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And other memorable moments from Yasir Arafat's career
Interview by Jack Wilson
March 17, 2013
As a kid in Pakistan there were so many heroes to choose from. As an allrounder, Imran Khan was my idol - he was such a special player. When it came to bowling, Waqar Younis was incredible. There was Wasim Akram too, another one that was magnificent.
First big cricket match I played in
I still remember it pretty well, actually. I was playing for my club team in Pakistan and I must have been about 11 or 12. I didn't do too badly, either. I got two wickets and scored 37 runs.
First tour away from Pakistan
I came over to England for the Lombard Under-15 Challenge Cup in 1996. It was my first experience of different conditions and it was a tour I'll never forget. Our team was pretty special at the time, and we had a number of players who went on to represent Pakistan. Taufeeq Umar, Faisal Iqbal, Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik were all playing. We got to the final and played at Lord's against India, which was a special moment. Unfortunately we lost.
First international cap
It came against Sri Lanka in Karachi. I still treasure the cap. The moment I stepped out on to the pitch was amazing. You dream about playing for your country and it's hard to find words to describe it. I remember I got Sanath Jayasuriya out, which was incredible. He's like a superhero in Sri Lanka. It wasn't a bad first wicket to take in international cricket.
My first hat-trick was against Faisalabad for Rawalpindi in 2004 - and it came over the course of two innings. I got two wickets in the first innings and I had to wait and wait until we finished batting again. I got Mohammad Hafeez out with my first ball in the second innings. I ended up taking five wickets in six balls.
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