Sunday Feb 17, 2019
DUBAI: It was the 12th over of Lahore Qalandars innings against Karachi Kings in Pakistan Super League. Imad Wasim, the Kings captain, handed the ball to 19-year-old Umer Khan to bowl against the most destructive batsman in the world, AB de Villiers.
It was already a dream come true moment for Umer, after all, he was bowling against AB, the man himself. But it was a fairy tale unreeling slowly before his eyes when he got him out.
“It was my dream to bowl against AB de Villiers, I didn’t only bowl but Allah also helped me to claim his wicket which doubled the joy for me, it’s certainly the greatest moment of my life,” Umer told Geo after the game.
Umer is originally from FATA but his family settled in Taxila where his father repairs punctures on tyres.
Despite financial difficulties, Umer’s father did all he could to help his son achieve his dreams.
“I can’t thank my father enough for everything he has done for me,” the young spinner said, hardly able to hide his beaming smile.
Umer played junior level cricket for FATA and also in Taxila, where he was spotted by former Pakistan Test cricketer Nadeem Khan who brought him to UBL for further training.
On Nadeem’s recommendation, Umer was also included in Emerging Asia Cup squad in 2016 where he claimed two wickets in a game but didn’t get any further chances.
“I am from FATA and I started playing cricket when I was in grade five. There were very few opportunities, my family was not well off, but it did not deter me as I always wanted to be big in cricket,” said Umer.
“I took six wickets in an innings on my first-class debut where Kabir Khan watched me and told Karachi Kings about me.”
Umer added that he would work tirelessly in the nets to groom himself further using abandoned tyres as stumps.
The spinner said he idolises Sri Lanka great Rangana Herath and aims to get himself recognised by performing well in PSL.
“I will try to give my best whenever I get a chance so that I can achieve my dreams.”