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While one young Yorkshireman is making headlines with England, another has set his sights on following Joe Root into the team. Moin Ashraf, the 21-year-old Bradford-born fast bowler, has impressed in recent seasons and was selected for the England Performance Programme in 2011-12, before helping Yorkshire to the FLt20 final and promotion in the Championship last year. He talks to Pak Passion about his fast-bowling heroes, the tutelage of Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie, the spoof Twitter account in his name, and his love of bowling yorkers:
I've bowled it a lot throughout the age groups. When T20 cricket first came about, I used to watch various teams and when Pakistan won the T20 World Cup in England in 2009, I watched them very closely. One guy that really caught my eye was Umar Gul. I remember he did really well in South Africa as well, he had that long hair and that was Umar Gul in Twenty20s at his best. Recently, he hasn't been bowling the yorkers very much but he had this period of two to three years where he bowled devastating yorkers. He bowled them continuously and didn't stop. He thought, 'I'm just going to bowl yorkers.' Even if you try to hit them, you can't.
I remember watching in two of the World Cups and thinking, "I need to practice that and that I need to become like that. Become a bowler that can nail those yorkers." I believe that in the T20 format, the yorker is the hardest ball to hit. Even if you go down to scoop, if you don't change your length, the yorker is the hardest ball to hit. I don't think you can scoop a yorker. I've done a lot of practice. I remember last year, I used to put a baseball mitt at the stumps and try to hit that mitt for 18 balls. Now, we've adopted a new game or theory, 'The Yorker Goes for Yorkshire' which helps. You have to try and hit the stumps or hit the base of stumps. It's fun as well as helping you work on these skills. It's something that I've tried to nail completely and it shows that if you do nail those skills, you can have huge success.
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