When the Australian legend, Dean Jones took up the position of Islamabad United’s head coach, he was surprised to see the number of left-arm pacers in the circuit. “Any right-arm fast bowlers here at all?” Asked Jones. Pakistan has a big lot of left-fast bowlers for the past many years. Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Rumman Raees and others have dazzled the world already. Mir Hamza is the latest addition to Pakistan’s left-arm pacers’ lineup. He has earned the maiden Test call from the selectors for the series against Sri Lanka in the UAE.
Hamza, who joined academy for professional cricket in 2010 when he was only 17 years old, is hugely inspired by the Sultan of Swing, Wasim Akram. He has been a great influence on Pakistan cricket, he has motivated hundreds of boys to dream about becoming a left-arm fast bowler. “I have always idolized Wasim Akram, I grew up watching his videos,” Mir Hamza told.
The 25-year old accredits the legendary pacer for teaching him useful tricks of the trade, “I attended a 15-day long bowling camp with him,” he recalled. “He taught me tactics and how to bowl in different situations. He always said that ‘You have got talent, you just need to learn maneuvers’.”
Mir Hamza believes that it is an honour for him to attend a camp with one of the best bowlers of all time. “It has been a privilege for me that I have learned from Wasim Bhai himself, he taught me how to bowl with new and old ball,” he added.
On the other hand, Pakistan’s current bowling sensation, Mohammad Amir has also been his mentor. He shared the dressing room with Amir while playing for Karachi Kings in PSL 2016, who passed some valuable experiences to his fellow bowler. “Mohammad Amir is currently my favorite bowler,” he told. “He used to point out batsmen weaknesses to me during nets, he used to tell me to focus on batsmen’s bat, their feet. He has taught me a lot about bowling,” he added.
“I was impressed by Amir Bhai‘s attitude, he was always up for the challenge, he is extremely strong mentally and it is reflected through his bowling,” he said.
Mir Hamza believes that cricket is all about confidence and competing against the best in the business helps you believe in yourself. “Cricket is all about handling pressure, we had a perception that international players are huge, we cannot compete against them,” he shared. However, the perception changed when he featured in the first edition of the PSL. “When you share the dressing room with big names of cricket, you get mentally relaxed that they are like you, it is their vast experience that makes them so special, sharing their experience help you improve cricket by leaps and bounds,” he added.
The man, who hails from Karachi, has represented Pakistan U-19 and ‘A’ side for a long period of time. He has been through all stages of Pakistan’s cricket circuit. He was under the radar of selectors for quite some time and finally, he has made it to the Test squad. Hamza is focusing on being super fit as it is the basic requirement of international cricket. ”I have to be super fit, I have to perform extraordinarily,” he said. “My goals are to train hard, perform well and represent Pakistan for a long period of time.”
Mir Hamza was interviewed after PSL 2016.