Fakhar Zaman has proved to be a decisive batsman in Pakistan’s unpredictable batting order, mainly by scoring half-centuries against Sri Lanka and England. It will not be an exaggeration to say that his inclusion in the green shirts’ playing XI has been one of the reasons of success in their road of ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final.
The Fakhar (pride) of Pakistan was born in small town named Katland, situated in Mardan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. He joined Pakistan Navy when he was 16 after residing in Karachi. He had spent one year at Karachi’s Pakistan Navy School Bahadur before submitting himself to the professional career in the game of cricket.
Having learned how to survive in sea, he had to earn his spot in the national team by force. Zaman is often called fauji (meaning soldier in Urdu) by his team-mates for his struggle and strong will. No doubt, he possesses a tough mindset and completely trusts his skill which he proved during the debut match against South Africa. He went on with his form in the crucial quarter-final against Sri Lanka and gave a solid start to his team with a fifty to his name. But having said that, his sublime technique and mettle was on its peak against the mighty England, the team that had won its all three Champions Trophy games with huge margins.
What deserves credit is Fakhar Zaman’s temperament. He had to prove not only to the selectors, but also to himself that why should he be added in the national team. In an interview with ESPN Cricinfo last year, he responded to a question about why he wasn’t considered for the national team despite performances saying, “My number will come. I will keep trusting my instincts and my performances.”
He was the second-highest run-getter in the Pakistan Cup during 2016 and had piled up 650 runs with an average of 54.16 in last year’s Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. He averages 42.01 in five hundreds and 13 fifties in his first-class career, and 50.04 in List-A performances.
A lot of eyebrows were raised when the uncapped opener was added in 15-member squad for Champions Trophy. Fakhar Zaman was one of the three debutants welcomed by the green shirts in the mini World Cup, the other two being Fahim Ashraf and Rumman Raees, who have also impressed the cricket pandits. The left-handed aggressive batsman got a chance to represent Pakistan only after Ahmed Shehzad s unimpressive innings against India in which he failed to make a mark and help his side put a fighting response. Till now, he has scored 138 runs in the three matches against the top bowling attacks.