. Nothing else.

  27. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    That’s my whole point.

    Malcolm Marshall, Dale Steyn and Ryan Harris were unbelievably talented bowlers, yet the likes of Stuart Broad and Josh Hazlewood end up with more wickets with less talent. If you are short you have to be twice as skilful to have an impact.

    More to the point, Pakistan already has too many short quicks. What they need to win in SENA is tall quicks.
    Fair point. Generally Shorter bowlers struggle in comparison. A tall bowler, bowling at 80mph with a modicum of skill and intelligence can have a good career,that isn't possible with short bowlers

  28. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bewal Express View Post
    Fair point. Generally Shorter bowlers struggle in comparison. A tall bowler, bowling at 80mph with a modicum of skill and intelligence can have a good career,that isn't possible with short bowlers
    5-11 is not tall, but you cannot call him a shortie , even for a fast bowler. Shorties are Hasan, Musa, Sami, Bialawal Bhatti and many others .

  29. #28
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    Guys please keep this thread related to Siraj only - Thanks


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  30. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    That’s my whole point.

    Malcolm Marshall, Dale Steyn and Ryan Harris were unbelievably talented bowlers, yet the likes of Stuart Broad and Josh Hazlewood end up with more wickets with less talent. If you are short you have to be twice as skilful to have an impact.

    More to the point, Pakistan already has too many short quicks. What they need to win in SENA is tall quicks.
    India won twice with short quicks. This tall short stuff is overrated. You need to hit the top of off and move the ball late both ways. That will take care of more batters
    Last edited by zarak; 13th January 2022 at 22:18.

  31. #30
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    5’ 11” is decent height.All tall bowlers are not fast.Anyone above 5’ 10” can be successful provided he has the pace and the right skills.

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