Talent Spotter: Mohammad Zeeshan


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  1. #1
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    Talent Spotter: Mohammad Zeeshan

    A profile of Faisalabad born Pakistan Under-19 pace-bowler Mohammad Zeeshan who impressed as the top wicket-taker in the inaugural edition of the Pakistan Junior League.





    Full Name: Mohammad Zeeshan
    Date of Birth: 15 Apr 2006, Faisalabad (Chak 58 JB Lillan)
    Major teams: Pakistan Under-19s, Central Punjab Blues Under 19s, Central Punjab, Bahawalpur Royals
    Batting style: Right-handed
    Bowling style: Right Arm Medium Fast
    Height: 6ft 8in


    Interest in Cricket

    I am the youngest of three brothers in my family, and it was my elder brother who had an interest in the game but given our financial circumstances, he could not pursue a career in the game like he wanted to. Instead, he told me to go ahead and take up cricket as a profession and pursue my dreams of becoming a cricketer.


    Tall height an advantage but comes with its own problems

    I am exceptionally tall within my immediate family although I do have an uncle and a cousin who are also very tall. My friends would playfully make fun of my height calling me 'lamba', which wasnít that much of a problem for me. But whilst my height has given me some advantage when it comes to bowling, there are a few problems as well. So, for example, if I like some shoes, I canít find it in my size, or when I really want to buy some cricket kit that I like, itís either out of stock for my size or not available at all and then I have to settle for something that I donít really want - all this can be very frustrating. And then, sitting on long-haul flights such as the one I had to when I travelled to the West Indies for the Under-19 World Cup can also very uncomfortable.


    Late bloomer - Playing hard-ball cricket at age 15

    I was happy playing cricket for fun with friends and was coached by my elder brother until I went to Faisalabad and joined the Faisal Club after appearing for and impressing everyone with my bowling. My height and the bounce I got from the pitch was something they really liked at the club and I was given a chance to play hard-ball cricket. Later on, I played in the National Under-19 One-Day Cup 2021/22 and the National Under-19 Championship 2021/22 which consisted of 3-day games.


    First international tournament, first international flight

    After performing well at the domestic Under-19 level, I was selected as one of the traveling reserves for the ICC Under-19 Men's Cricket World Cup which was held earlier this year. Whilst I did not participate in any games in the tournament, the experience of visiting a foreign country and being part of a tournament squad was amazing. This was also the first time that I flew on a plane, and I had to learn some interesting new life skills.


    Staying fit and eating the right village diet

    I give a lot of attention to my fitness as this is a key part of any sportspersonís life. In my case though, apart from fitness training in the morning and bowling in the nets, being a villager, I have the advantage of having access to ĎDesi Khoorakí (village or home prepared food) which I find to be the best for my development. This sort of diet which includes pure butter, eggs, sugar and milk may feel strange to some city folk but it works for me like a charm.


    Improving bowling speeds an objective

    Whilst I have done well as a fast-bowler, I have always wanted to become an all-rounder but in recent times I havenít had much time to practice my batting, but rest assured this is something I am paying attention to. My most preferred ball and the one that gives me a lot of wickets is the bouncer although I am also good at bowling Yorkers. My bowling speed has been measured around the 135KpH mark which I really want to improve upon in the future. I am working hard to sort this part of my bowling and I believe I will improve as a bowler as well as improving my speeds, God Willing.


    Shoaib Akhtar and Curtly Ambrose as my role models

    When it comes to bowling at fast speeds, there is no one better for me to emulate than our very own Shoaib Akhtar but if one was to ask me who is my role model, the one bowler I would want to be copy, then I would without a doubt say Curtly Ambrose.


    Topping the charts in the Pakistan Junior League

    To be part of a unique tournament like the inaugural edition of the PJL was an honour in itself but then to become the highest wicket-taker with 14 wickets in 8 games was like a dream come true. For that I am thankful to the coaches and also to our mentor for Bahawalpur Royals, Imran Tahir, for his advice and support throughout the tournament. To play alongside local and foreign players was a great experience and one that I will treasure for a long time.


