There is much debate at present about finding a solid opener for Pakistan. It is by far the toughest batting position facing the new, swinging ball with fresh hostile fast bowlers. I would reply we already have him.
Sami Aslam is only 19 years old. I have followed his career for the last 2 years. His batting style reminds me of a young Brian Lara. I can safely predict Pakistan’s opening batting slot is his for a very long time. I am also convinced he will be Pakistan’s captain in the future.
I met this pleasant youngster, Sami Aslam in Nottingham in 2013. An under-19 Tri series was being played between Pakistan, England and Bangladesh. Pakistan won every game and beat England in the final by 192 runs, with Captain Sami making 110. (He scored 2 centuries and 3 fifties in the series). Watching the final at Trent Bridge I was impressed by the young man’s maturity and wisdom, even at such a young age. At that point I knew Pakistan’s future was in safe hands.
Sami Aslam was born in Lahore in 1995. He is a solid, left handed specialist opener. He has sound technique, is a stroke player and a clean hitter. He has a cool temperament, excellent under pressure and willing to take responsibility. He possesses the ability to concentrate, negotiate the new ball then plays his shots. He now plays First class cricket for National Bank of Pakistan and Baluchistan Warriors. He has already shown his class in domestic cricket. Recently for Pakistan A he scored 101 not out off 97 balls against the visitors Kenya.
His Pakistan under-19 record is most impressive. He started in that team at 16 years old and holds the record for the most under-19 runs scored by any player for their country. Statistics include 40 matches played, total runs 1695, average 45.8, highest score 134. Six hundreds and ten fifties. Sami scores hundreds for fun. He has also captained the side positively and took them to the World Cup final in 2014.
His First class total score is 1318, 35 innings, average 37.6, highest score 191. (5 hundreds, 3 fifties).
List A matches total score 1638, 33 innings, average 49.6, highest score 126. (4 hundreds, 13 fifties).
Capt. Sami Aslam receives the award for Under-19 Tri-series win against England August 2013
The Pakistan selectors had Sami Aslam in the 2015 Cricket World Cup, 30 player squad, but unfortunately he didn’t make the final cut. It is only a matter of time before he secures the opening slot for himself, for a very long time. He is a confident young man and says he is prepared to step up to the mark for the national senior team. Talent of this calibre only occurs infrequently. I have no doubt that once established and nurtured Sami Aslam will be a world class opener in all forms of the game for Pakistan.