DateLine: 9th June 2010
The chance to represent your country in an international competition is the dream of any young aspiring cricketer. Yet a very select few end up achieving that dream. Umar Amin, who was recently selected in Pakistan’s Asian Cup squad, spoke exclusively to PakPassion.net about his excitement and joy at his selection. "I am very happy that I have finally been selected for the full Pakistani team and I hope to continue to do well."
Umar who averages over 42 in first class cricket, was playing a T20 club match in his hometown of Rawalpindi when he heard of his inclusion in the squad. "My mother called me up and told me that I had been selected for the Asian Cup Squad." It was a special moment for Umar and it wasn’t long before he was receiving calls from family and friend. Within a couple of days, Umar was packing his bags to head off for the Asian Cup camp.
On the first day of the camp being held in Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium, the young left handed batsman portrayed the mood. "Everybody is very excited about the Asian Cup especially the new guys like myself, Shahzaib and Asad Shafiq." Umar was also appreciative of the support that the young players were receiving from the senior players as well as the coaching staff of Waqar Younis and Ijaz Ahmed.
The Rawalpindi born batting sensation was upbeat about his chances of performing well. "I think my form currently is pretty good after the recently concluded Pentangular Cup in Karachi.” With the prospects of facing top international bowlers like Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh and competition for places in the Pakistani middle order tight, Umar will need to bring his ‘A’ game. One advantage Umar does hold is that he has played in Sri Lanka before, stating “I am very aware of the conditions of Sri Lanka and am happy to bat wherever I am required." In that three week long tour, the highlight was when Umar hit an impressive 153 against Sri Lanka A after opening with Khurrum Manzoor in a four day game in Dambulla.
Umar, who has becomes somewhat of a fan favourite after numerous successful A and Youth international tours was also keeping a close eye on upcoming tour to UK which will follow the Asian Cup. “I am just trying to do well in this Asian Cup Inshallah and build my confidence and carry that confidence against Australia and England.” A confident Umar has ambitions to become a permanent member of the squad as he further stated “If I get a chance I want to avail it and never give an opportunity to the selectors to drop me.”
While Sachin Tendulkar will not be competing at the prestigious Asian Cup tournament which started back in 1983, one of his bats will be gracing the competition. Umar received one of Sachin’s bat from Shoaib Akhtar after scoring a match-winning innings in a domestic game. “I still have that Sachin Tendulkar bat and Inshallah (god willing) I will be making my début with that bat.” All of his fans will be hoping that some of the Indian maestro batting genius rubs off on the debutant.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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