Aaron Summers – a name worth remembering, for it is predicted to be rolling off the tongue by the end of the fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League. To those in the know, the 22-year-old pacer is being tipped as heir incumbent to former speedsters Shoaib Akhtar and Brett Lee.
Indeed, in answer to a question on the great expectations heaped on him from cricket coaches such as Ian Pont, his riposte is as quick-fire as his bowling. “I would like to put myself in that category, that can bowl at over 150 kph. It is an attribute that can change a game and I want to make an impact.”
Having played tee-ball, softball and baseball during childhood, it was at the age of 13 that Summers took up cricket. His raw pace was first noticed when he bowled just three overs for the Hobart Hurricanes against the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash last season. Having played for the Tasmania U23s earlier, he made his List A debut for Tasmania two months ago.
He describes the pitches as being similar to England conditions, in that it is colder and greener than the rest of the country. He likens Darwin in particular to the UAE, as it is more humid and warmer. However, it is his discipline and willingness to raise his game, that comes through in his acknowledgement of any obstacles he may face in unfamiliar conditions. “The challenge of the UAE is that the ball will not bounce as much. I will have to change my pace and bowl slower balls. I have another season of the Big Bash coming up and I will work at it between now and February.”
He cites Karachi Kings President Wasim Akram as the former fast bowler he most wants to meet. “I’ve watched his videos on YouTube, seen documentaries on him and observed his old games. In our fast bowling team discussions, he is right there on top. He is a huge figure in Pakistan, well-liked and well-respected internationally. I am keen to take tips from him.”
Asked if he had watched Pakistan medium-pacer Mohammad Abbas in the recent Abu Dhabi Test against Australia, he responds in the affirmative. “While on tour we watched him, he is a genius with the ball. His swing, his game is completely different to mine, but he makes up for his lack of pace with skill.”
If he is being described as a rookie in international leagues, he describes Karachi Kings captain Imad Wasim as someone who will understand the demands of having to adapt to new playing conditions, the latter only having made his international debut three years ago. Given Summers’ ambition to prove himself at the top level, the Karachi Kings captain has an unpolished gem on his hands. Still an unknown entity to international batsmen, Aaron Summers might just find his refinement in the Pakistan Super League.