Talented POK boy waiting for Pak selectors nod to play cricket

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Lahore, Aug 4 (ANI): A young fast bowler from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir has been hoping for a nod from Pakistani selectors' for a place in the team for the last two years, despite giving a brilliant performance.

Having no club or field in his remote village of Pandori in Mirpur district, Saad Altaf, made his own field on the bank of River Jhelum, where he bowled day in and day out.

He was able to demonstrate his majestic skills when former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Tauqir Zia arranged a cricket camp at Mangla in 2003.

Former Test cricketers Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis visited that camp and were taken by surprise when they saw Saad in action.

The 20-year-old left-armer was picked immediately and brought to Lahore. In Lahore, Saad played a three-day match against England and gave a wonderful performance.

Before that, he had played in an Under-19 tournament in Rawalpindi in 2001-02 and claimed 40 wickets, the Daily Times reported.

In 2008, playing for the Islamabad Region, Saad took part in three first class matches and grabbed 29 wickets that were the most by a single bowler in the event. It was unfortunate that he broke his leg in that season and was declared unfit.

Saad recovered quickly. In the 2009 domestic season, he emerged as the highest wicket-taker with 22 scalps in the Grade-1 tournament.

In all, Saad has played 31 first class matches with 130 wickets, 14 list A matches with 27 wickets and 7 Twenty20 matches with 9 wickets to his credit.

Saad has been again forced to return to his River Jhelum field. He was not even considered for Pakistan-A team that recently toured Australia.

He is now 26 years old and being poor and resourceless, is counting the days to be called over-aged. Still, he can play and win laurels for Pakistan, if given a chance. (ANI)

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