    Playing for Pakistan U19s against Bangladesh

    After missing out in the Under-19 World Cup in the West Indies, I finally got a chance to shine for my country in the white-ball series against the visiting Bangladesh Under-19s. I played in 3 One-Day games taking 6 wickets in 3 matches and participated in one T20 where I had figures of 2/24. This was an amazing feeling to wear my countryís colours and what gave me a lot of confidence was the fact that the opposition batters treated me with a lot of respect. They would be going all guns blazing against the other bowlers but possibly due to my height, were careful when facing my bowling.


    Future aspirations and dreams of playing in the PSL

    A place in a Pakistan Super League team would be great for me but representing Pakistan in the future is what I am really aiming for and working hard on. Whether itís in the white-ball or the longer red-ball format, I am ready to serve Pakistan when asked and when they feel I am ready to.


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  2. #2
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    Mohammad Zeeshan in action



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  3. #3
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    Very tall but still seems mobile.

  4. #4
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    Good interview. Would be really interesting to see how he develops.

    He has the potential to become a quality pacer but, his hunger of succeeding at the top level as well as him giving extra importance to his fitness considering his height would be the key. Modern day cricket has three formats, there are leagues around and if he reaches top level international calendar then it can sometimes be pretty packed so if he wants to play all three formats then he would have to become a top athlete.

    If he is interested in red ball cricket then getting in the FC team and playing atleast 6-7 matches in couple of seasons would be an initial success in itself. As we have seen bowlers either struggling to do so or selectors selecting them too early for any format which means non availability during the 4 day season.

    So he has the potential but, development would be on his personal hunger and PCB’s selection committees approach towards allowing these young guys to develop before putting them into that international circuit which can hold a certain development part back and can only come after playing regular longer format matches which only domestic cricket can offer.

    Wishing him all the best.

  5. #5
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    good that he takes Curtly Ambrose as role model.

    Ambrose at some point could afford to not even have much swing/seam and just bowl at full length to get easy wickets.

    Zeeshan, slightly taller than Ambrose, through his bowling action seems to be going that way, as I always felt that someone like Irfan, despite being even taller, didn't use his height properly because of the left hand angle and his action (not high arm/hitting the deck hard).

  6. #6
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    Strength and conditioning is the key here.

    He has height, he has a bit of pace, but making sure he has the right diet, the right advice, the right training will determine how his future is.

    I just hope he's not left to his own devices by PCB.


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  7. #7
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    Good action and loving the bounce he's getting. He's been blessed with all the ingredients of a quality pace bowler so is already ahead in the race. Ultimately the responsibility will be his own if he wants to make it big. Should keep his head down, work hard and minimize the outside noise.

  8. #8
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    Needs a lot of work on his action if he is to make the most of physical attributes. As I said before his action is a like a guy that has taken up cricket late in his teens. He needs to keep his arm high and not let it drop like the slingers do.

  9. #9
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    He needs to work on Strength and conditioning

  10. #10
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    As part of its strategy and vision to develop, grow and incentivise high-performing talented youngsters, the Men’s Interim Selection Committee have added three top-performers from age-group cricket to the Pakistan Test squad with the objective of providing them international exposure and experience.

    The three players are: all-rounder Arafat Minhas (Multan), top-order batter Basit Ali (Dera Murad Jamali) and right-arm fast bowler Mohammad Zeeshan (Faisalabad).


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    As part of its strategy and vision to develop, grow and incentivise high-performing talented youngsters, the Menís Interim Selection Committee have added three top-performers from age-group cricket to the Pakistan Test squad with the objective of providing them international exposure and experience.

    The three players are: all-rounder Arafat Minhas (Multan), top-order batter Basit Ali (Dera Murad Jamali) and right-arm fast bowler Mohammad Zeeshan (Faisalabad).
    I think this is good. Itíll allow Shaun Tait to get his eye on Zeeshan and see any potential bad habits he can eliminate, and good habits he can expand on.

  12. #12
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    Great opportunity for the young man to train alongside international players.

    Even if it's just an opportunity to observe, it's still a good chance to pick up some tips for the future.


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