Fawad Alam is not an over-ambitious cricketer who makes tall claims. He has a serious desire to continue playing cricket for the national side.
Promising and gutsy are the words that best describe Fawad Alam’s personality. At 22, he is full of promise and committed to playing high-level cricket, putting his best foot forward.
“I want to play cricket. It doesn’t matter whether it is an ODI, a Twenty-20 fixture or a Test match. I should be playing cricket for my country. I just want to concentrate on that,” says the ambitious cricketer.
But Fawad Alam is not an over-ambitious person who makes tall claims. He has a serious desire to continue playing for the Pakistan team. “Representing and serving your country in itself is a great honour. What else can a cricketer wish for?” he enthuses.
Coming from a cricketing family -- his father Tariq Alam was a notable first class cricketer and one of his uncles Waheed Mirza with Mansoor Akhter holds the record for the highest run first-wicket partnership in first-class cricket -- Fawad always had cricket on his mind.
But the kind of talent he has exhibited so far reflects his bright future in the cricketing arena. He says it is because of his father and uncle that he has managed to play international cricket. “The way I was nurtured and trained by my father and uncle, I can say with conviction that I’m a fortunate man.”
Fawad Alam has all the qualities that are required to become a good and useful cricketer. He is a crafty left-handed batsman with a sound technique and can play a wide range of shots. His style and physique may deceive you, since he’s not strongly built, his performances on the cricketing field can give you a pleasant surprise.
He always relies on wrist-work and timing while batting. And he definitely has the power to smash the ball well over the boundary line. He proved that by hitting a straight six off Irfan Pathan in the last ODI in the recently concluded ODI series between India and Pakistan.
Talking about that six, he says, “When I came to bat there were a few overs left and I had instructions to play ball-to-ball. I wasn’t thinking about the six at the time, but the delivery was so inviting that I couldn’t resist hitting it.”
Instead of that six, Fawad likes to remember the match when he scored a quick-fire 32 runs (not out) and played an important role in Pakistan’s win. “For me what mattered was Pakistan’s victory and I am glad I contributed my bit to it.”
Fawad Alam is also an unorthodox left-arm spinner who can turn the ball big time. His simple run-up to the bowling crease and a high-arm delivery action make him look like the former Pakistani great left-arm spinner Iqbal Qasim.
Playing domestic cricket for National Bank (where Iqbal Qasim is employed), Fawad Alam acknowledges being the protégé of the former great spinner. “Iqbal Bhai has improved me a lot. In fact, it was him who encouraged me to continue bowling.”
Fawad has also impressed everyone with his ground fielding, cheeky singles and running between the wickets.
So far Fawad’s career highlight is the last season’s (domestic) Twenty20 Championship final. Playing for Karachi Dolphins he scored a fifty, grabbed five wickets and collected all major individual awards like Man of the Match, Man of the Series, Best Bowler and Best Batsman of the event.
Fawad Alam has two ODIs and two international Twenty20 matches to his credit, but he has many moments to rejoice. “My two wickets against New Zealand in the Twenty20 World Cup semifinal and 32 runs against India are special moments; but honestly the happiest moment of my life was when I was picked for the Pakistan national team for the Abu Dhabi ODI series.”
About his relationship with teammates Fawad says, “Believe me, all of them are wonderful companions. They help me a lot, encourage me all the time and guide me how to give my hundred per cent.
“During the Twenty20 semifinal against New Zealand when I came to bowl, I was a little nervous about where to pitch the ball. When I asked Shoaib (Malik) Bhai, he instructed me to bowl with my best efforts. That encouraged me a lot.”