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Friday Dec 09 2022
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Mystery spinner: All you need to know about Abrar Ahmed

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam (L) and spinner Abrar Ahmed (R) celebrating after taking a wicket against England at the Multan Cricket Stadium on December 9, 2022. — Twitter/ICC
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam (L) and spinner Abrar Ahmed (R) celebrating after taking a wicket against England at the Multan Cricket Stadium on December 9, 2022. — Twitter/ICC

From playing tape-ball cricket to making his way to the Test squad, mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed gave a glorious start to his Test career by taking five wickets in the first match against England today. 

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam named Abrar at the toss for the second of the three Tests against England, making him the 252nd player from Pakistan to play Test cricket. 

Birth, hometown, and early days

Abrar was born in Karachi but his family hails from a small village called Shinkiari in the Mansehra district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The 24-year-old developed an interest in the game while playing tape-ball cricket in Karachi’s Lines Area.

First-class debut

The bowler made his first-class debut in 2020 while playing for Sindh, against Southern Punjab, in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.

He currently has 76 wickets in 26 first-class innings at an average of 25.56 with best match figures of 11-63.

Abdul Qadir story 

Interestingly, Abrar had never heard about legendary Pakistan leg-spinner Abdul Qadir during his early cricket days.

“Who is he, never heard his name,” Abrar replied when he was asked about Qadir by Mushtaq Ahmed, the then head coach of Pakistan’s National Cricket Academy in Lahore, five years ago.

Role model

West Indies spinner Sunil Narine is Abrar’s role model in cricket, according to his coach Mohammad Masroor.

Maiden call-up

Abrar received his maiden call-up in the Test squad ahead of this series following an impressive run in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2022-23. 

The 24-year-old right-arm spinner won the best bowler of the tournament award and topped the leading wicket-taker chart with 43 scalps in seven matches at an average of 21.95.