The Pakistanis are coming! Expats take over World T20 squads

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 11, 2016 14:56 IST
Although he was born in Pakistan, Khawar Ali has played all his top-flight cricket for Oman. (PTI Photo)

India’s arch-rivals Pakistan are unsure about playing in the World T20 and haven’t yet confirmed their participation. However, Pakistan isn’t exactly being missed in this tournament, either.

The Oman team that upset Ireland is made up mostly of Pakistani expats. So is Hong Kong, which nearly upstaged Zimbabwe the other day. There are other teams too that have a player or two born in Pakistan.

Here’s a look at the Pakistan element:


Zeeshan Maqsood also took a spectacular catch to dismiss R Stirling. (PTI)

The men who laid the foundation of Oman’s successful chase of Ireland’s 154/5 with a 69-run stand for the first-wicket, Zeeshan Maqsood and Khawar Ali, were both born in Pakistan.

Though they played their top-flight cricket for Oman only, the man who saw them through with a brilliant 32-run cameo, Amir Ali, played first-class cricket in Pakistan for Karachi.

Amir Ali has an uncanny resemblance with former Pakistan international Basit Ali, spawning rumours that he is his brother. Skipper Sultan Ahmed, a 38-year-old veteran, played nine first-class games for Karachi.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong captain Tanwir Afzal during a practice session. (Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

They came close to upsetting Zimbabwe in their first qualifier. But that wasn’t a surprise as they have plenty of quality cricketers.

Skipper and paceman Tanwir Afzal (also known as Tanvir Afzal) played for Pakistan’s U-19 side, Islamabad and Rawalpindi. He has played two first-class games and plenty of List A games.

Rawalpindi-born Haseeb Amjad too played for Pakistan U-19s and has also played a few first-class games as well as List A games. Most of the players are of the skipper’s age-group and many played in Pakistan around the same time.

There are some who were born in Pakistan but played their U-19 cricket for Hong Kong.


Born in Sialkot, Sikandar Raza received Zimbabwe citizenship only in 2011. (AP Photo)

There is a smattering of Pakistan players in other teams. Australia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Netherlands have a Pakistan player each in their squad.

While 29-year-old Sialkot-born Sikandar Raza, who moved to Zimbabwe 13 years ago and got the citizenship only in 2011, chips in with both bat and ball, South Africa’s Lahore-born Imran Tahir is their premier leg-spinner.

Karachi-born Usman Khawaja is now Australia’s first-choice opening batsman.

Team No of Pakistan players Percentage of 15-man squad
Afghanistan 1 6.66
Australia 1 6.66
Hong Kong 7 46.66
Netherlands 1 6.66
Oman 11 73.33
South Africa 1 6.66
Zimbabwe 1 6.66
Total 23 21.90

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