Full name Azeem Rafiq
Born February 27, 1991, Pakistan
Current age 25 years 126 days
Major teams England Under-15s, England Under-17s, England Under-19s, Yorkshire, Yorkshire 2nd XI
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm offbreak
Education Holgate School, Barnsley
|First-class debut||Yorkshire v Sussex at Leeds, Jun 6-9, 2009 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Yorkshire v Pakistan A at Leeds, Jun 26-29, 2016 scorecard|
|List A debut||Yorkshire v Sussex at Scarborough, Aug 30, 2009 scorecard|
|Last List A||Somerset v Yorkshire at Taunton, Aug 15, 2013 scorecard|
|Twenty20 debut||Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire at Nottingham, Jun 27, 2008 scorecard|
|Last Twenty20||Yorkshire v Lancashire at Leeds, Jul 1, 2016 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|6*, 1/20||Yorkshire||v Lancashire||Leeds||1 Jul 2016||T20|
|48, 3/60||Yorkshire||v Pakistan A||Leeds||26 Jun 2016||FC|
|1, 1/22||Yorkshire||v Durham||Chester-le-Street||24 Jun 2016||T20|
|1/95, 37||Yorks 2nd XI||v Worcs 2nd XI||Scarborough||21 Jun 2016||Other|
|7, 2/20||Yorks 2nd XI||v Worcs 2nd XI||Marske-by-the-Sea||20 Jun 2016||Other T20|
|1, 1/19||Yorks 2nd XI||v Worcs 2nd XI||Marske-by-the-Sea||20 Jun 2016||Other T20|
|2/33||Yorkshire||v Derbyshire||Leeds||19 Jun 2016||T20|
|1/38, 26*, 2/66, 72*||Yorks 2nd XI||v Leics 2nd XI||York||13 Jun 2016||Other|
|40, 0/95, 0||Yorks 2nd XI||v Warwcks 2nd||Birmingham||7 Jun 2016||Other|
|2/37, 1||Yorks 2nd XI||v Warwcks 2nd||Dorridge||6 Jun 2016||Other OD|
Offspinner Azeem Rafiq, who moved to England from Pakistan in 2001, played for England Under-15 and Under-17 sides, the latter as captain, as well as rising through the age groups at Yorkshire. However, the most significant honours came his way during the 2012 when he was named Yorkshire captain in the Friends Life t20, the first cricketer of Asian origin to take the role, and led Yorkshire to five wins from his six matches at the helm, handing over to Andrew Gale when the regular captain returned from injury with the side firmly on course to qualify for the quarter-finals. Gale was quick to praise the captaincy skills of his understudy, remarking that he admired his up-and-at-'em style and that he found himself on the same wavelength nine times out of ten.
In the four-day side, he briefly became an increasingly important figure in Yorkshire's bid for promotion to the First Division in the Championship, concluding the season with a magnificent all-round performance in the final match as Yorkshire clinched promotion with victory over Essex in Chelmsford, where Rafiq made 53 and 75 not out batting and had career-best innings and match figures with the ball, finishing with 5 for 50 as Essex were bowled out for 148 in their second innings for a match return of 8 for 115.
Disappointingly, he failed to progress, not helped by an injury which affected his bowling rhythm, and even though he remained a key part of the T20 side a lack of opportunities in other formats led to his release at the end of 2014.
It is extraordinary to recall now that Rafiq's debut for Yorkshire in 2008 cost them a Twenty20 Cup quarter-final after his appearance in a group stage win over Nottinghamshire. Then an academy player, he was selected in good faith but questions over his eligibility led to Yorkshire's quarterfinal against Durham being postponed moments before it was due to begin to the disenchantment of the crowd and ultimately their effective disqualification after the result at Trent Bridge was reversed. It subsequently emerged that he was not properly registered and furthermore that he did not have a British passport and so, under ECB regulations, was ineligible to play for the county. It was a poor oversight from Yorkshire, who had long been aware of his talents. Yorkshire said, in their defence, that they had only taken him along for the ride, but had been presented with a worn Trent Bridge pitch and had to throw him into the match without a second thought.
Rafiq overcame the glitch, and went on to score a first-class century for the county in only his second match, before being named England captain for the Under-19 World Cup.
If that were a controversy not of his making, the same cannot be said of the error of judgment he made soon afterwards when an outburst on twitter against coach John Abrahams on being dropped from an England Under-19 side on disciplinary grounds led to a one-month ban from all cricket. Clearly he quickly learned his lesson and combined competitive edge with a fast-growing maturity. In 2006 he was named BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year for Yorkshire and in 2007 made his second XI debut.
As the CPL's fourth season gets underway, ESPNcricinfo presents a handy primer on the teams involved and the players to watch out for
Three years on from his sacking as Australia's coach, Mickey Arthur believes the same adherence to discipline will help Pakistan achieve redemption in England
The pairing of legspinner and keeper is unlike any other in cricket, and full of rich and complex dynamics
Also: the highest by a No. 8 in ODIs, and the highest totals in ten-wicket wins
India opener hopes to make the most of Anil Kumble's presence and feels his wealth of experience and knowledge of handling pressure situations would come in handy for the batting unit too
A two-division structure will give the format the shake-up it needs. It's important for fans of the traditional game to embrace change
He understands the Indian mentality better and doesn't have to deal with star players on the wane
As South Africa's slump gets deeper after the triangular series exit, ESPNcricinfo looks at three areas that need special focus and could possibly salvage them