Pakistan summoned 17-year-old rookie left-arm spinner Mohammad Asghar for the three-match Test series in Australia as back up for unfit leggie Yasir Shah, selection committee said Thursday.
Asghar, who will turn 18 on 28th of this month, became an instant hit on social media in February this year for his post-match comments during the inaugural Pakistan Super League (PSL).
The tall and well-built Asghar took two tough catches in the outfield for Peshawar Zalmi and when asked by commentator Ramiz Raja on how he held onto those catches, he replied: “I have big Pathan-like hands and there was no way a ball can go out of them.”
Lady luck has smiled on Asghar as barely three days ago the youngster survived a dangerous fire in a Karachi hotel. He was on the fourth floor of the Regent Plaza hotel and had he not left his room, he would have been severely injured.
Pakistan Cricket Board said Asghar is called as back up for the experienced leg-spinner Yasir Shah who hurt his back during practice and will be assessed before the first of three Tests starting in Brisbane from December 15.
Asghar has been on selector’s radar for the last one year after taking 68 wickets in 17 first-class matches. Born in Karachi, Asghar has lived in Balochistan’s city of Chaman, famous for Pashtuns.
Asghar took 11 wickets in nine matches and his tally in 17 first-class matches is 68 but his performance on Pakistan A tour of Zimbabwe in September-October caught selectors’ attention.
Asghar took 13 wickets in the two unofficial Tests and had a five-for in a one-day match.